Essay on Pig's Role in Animal Farm by George Orwell


Throughout the novel Animal Farm, author George Orwell uses the characterization of the pigs, in connection to the motif of change in ammendments, to convey that a person’s knowledge comes with power, which can be used to manipulate others around them and to benefit themselves.

The characterization of Squealer and the pigs show that a person is often given power baised on their mental capability, especially when the given power is used to influence others.  When explaining why the pigs needed to eat the apples and milk, Squelar said, “‘We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us.… The importance of keeping the pigs in good health was all too obvious,” (Orwell 36). To elaborate, the pigs are seen as the brains of the operation on the farm. It is no secret that they have more intelligence than other animals on the farm. All of the planning is done by them. Squealer used the role of the pigs on the farm to justify the fact that they eat the apples and milk. This shows that because the pigs were more intelligent than the other animals, they gained more power, which was used to their advantage. When the other animals found out that the pigs were sleeping on farm beds, Squealer defended them by saying that the beds were comfortable,“‘But not more comfortable than we need, I can tell you, comrades, with all the brainwork we have to do nowadays. … You would not have us too tired to carry out our duties? Surely none of you wishes to see Jones back?” (Orwell 67). In other words, due to the fact that the pigs had knowledge, they held more power over the fellow animals on the farm. Originally, one commandment of Animal Farm was that no animals should sleep in beds. With their new found power, they were able to manipulate the other animals' rules to gain them advantages. Squealer’s intelligence and use of wise words allowed him to gain authority, which was used to justify the pigs sleeping on beds. The intelligence of the pigs allowed them to gain power, which was used to their benefit.

The motif of change in amendments by the pigs is used to demonstrate that knowledge and power come hand in hand, and the person’s power can then be used to change things around them, in order to benefit themselves. Originally, all animals were forbidden from sleeping on beds, but when Clover learned that the pigs broke this rule, “she said, ‘read me the Fourth Commandment. Does it not say something about never sleeping in a bed?’ With some difficulty Muriel spelt it out. ‘It says, ‘No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets,’ she announced finally,” (Orwell 67). The original seven commandments were written by the pigs, and were created to prevent animals from doing anything human-like. However, since the pigs’ intellegince gained them a leadership role on the farm, they were able to manipulate and change the rules to their liking. Many animals were unable to read, so when the pigs would change an amendment written on the wall, the other animals would not be able to identify what the change was. The ability to read due to their intelligence allowed the pigs to use their power and change how the farm was run. Eventually, the seven original commandments were abolished and a single one remained which read, “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others,” (Orwell 134). This commandment that was written on the farm showcases their hierarchy in running Animal Farm. The hierarchy and power the pigs had over the other people showed that they had more privilege than others. All animals are equal on Animal Farm, however, because of the pigs role on the farm, their power allowed them to be seen as higher in Animal Farm’s society. This power allowed them to run Animal Farm as they’d like, and allowed them to be considered as a higher class, or “more equal” than the other animals. The power that came with the pigs' higher knowledge allowed Squealer and the pigs to obtain dominance, which was used to their benefit.

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