Before the death of Old Major the animals are inspired to rebel against the humans. They join together as a strong team to eventually, in chapter two, drive Mr. Jones from the farm. The Seven Commandments are soon developed with all the animals contented as equals.
Right from the beginning of the rebellion, the pigs can be seen to be taking charge, “then Snowball and Napolean called them together again, ‘Comrades’, said Snowball, ‘it is half past six and we have a long day before us.” This quotation from chapter two shows the pigs giving out orders to the other animals and acting as a new Mr. Jones, but seemingly nicer.
Throughout the story, the animals begin the trust the pigs more and more, allowing themselves to be told what to do and be taken in with blind devotion. The pigs act on their newly gained trust and by the end of the story are able to lie back on their laurels and run the farm from the comfort of Mr. Jones’ armchair.
The rebellion fails due to the blindness of the animals, accepting each other as equal, but do not notice the pigs adding new rules to suit themselves, ‘no animal shall kill another animal without due cause.’
The executions in chapter seven show clearly the animals’ naivety towards the fast approaching leadership of the pigs. During the killings, the animals stand back and do not do a thing. Some animals, like Benjamin, suspect the overthrowing of the rebellion, but are afraid to do anything alone.
The rebellion was doomed to failure from the beginning. The pigs easily won the animals over with propaganda. An example of this came soon after the rebellion and the drawing up of the Seven Commandments, with the pigs justifying their need for milk and apples with lies and threats of Jones’ return.
Squealer uses propaganda such as rhetorical questions, lies and threats to convince the animals to believe the pigs. Unfortunately for the animals, they are easily led. If it were not for their blind devotion, trust and naivety, they could easily see how the pigs gradually gained power. The pigs also use the dogs as force to keep the animals ‘in line’, discouraging them from trying to rebel.
‘United we stand’ would have worked well for the animals in this case. One animal, Benjamin, did not stand up and face his suspicions, which could have resulted in the return of the phrase ‘all animals are equal’, instead of letting it go so far for the pigs to add ‘but some are more equal than others’ to the end.
As in the Russian Revolution, the masses will not, but make it appear that they cannot, think for themselves. Even when they do, it is overshadowed by the fact that one person cannot stand up to many unless he is very charismatic and convincing.
In ‘Animal Farm’ the animals failed in their rebellion because of being too trusting and not taking notice of what was happening. The pigs took power and the absolute power corrupts absolutely.
At the end of chapter ten the pigs invite humans round to the farm. The pigs become human like, and finally, when it is too late, the animals realize their fate. They are condemned to repeat the past because they forgot it before. The return of humans indicates the overall failure of the rebellion, with the farm in human hands, due to start the same hellish life they had before Old Major prompted them to change.