Theme of Power: Control over the Intellectually Inferior
In the novel, Animal Farm by George Orwell, the sheep are considered to be minor characters but play a subtle important role. The sheep are easily manipulated by Napoleon and the other pigs and somewhat distract the other animals during important parts of meetings the animals have. For example, when Napoleon declares that the weekly meetings are to cease from here on forward, the other pigs protest against this declaration. The sheep are used to drown out the pigs that protested, in order to stop a rebellion from occurring, by chanting "Four legs good, two legs bad". In any colony, or in this instance farm, less intellectual animals are important to the structure of living on the farm. The sheep are considered the lowest form of intelligence on the farm, allowing Napoleon and other pigs, mainly Squealer, to persuade the pigs of the ideas carried out by their leader, Napoleon. Towards the end of the novel, Squealer manipulates the sheep's low intelligence by changing their chant from "Four legs good, two legs bad" to "Four legs good, two legs better". This new chant is so retainable due to the simplicity and the catchy play on words, making the sheep not even recognize they have completely gone against the way life was depicted to be when Old Major professed his hope for future generations of animals.