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you have your lower animals to contend with,” he said, “we have
our lower classes!”
This quip, delivered by Mr. Pilkington
to Napoleon and his cabinet during their well-catered retreat inside
the farmhouse in Chapter X, makes fully explicit the process of
ideological corruption that has been taking place throughout the
novella. Old Major’s notion of the absolute division of interests
between animals and humans here gives way to a division between
two classes, even cutting across species lines. Pigs and farmers
share a need to keep down their laboring classes. Mr. Pilkington’s
witticism lays bare the ugly but common equation of laborers with
Moreover, the quote serves to emphasize directly the significance of Animal
Farm as a social commentary, cementing the conceptual link
between the downtrodden animals and the working classes of the world.
Orwell explodes his “fairy story,” as he termed it, by bringing
it into the realm of human consequence, thereby making its terrors
all the more frightening to his readership.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Animal Farm!