12 Animal Farm Quotes that Will Open Your Eyes

In 1945, Animal Farm by George Orwell was released into the world. This novella tells the story of farm creatures overthrowing their harsh human owner, only to see themselves become no better in the end. It animates the events of the Russian Revolution. Here are the top 12 quotes from this thought provoking book:

1 – “Man is the only creature that consumes without producing.” (Old Major, Chapter 1)

Are we more than exploiting the earth and animals? Or are we destined to radiate greed until our species comes to an end?

2 – “I do not know when that Rebellion will come, it might be in a week or in a hundred years, but I know, as surely as I see this straw beneath my feet, that sooner or later justice will be done.” (Old Major, Chapter 1)

Old Major’s words of wisdom. He dies with hope of revolution and freedom for the future of his kind.

3 – “Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers.” (Old Major, Chapter 1)

All different, and all connected. We have to stick together.

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4 – “Rings shall vanish from our noses, And the harness from our back, Bit and spur shall rust forever, Cruel whips no more shall crack.” (A Piece from Beasts of England, Chapter 1)

Dreaming of freedom in songs and chants. Songs send sparks of revolution into the hearts of all the creatures.

5 – “…those ribbons that you are so devoted to are the badge of slavery. Can you not understand that liberty is worth more than ribbons?” (Snowball, Chapter 2)

Lesson: Do not let glamour distract from the ultimate goal. Do not let the luxuries blind the fact of slavery.

6 – “All the animals capered with joy when they saw the whips going up in flames.” (Narrator, Chapter 2)

Slaves, no more! Celebrating with smoke and flames…

7 – “The 7th Commandment: All animals are equal” (Chapter 2)

No one is above anyone else. We are all in this together.

8 – “…the others had to be content with this cryptic answer.” (Narrator, Chapter 3)

Are they trying to deceive us? Never take answers for their face value. There’s always something else going on behind closed doors…

9 – “…the animals worked like slaves. But they were happy in their work…” (Narrator, Chapter 6)

If the work has meaning, it’s not really work, is it? Who are we working for?

10 – “…they had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fiercer, growling dogs roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes.” (Narrator, Chapter 7)

Living under the gun…we are free to speak…but are we, truly?

11 – “Their lives now, they reasoned, were hungry and laborious; was it not right and just that a better world should exist somewhere else?” (Narrator, Chapter 9)

There must be more to life than lives of labor and suffering, right? Is there more to life than work, sweat, blood, and tears? Does a better world exist?

12 – “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” (Narrator, Chapter 10)

The greedy, power hungry, and selfish – they are all the same.

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5 Disturbing Life Lessons from Animal Farm

In 1945 George Orwell released his iconic novella, Animal Farm. Schools across the country continue to read this book to this day due to its political symbolism and simple/direct metaphors.

This short book only has about 140 pages, but it’s filled with truth and thought provoking scenes. There’s much to be learned from Orwell’s classic. It’s eye opening and definitely changes the way one looks at government and society as a whole.

Here are five major and disturbing life lessons from Animal Farm:

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1 – Workers will work harder if they think they’re working for themselves.

The animals on the farm work twice as hard for their new swine leader and eat a lot less because they feel they’re working for themselves instead of a human master.

The pig basically turned the farm animals into free-labor slaves by making the animals think they were working for themselves and not man. They accepted less food and did twice as much labor than they did for the human owner.

The animals were being fooled, of course. They were lied to and made to believe they worked towards their own self-interest when in reality, their new pig leader was taking full advantage of their loyalty.

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2 – Creating imaginary, powerful enemies increases loyalty and faith in the leader.

The animals on the farm are constantly fed the stories that a menacing thief and saboteur is destroying their hard work. Not only is their leader lying about this, but he’s the one actually stealing more food for himself and his posse.

If you want to increase the loyalty of your followers, make up an evil enemy. Make them scared and angry at this imaginary foe. They will then allow you to steal more of their freedoms because they’ll trust you to protect them from the false enemy. In return, you as the corrupt leader will get more goods for yourself and more blind trust from your subjects.

Fake, evil enemies/antagonists = loyalty and the submission of freedom.

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3 – The fear of losing accustomed comforts will increase loyalty.

In Animal Farm, the farm animals occasionally grow tired and somewhat question the pig’s decisions. In all of these instances, the pig basically says, “Well at least we have it better now than we did with our man owner.” Or, “Hey, we have it much better than those animals on the other farms.” And then all the animals agree for fear of losing their new “freedom” and go back to work.

A lot of times, we don’t question the way things are because we’re afraid of losing some of the goods and services we feel we’re lucky to have. This doesn’t only apply to countries and governments. This is also typically the case with relationships and careers as well. We’re afraid to quit and move on because of the unknown awaiting us after the departure.

From Animal Farm, it’s implied that maybe it’s better to question the situation and try and improve conditions instead of living in misery for fear of the unknown, potentially arduous future.

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4 – History repeats.

Good intentions are common in the beginning of everything. With time, however, evil, selfishness, and greed tend to find their way back into all establishments.

How do we avoid becoming the very sinister institutions we work so very hard to escape from? History, corruption, and governments – they all tend to follow vicious cycles. They start out wanting to make a difference and end up wanting only to protect themselves.

Lies, greed, deception, stealing the freedoms of citizens, civil disturbances – it’s never ending.

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5 – Think for yourself. Question your leaders, question everything.

Anytime in Animal Farm, when an outlier calls the pig out on his inconsistencies, the pig and his crew quickly create fables to cover their tracks. They blame false enemies, they blame the animals for not trusting their leaders, and they use violence often.

Instead of questioning the pig further, the animals accept the lies and punishment and continue on with their arduous labor and starvation.

We want to believe that our leaders have our best interests in mind. We want to trust that they’ll protect us because we’re their people and because we pay them taxes and have a “democracy.” But unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In fact, it’s probably rarely the case.

I’m not just referring to federal, massive governments. This applies to everything – bosses, relationships, partners, friends, team captains, heroes, etc. Learn to think for yourself and don’t always accept everything you hear, see, or read. Question everything.

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Animal Farm is short, insightful read and I would suggest everyone read and analyze this metaphorical story. Though it was written in retaliation to a specific government of Orwell’s time, it continues to be applicable and valid in modern society.

Question everything, watch out for repeating history, don’t be afraid to work towards a better life, make sure the enemies aren’t imaginary, and don’t be fooled into thinking you’re working for yourself. Reality can be disturbing, but we can’t be blind to the truth forever.

See the swine for what they are – gluttonous pigs.

Thank you for reading this post. Fight to keep your freedom.


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