After the rebellion the pigs took up a leadership role. Napoleon and Snowball did not see eye to eye on a number of issues and Snowball was eventually driven out of the farm leaving Napoleon as the sole ruler. With the passage of time, life for the animals did not improve as they worked more and received less rations which was the opposite of what they were promised. A number of events took place that the animals thought were against the seven commandments they were living by. For example, the fifth commandment stated “no animal shall drink alcohol,” but the pigs took to the drink. One night the animals found Squealer, Napoleon’s obedient follower and propagandist on the floor after a fall from a ladder on the wall with the commandments. He was holding a paint brush and next to him was an overturned pot of paint. One of the animals knew exactly what was going on but did not say anything. Later on the animals noticed that there was yet another commandment they had remember wrong for the fifth commandment no read “no animal shall drink alcohol in excess.”
The animals were living in a society where they would take it as it is and not speak up for what they believed in. Fear had been instilled in the hearts of the animals with the help of Napoleon’s feared bodyguards the dogs. The pigs gradually embarrassed the ‘human’ way of life and one day they paraded around walking on their hind legs. On that very same day the seven commandments had been replaced with a single statement that read “ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.” In the end the animals could no longer tell the difference between the pigs and the humans.
The story that George Orwell tells is reminiscent of events that have taken or are taking place in Zimbabwe and other countries around the world. It starts of with a liberation struggle after which there are promises of a better life to follow but with the passage of time that is not the case. Laws are changed or altered to suit the needs of the people in power and fear is instilled within the population who become afraid to speak up for what they believe in and against an oppressive regime.
If you haven’t read Animal Farm (Signet Classics) I would encourage you to read it. It is an easy read that will stir up a number of emotions especially if you can relate to what is going on in the book. If you have read it, what thoughts and emotions did it stir up?