Throughout the novel, the pigs manipulate their superiority towards other animals using trickery and education to justify their behavior and actions. Based on the rationale that the pigs were the self-proclaimed “brains of the farm”, they thought they had the right to reside inside the farmhouse. Despite the skepticism of the other animals, Squealer manages to persuade them that everything they were doing was within the constitution that they had set forth.
The original constitution explicitly stated that “no animal shall sleep in a bed”, however the pigs unbenounced to the other animals changed the rule to “no animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets”. In addition to that, it was also stated that Napoleon, who was now known as the leader, deserved nothing less than the farmhouse as a residence. Some of the animals were totally convinced by Squealer’s justification of their actions. Upon hearing what Squealer had to say, Boxer adopted the motto “Napoleon is always right” , showing his lack of understanding to what was going on.
He is so caught up in following Napoleon and listening to what Squealer had to say that he can no longer understand that he is being manipulated and controlled by them. Boxer also doesn’t realize that what was going on was truly not better than prior to the revolution. His repetition of this phrase paired with his unparalleled work ethic show his misplaced loyalty towards Napoleon and his ways. Others however, were surprised to hear that Napoleon was using the farmhouse kitchen as a dining room and the drawing room as a recreation room.
Animals such as Clover questioned what they were told. Her doubt was partially dissolved, however, when she learned that the constitution actually allowed for sleeping in a bed without sheets. This displays the trickery and misleading nature of the pigs by taking advantage of the illiteracy of the other animals. The animals had no way to remember exactly what the commandments on the wall said, so they had no other option than to accept what the pigs said.
Even when Clover has Molly read the adjusted commandment, she still isn’t satisfied, but accepts that she must have forgotten what the rule read because it was written on the wall. The fact that clover began to question what she was being told, however, indicates that she is unsure of what is going on. Like many other animals, they do not believe in Napoleon’s leadership but are forced to accept his word as law or end up like Snowball did. Because the animals are obligated to follow these commandments without question, they feed into the pig’s power and control over the remaining farm animals.
After Squealer addresses Clover’s suspicion, he reinforces the pig’s authority and control by appealing to the animal’s senses. He says that without the pig’s hard work and brainpower, Jones is certain to return because they pigs will be too tired to carry out their duties. In addition he says that if the animals oppose the actions of pigs, that they are undermining everything they accomplished in the rebellion. This idea in the minds of the animals is more than enough to look the other way about what was going on in the farmhouse.
It is clear by the tone Orwell uses when addressing Clover’s concerns that he is trying to scare the animals into following them blindly through Squealer and Napoleons’ speeches and the adjusted commandments mentioned prior. In reality, the pigs are promoting themselves above the other animals to make their lives easier at the expense of the others. They constantly go back to their core argument that if it wasn’t for the work and clever thinking of the pigs, Jones would surely return to reclaim the farm.
This also ties into the idea on the farm that some animals are more equal to others. In addition, Squealer and Napoleon never appeal to the animals logos when talking because they do not want the animals to realize that they have been brainwashed into believing Napoleon’s word. This passage is the turning point in the novel were the pigs start to go against what the whole idea of animalism was created for. They no longer uphold their promises of less work and easier lives for the animals, and instead invest in the same human habits that they swore to dissolve.
The seven commandments are twisted to confuse and distort the less intelligent animals’ ideas and force them into believing that the pigs were the only thing keeping Jones away. Without anywhere else to turn, the animals are forced to follow Napoleon’s iron fist as they fall closer and closer back towards the days of Jones. This passage represents the start of the demolition of the rights of the other animals because they are no longer equal to the pigs.
Courtney from Study Moose
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