Part 2 – 22-42
When, if ever, is the force of manipulation justified? What are the long term benefits of and detriments of these actions?
In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, manipulation runs rampant for both animals and humans. In the beginning, the animals were blatantly manipulated by the Jones farmers, having “nearly the whole of the produce of our [their] labour is stolen from us [them] by human beings”(2). This manipulation resulted in obvious detriments and general unhappiness for all the animals. After the revolution successfully occurs and the animals occupy the whole farm, a leader emerges in the pigs. The pigs become leaders as they are the only animals who “could [can] already read and write perfectly” as well as having a better memory and hands suitable for more delicate work (10). The pigs understand and remember the entire alphabet while some animals like Boxer “could not get beyond the letter D”(10).
In the beginning of the revolution, the pigs were insightful leaders who believed themselves to be equal with the rest of the animals but after a while the pigs realized they could be using their abilities for more. It started off as commandeering milk and apples “to preserve our [their] health” and in a few years time ended up changing the 7 commandments and siccing attack dogs to scare others into submission, even killing chickens when they refused to give up their eggs. The pigs realized that they could manipulate other animals by using their advanced brains. By the end of the book the pigs have taken full control over every other animal at Animal Farm.
However, the manipulation and power the pigs hold over the other animals has resulted in more happiness than the rule of humans ever did. Even though the animals “were generally hungry, slept on straw, drank from the pool, laboured in the fields” and worked hard to please the pigs, they stayed content because of “their sense of honour and privilege in being members of Animal Farm” (39). In this instance, the manipulation imposed by the pigs has actually benefited the farm and animals greatly. Even with the same work and labour, the animals are happier knowing that their efforts are for themselves rather than profits going straight to humans. The manipulation is justified and beneficial in this situation as the animals are partly unknowing but content with the pigs tyranny.