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At the end of Animal Farm, Pilkington and other human farmers come to eat dinner with the pigs at the farmhouse. As the other animals watch through the window, they find they are unable to tell pigs and humans apart. The pigs have started to dress and behave exactly like humans. The book’s final image expresses the animals’ realization that the pigs have become as cruel and oppressive as human farmers. The ending also makes the argument that political power is always the same, whoever has it and whatever ideology is used to justify it. Powerful people are cruel and selfish whether they’re pigs or humans, Communists or capitalists. Above all, the ending suggests that all powerful people are liars and manipulators. In our last glimpse of the dinner party, Mr. Pilkington and Napoleon are arguing because they have both tried to cheat at a card game in the same way at the same time. The ending doesn’t offer much hope for a workable political system with true equality for all. Rather, the ending posits that the corrupting nature of power dooms all political systems to failure.
Read more about related warnings in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Animal Farm!