These Animal Farm quotes will remind you to always check your privilege and to think of what can happen when you use power to harm others.
“Animal Farm” is an allegory from more than 75 years ago that’s still read in classrooms today. Whether you’ve read the classic story by George Orwell or not, chances are that you’ve heard about it at some point in your life. And that’s because this book has an important message that can apply to many different situations, even today.
The book is based on the Russian Revolution and talks about what happens when too much power can eventually lead to corruption. Without giving too much away — and despite what your own views may be on communism and socialism — these Animal Farm quotes will discuss the power of having too much power, and what can happen when strides to make society equal actually lead to vast inequality.
Don’t forget to also check out our collection of 1984 quotes that will change the way you see the world.
Animal Farm Quotes on Hierarchy and Order
1. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
2. “Four legs good, two legs bad.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
3. “The only good human being is a dead one.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
4. “His answer to every problem, every setback was “I will work harder!” —which he had adopted as his personal motto.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
5. “Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
6. “No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
7. “The Seven Commandments:
Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
Animal Farm Quotes on Corruption and Control
8. “Several of them would have protested if they could have found the right arguments.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
9. “This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
10. “Windmill or no windmill, he said, life would go on as it had always gone on–that is, badly.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
11. “Surely, comrades, you don’t want Jones back?” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
12. “Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer – except, of course, for the pigs and the dogs.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
13. “Some of the animals remembered – or thought they remembered – that the Sixth Commandment decreed ‘No animal shall kill any other animal.’ And though no one cared to mention it in the hearing of the pigs or the dogs, it was felt that the killings which had taken place did not square with this.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
14. “Never mind the milk, comrades!” cried Napoleon, placing himself in front of the buckets. “That will be attended to. The harvest is more important. Comrade Snowball will lead the way. I shall follow in a few minutes. Forward, comrades! The hay is waiting.” “So the animals trooped down to the hayfield to begin the harvest, and when they came back in the evening it was noticed that the milk had disappeared.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
15. “Four young porkers in the front row uttered shrill squeals of disapproval, and all four of them sprang to their feet and began speaking at once. But suddenly the dogs sitting round Napoleon let out deep, menacing growls, and the pigs fell silent and sat down again. Then the sheep broke out into a tremendous bleating of “Four legs good, two legs bad!” which went on for nearly a quarter of an hour and put an end to any chance of discussion.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
16. “The result of preaching totalitarian doctrines is to weaken the instinct by means of which free peoples know what is or is not dangerous.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
17. “One does not say that a book ‘ought not to have been published’ merely because it is a bad book. After all, acres of rubbish are printed daily and no one bothers.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
18. “Muriel,” she said, “read me the Fourth Commandment. Does it not say something about never sleeping in a bed?” With some difficulty Muriel spelt it out. “It says, ‘No animal shall sleep in a bed WITH SHEETS,'” she announced finally. Curiously enough, Clover had not remembered that the Fourth Commandment mentioned sheets; but as it was there on the wall, it must have done so. And Squealer, who happened to be passing at this moment, attended by two or three dogs, was able to put the whole matter in its proper perspective.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
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Animal Farm Quotes on Powerful Leadership
19. “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.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
20. “Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
21. “No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
22. “They had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, growling dogs roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
23. “But the luxuries of which Snowball had once taught the animals to dream, the stalls with electric light and hot and cold water, and the three-day week, were no longer talked about. Napoleon had denounced such ideas as contrary to the spirit of Animalism. The truest happiness, he said, lay in working hard and living frugally.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
24. “It had become usual to give Napoleon the Credit for every Successful achievement and every stroke of good fortune. You would often hear one hen remark to another, “Under the guidance of our leader, Comrade Napoleon, I have laid five eggs in six days” or two cows, enjoying a drink at the pool, would exclaim, “thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napoleon, how excellent this water tastes!”…” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
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Animal Farm Quotes on Propaganda
25. “Man serves the interests of no creature except himself.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
26. “The distinguishing mark of man is the hand, the instrument with which he does all his mischief.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
27. “Comrades!’ he cried. ‘You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
28. “He would say that God had given him a tail to keep the flies off, but that he would sooner have had no tail and no flies.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
29. “There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single word– Man” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
30. “And remember also that in fighting against man we must not come to resemble him. Even when you have conquered him, do not adopt his vices.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
