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Importance of The Seven Commandments in Animal Farm

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Words: 686 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Words: 686|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Table of contents

  1. The Purpose of the Seven Commandments
  2. Manipulation and Corruption of the Commandments
  3. Implications of the Manipulation
  4. Conclusion

Animal Farm, written by George Orwell, is a political allegory that uses animals on a farm to represent different political figures and ideologies. One of the central elements of the story is the Seven Commandments, a set of rules that the animals create after overthrowing their human oppressors. These commandments serve as a guiding principle for the animals' new society. This essay will argue that the Seven Commandments are of utmost importance in Animal Farm, as they not only establish the principles of equality and justice but also highlight the manipulation and corruption that can occur in political systems.

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The Purpose of the Seven Commandments

The Seven Commandments in Animal Farm serve multiple purposes. Initially, they are created to provide a framework for the animals to live by, ensuring that they do not fall back into the tyranny and exploitation they experienced under the humans. These commandments promote equality and fairness among all animals, as seen in the first commandment: "Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy" (Orwell 12). This commandment sets the foundation for the animals' rebellion and establishes their collective identity.

Furthermore, the commandments reflect the principles of Animalism, the ideology that guides the animals' revolution. Each commandment represents a value or belief that the animals hold dear, such as "No animal shall kill any other animal" (Orwell 33), which emphasizes the sanctity of life. Through these commandments, Orwell showcases the ideals that the animals strive to uphold and the potential for a utopian society based on equality and justice.

Manipulation and Corruption of the Commandments

However, as the story progresses, the Seven Commandments are gradually manipulated and corrupted by the pigs, who seize control of the farm and establish themselves as the ruling class. This manipulation is evident in the changes made to the commandments, such as the alteration of "No animal shall sleep in a bed" to "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets" (Orwell 38). These changes symbolize the pigs' gradual embrace of human-like luxuries and their growing detachment from the principles of Animalism.

Moreover, the pigs' manipulation of the commandments reflects the corruption that often occurs in political systems. As the pigs consolidate power and become more like the humans they initially rebelled against, they twist the commandments to justify their actions and maintain their privileged position. For instance, when the pigs start trading with humans and engaging in other behaviors that contradict the commandments, they revise the rule to "No animal shall drink alcohol to excess" (Orwell 85). This revision allows the pigs to partake in the very vices they condemned, revealing their hypocrisy and abuse of power.

Implications of the Manipulation

The manipulation of the Seven Commandments has significant implications for the animals and the overall narrative of Animal Farm. Firstly, it highlights the dangers of unchecked power and the potential for leaders to exploit the trust and loyalty of their followers. The pigs' manipulation of the commandments demonstrates how easily a revolution can be subverted and perverted by those in power.

Furthermore, the manipulation of the commandments exposes the animals' gradual loss of agency and freedom. As the pigs rewrite the commandments to suit their own interests, the animals become increasingly oppressed and marginalized. This oppression is exemplified by the final alteration, changing the commandment "All animals are equal" to "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" (Orwell 133). This revision epitomizes the pigs' complete betrayal of the animals' original ideals and the establishment of a new hierarchy where the pigs hold all the power.

Conclusion

The Seven Commandments in Animal Farm play a crucial role in establishing the principles of equality and justice that the animals strive for in their revolution. However, they also serve as a cautionary tale about the manipulation and corruption that can occur within political systems. The gradual alteration of the commandments by the pigs reflects the erosion of the animals' ideals and their loss of agency. Ultimately, the importance of the Seven Commandments lies in their ability to shed light on the fragility of revolutionary movements and the potential for power to corrupt even the most noble intentions.

References:

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Orwell, George. Animal Farm. Penguin Books, 2008.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Importance of the Seven Commandments in Animal Farm. (2024, Jun 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/importance-of-the-seven-commandments-in-animal-farm/
“Importance of the Seven Commandments in Animal Farm.” GradesFixer, 14 Jun. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/importance-of-the-seven-commandments-in-animal-farm/
Importance of the Seven Commandments in Animal Farm. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/importance-of-the-seven-commandments-in-animal-farm/> [Accessed 23 Jul. 2024].
Importance of the Seven Commandments in Animal Farm [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 14 [cited 2024 Jul 23]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/importance-of-the-seven-commandments-in-animal-farm/
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