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Analysis of The Seven Commandments in Animal Farm

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Words: 902 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Words: 902|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Animal Farm, written by George Orwell, is a classic allegorical novel that reflects on the events leading up to the Russian Revolution and the early years of the Soviet Union. One of the central elements in the story is the set of Seven Commandments that the animals on the farm create to govern their behavior and maintain equality. These commandments are gradually altered as the pigs in power become corrupted, ultimately leading to the replacement of the original commandments with a single, manipulative maxim. This essay will analyze the seven commandments in Animal Farm, exploring their initial purpose, the gradual changes that occur, and the implications of the ultimate replacement commandment.

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The first commandment, "Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy," reflects the animals' initial desire for freedom and independence from human control. It highlights their belief that humans are inherently exploitative and oppressive. However, as the pigs gain power and begin to adopt human characteristics, this commandment is gradually altered to "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets." This change exemplifies the pigs' hypocrisy and their increasing resemblance to the humans they once despised. It also demonstrates their desire for luxuries and privileges, as sleeping in a bed with sheets is a human comfort that they now seek for themselves.

The second commandment, "Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend," reinforces the animals' sense of solidarity and unity. It suggests that all animals are equal and should support one another in their struggle against human oppression. However, the pigs later modify this commandment to "No animal shall kill any other animal without cause." This change allows the pigs to justify their own violent actions, such as the execution of animals they perceive as traitors or threats to their power. By redefining the circumstances under which killing is permissible, the pigs consolidate their authority and eliminate any potential challenges to their rule.

The third commandment, "No animal shall wear clothes," symbolizes the animals' rejection of human vanity and materialism. It represents their commitment to a simpler, more egalitarian way of life. Yet, as the pigs become more corrupt, they revise this commandment to "No animal shall wear clothes without permission." This alteration enables the pigs to indulge in their desire for clothing while maintaining the illusion of equality. It also highlights their growing control over the other animals, as they now have the power to grant or deny permission for clothing.

The fourth commandment, "No animal shall sleep in a bed," emphasizes the animals' rejection of human comforts and privileges. It reinforces their belief that all animals should lead equally modest lives. However, the pigs eventually modify this commandment to "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets." This change reflects their increasing desire for luxury and their willingness to manipulate the other animals to achieve it. By allowing themselves to sleep in beds without sheets, the pigs establish a hierarchy that grants them preferential treatment and further separates them from the rest of the animals.

The fifth commandment, "No animal shall drink alcohol," symbolizes the animals' rejection of human vices and excesses. It represents their commitment to a disciplined and sober existence. However, the pigs later amend this commandment to "No animal shall drink alcohol to excess." This change allows the pigs to engage in their own indulgences while maintaining control over the other animals. It also enables them to justify their own excessive behavior as long as it does not exceed certain limits. This alteration highlights the pigs' double standards and their willingness to manipulate the commandments to suit their own desires.

The sixth commandment, "No animal shall kill any other animal," reflects the animals' belief in the sanctity of life and their commitment to nonviolence. It exemplifies their aspiration for a society free from bloodshed and exploitation. However, the pigs later revise this commandment to "No animal shall kill any other animal without cause." This change enables the pigs to justify their own acts of violence and oppression. By redefining the circumstances under which killing is acceptable, the pigs consolidate their power and justify their actions as necessary for the greater good of the farm.

The seventh commandment, "All animals are equal," encapsulates the animals' vision of a society without hierarchy or privilege. It represents their desire for a truly democratic and egalitarian community. However, as the pigs' corruption deepens, they replace this commandment with a single maxim: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." This replacement commandment epitomizes the pigs' complete betrayal of the original ideals of Animal Farm. It highlights their transformation into oppressive rulers who exploit the other animals for their own benefit. This maxim also reflects the pigs' manipulation of language and their ability to distort truth to maintain their power.

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In conclusion, the analysis of the seven commandments in Animal Farm reveals the gradual corruption of the pigs in power and the erosion of the original ideals of equality and solidarity. The changes to the commandments reflect the pigs' increasing desire for luxury, privilege, and control over the other animals. The replacement of the original commandments with the maxim "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" signifies the pigs' ultimate betrayal of the principles on which Animal Farm was founded. It serves as a chilling reminder of the dangers of unchecked power and the potential for even the most noble revolutions to be corrupted.

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Analysis Of The Seven Commandments In Animal Farm. (2024, Jun 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-the-seven-commandments-in-animal-farm/
“Analysis Of The Seven Commandments In Animal Farm.” GradesFixer, 14 Jun. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-the-seven-commandments-in-animal-farm/
Analysis Of The Seven Commandments In Animal Farm. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-the-seven-commandments-in-animal-farm/> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Analysis Of The Seven Commandments In Animal Farm [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 14 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-the-seven-commandments-in-animal-farm/
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