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The animals, as a group, are the protagonists of Animal Farm. Their goal is to achieve the vision set out by Old Major: equality and freedom for all animals. This goal brings them into conflict with the reality of political power. First they must confront power by rebelling against Mr. Jones. Later they must confront power in a more subtle and dangerous form: the manipulation and deceit of the pigs. While the animals defeat Mr. Jones easily, they are completely fooled by the pigs. By the time the animals recognize that the pigs are stopping them achieving their goal, it is too late. The pigs are in a position to kill any animals who continue to fight for their goal. By the end of the novella, the animals cannot even sing “Beasts of England,” the song that expressed their dream of equality and freedom. In the story’s last moments, the animals finally realize what they have been up against. By defeating their human farmer, they have not defeated the reality of political power. They have only exchanged one set of rulers for another, identical set.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Animal Farm!