chapter 10 animal farm
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Orwell fast-forwards to a time when Animal Farm has undergone a great deal of turnover. Only a few animals that remember the Rebellion remain, and their memories of it are faint. Napoleon has rewritten the animals’ history to the extent that they feel they no longer have one. He has also manipulated language to the extent that it is meaningless. We see this reflected in the maxim, “All animals are equal / But some animals are more equal than others.” The concept of “more equal” is mathematically impossible, but the animals are too disillusioned and brainwashed to notice. In all the years since the Rebellion, not a single animal has gotten the rewards that he was promised or that was experienced so briefly in the days immediately following the Rebellion. In history, Chapter X corresponds to a time somewhere in the distant future, beyond the realm of Orwell’s own experience. It is, therefore, the manifestation of his pessimistic conjectures about the future of totalitarianism. In this chapter, Orwell slowly and firmly crushes our hopes along with the animals’. In the end, the pigs have all the tangible fruits of Animal Farm’s labor while the animals are left with only empty promises. The windmill, the cause for which countless animals labored and died, has been diverted from its original purpose of supplying electricity. Not even Clover and Benjamin, who are by this time very old, have been allowed to retire. While wearing clothing, smoking pipes, and eating sugar, Napoleon still has the nerve to tell the animals, “The truest happiness … [lies] in working hard and living frugally” (129). It is a harrowing, dystopic future.