The Role of Pigs in Animal Farm

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About this sample


Words: 792 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Words: 792|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Table of contents

  1. The Rise to Power
  2. Manipulation of the Other Animals
  3. Transformation into Humans
  4. Conclusion

Animal Farm, written by George Orwell, is a political allegory that cleverly uses animals to represent various characters and events during the Russian Revolution. In this essay, we will explore the role of pigs in Animal Farm and how they symbolize the ruling class. Through their actions and behavior, the pigs demonstrate the corrupting influence of power and the dangers of totalitarianism. By examining the pigs' rise to power, manipulation of the other animals, and eventual transformation into humans, we can understand the central message of the novel: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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The Rise to Power

The pigs, led by the ambitious and persuasive Napoleon, quickly establish themselves as the dominant group on the farm. Their intelligence and ability to read, which the other animals lack, give them a significant advantage. This is evident when the pigs take control of the farm's education system, teaching themselves to read and write while denying this privilege to the other animals. Through their control of knowledge, the pigs establish themselves as the intellectual elite, justifying their leadership role. This manipulation of education demonstrates the pigs' desire to maintain power and control over the other animals.

Furthermore, the pigs' rise to power is facilitated by their ability to manipulate language. They create slogans such as "Four legs good, two legs bad" and "All animals are equal" to control the thoughts and beliefs of the other animals. By simplifying complex ideas into catchy phrases, the pigs gain the support and loyalty of their fellow animals. However, as the story progresses, these slogans are altered to benefit the pigs' interests. For example, the pigs change the commandment "No animal shall sleep in a bed" to "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets." This manipulation of language allows the pigs to gradually rewrite the rules to suit their own desires, highlighting their abuse of power.

Manipulation of the Other Animals

The pigs' manipulation of the other animals is a central aspect of their role in Animal Farm. They exploit the animals' ignorance and naivety to maintain control. One prominent example is the pigs' management of the Seven Commandments, which were initially established to ensure equality and fairness on the farm. However, the pigs gradually break these commandments, but cleverly reinterpret them to justify their actions. For instance, when the pigs begin trading with humans, breaking the commandment "No animal shall engage in trade," they argue that the exchange is a form of "mutually beneficial cooperation." This manipulation allows the pigs to exploit the labor of the other animals while maintaining their own privileges.

Furthermore, the pigs establish a hierarchy on the farm, with themselves at the top. They assign themselves the most comfortable living conditions, the best food, and even create a class of privileged pigs known as the "pigs of the inner party." This hierarchy mirrors the social stratification that often occurs in totalitarian societies. The pigs, who were once comrades, now become oppressors, exploiting the labor of the other animals for their own benefit. This demonstrates the corrupting influence of power and highlights the pigs' abandonment of the principles of equality that they initially fought for.

Transformation into Humans

As the pigs consolidate their power, they become more and more like humans, the very beings they once rebelled against. They start walking on two legs, wearing clothes, and even adopting human vices such as drinking alcohol. This transformation symbolizes the pigs' complete corruption and betrayal of the original ideals of Animal Farm. Through this transformation, Orwell warns against the dangers of totalitarianism, suggesting that those who seek power are often the ones who ultimately become the oppressors.

The pigs' transformation into humans also reflects the historical events of the Russian Revolution. Just as the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, fought for equality and the overthrow of the oppressive Tsarist regime, the pigs initially fight against the tyranny of Mr. Jones. However, like the pigs, the Bolsheviks eventually become the new ruling class, establishing a totalitarian regime that suppressed individual freedoms. Orwell uses the pigs' transformation into humans to illustrate the cyclical nature of power and the tendency for revolutions to replace one oppressive regime with another.


In conclusion, the pigs in Animal Farm symbolize the ruling class and demonstrate the corrupting influence of power. Through their rise to power, manipulation of the other animals, and eventual transformation into humans, the pigs illustrate the dangers of totalitarianism and the abandonment of principles in the pursuit of power. Animal Farm serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us of the importance of remaining vigilant against the abuse of authority and the erosion of individual freedoms. The pigs' role in the novel serves as a powerful reminder that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Works Cited

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Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1946.

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The Role of Pigs in Animal Farm. (2024, Jun 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
“The Role of Pigs in Animal Farm.” GradesFixer, 14 Jun. 2024,
The Role of Pigs in Animal Farm. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 Jul. 2024].
The Role of Pigs in Animal Farm [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 14 [cited 2024 Jul 23]. Available from:
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