31. “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
32. “The cat joined the Re-education Committee and was very active in it for some days. She was seen one dag sitting on a roof and talking to some sparrows who were just out of her reach. She was telling them that all animals were now comrades and that any sparrow who chose could come and perch on her paw; but the sparrows kept their distance.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
33. “Never listen when they tell you that Man and the animals have a common interest, that the prosperity of the one is the prosperity of the others. It is all lies. Man serves the interest of no creature except himself.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
34. “All that year the animals worked like slaves. But they were happy in their work; they grudged no effort or sacrifice, well aware that everything that they did was for the benefit of themselves and those of their kind who would come after them, and not for a pack of idle, thieving human beings.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
35. “At first they pretended to laugh to scorn the idea of animals managing a farm for themselves. The whole thing would be over in a fortnight, they said. They put it about that the animals on the Manor Farm (they insisted on calling it the Manor Farm; they would not tolerate the name “Animal Farm”) were perpetually fighting among themselves and were also rapidly starving to death. When time passed and the animals had evidently not starved to death, Frederick and Pilkington changed their tune and began to talk of the terrible wickedness that now flourished on Animal Farm. It was given out that the animals there practiced cannibalism, tortured one another with red-hot horseshoes, and had their females in common. This was what came of rebelling against the laws of Nature, Frederick and Pilkington said.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
36. “But a few days later Muriel, reading over the Seven Commandments to herself, noticed that there was yet another of them which the animals had remembered wrong. They had thought the Fifth Commandment was “No animal shall drink alcohol,” but there were two words that they had forgotten. Actually the Commandment read: “No animal shall drink alcohol TO EXCESS.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
37. “Whenever anything went wrong it became usual to attribute it to Snowball. If a window was broken or a drain was blocked up, someone was certain to say that Snowball had come in the night and done it, and when the key of the store-shed was lost, the whole farm was convinced that Snowball had thrown it down the well. Curiously enough, they went on believing this even after the mislaid key was found under a sack of meal.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
38. “There was nothing with which they could compare their present lives: they had nothing to go upon except Squealer’s lists of figures, which invariably demonstrated that everything was getting better and better.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
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Animal Farm Quotes on Revolution and Freedom
39. “Can you not understand that liberty is worth more than just ribbons?” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
40. “All men are enemies. All animals are comrades” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
41. “Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
42. “If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
43. “I saw a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge cart-horse along a narrow path, whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
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44. “Besides, in those days they had been slaves and now they were free, and that made all the difference.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
45. “Reading out the figures in a shrill, rapid voice, he proved to them in detail that they had more oats, more hay, more turnips than they had had in Jones’s day, that they worked shorter hours, that their drinking water was of better quality, that they lived longer, that a larger proportion of their young ones survived infancy, and that they had more straw in their stalls and suffered less from fleas.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
46. “And remember, comrades, your resolution must never falter. No argument must lead you astray.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
47. “Rebellion meant a look in the eyes, an inflection of the voice, at most, an occasional whispered word. But the proles, if only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength they would have no need to conspire. They needed only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
48. “Is it not crystal clear, then, comrades, that all the evils of this life of ours spring from the tyranny of human beings? Only get rid of Man, and the produce of our labour would be our own. Almost overnight we could become rich and free. What then must we do? Why, work night and day, body and soul, for the overthrow of the human race! That is my message to you, comrades: Rebellion!” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
49. “And who are its enemies? It always appears that they are not only those who attack it openly and consciously, but those who ‘objectively’ endanger it by spreading mistaken doctrines. In other words, defending democracy involves destroying all independence of thought.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
50. “I meant the moral to be that revolutions only affect a radical improvement when the masses are alert and know how to chuck out their leaders as soon as the latter have done their job.” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
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What did you learn from these Animal Farm quotes?
In this day in age, it’s easy to see that authority is often taken advantage of by those who are in a unique position in which they have power over others. Because of this, individuals and groups of people — even entire nations — are usually helpless, even if those in power may have good intentions at heart. This is a meaningful lesson that we can learn from Animal Farm.
Whether we recognize this in our government or even in our work lives, these Animal Farm quotes will remind us to always check our privilege and to think of what can happen when we use power to harm those who are in a different position than ourselves.
What’s your biggest takeaway from these Animal Farm quotes? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.
March 1, 2020 7:30 AM EST