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animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
The ultimate example of the pigs’ systematic
abuse of logic and language to control their underlings, this final
reduction of the Seven Commandments, which appears in Chapter X,
clothes utterly senseless content in a seemingly plausible linguistic
form. Although the first clause implies that all animals are equal
to one another, it does not state this claim overtly. Thus, it is
possible to misread the word “equal” as a relative term rather than
an absolute one, meaning that there can be different degrees of
“equal”-ness, just as there can be different degrees of colorfulness,
for example (more colorful, less colorful). Once such a misreading
has taken place, it becomes no more absurd to say “more equal” than
to say “more colorful.” By small, almost imperceptible steps like
these, the core ideals of Animal Farm—and any human nation—gradually
The revision of the original phrase also points to the
specific form of corruption on Animal Farm. The initial, unmodified
phrase makes reference to all animals, its message extending to
the entire world of animals without distinction. Similarly, Old
Major expresses ideals that posit the dignity of all, the comradeship
of all, the inclusion of all in voting and decision-making, so that
no one group or individual will oppress another. The revised phrase,
however, mentions an “all,” but only in order to differentiate a
“some” from that “all,” to specify the uniqueness, the elite nature,
and the chosen status of that “some.” The pigs clearly envision
themselves as this privileged “some”; under their totalitarian regime,
the working animals exist only to serve the larger glory of the
leadership, to provide the rulers with food and comfort, and to
support their luxurious and exclusive lifestyle.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Animal Farm!