One night at the Manor Farm, the old boar, Old Major, assembles the animals to tell them, that he had had a dream about the commencement of a rebellion.
He explains the evil of mankind to the animals and sets up several laws and principles that must apply to the animals after the Rebellion.
When Old Major dies, two younger pigs, named Snowball and Napoleon, formulate a philosophy they call Animalism.
One night the animals manage to defeat the owner of the farm, Mr. Jones, in a battle and they rename the farm Animal Farm.
Seven Commandments are written down and they function as laws of the new society. Some of the laws prevent the animals from acting like humans, while others secure equality and peace amongst the animals.
The dogs form the second-highest class in society. They have many of the same privileges as the pigs, but they do not have any independent political power.
The dogs function as a police force, that uses threats and violence against any animal that attempts to rebel against Napoleon.
Napoleon’s indoctrination of the puppies has made them unquestionably loyal to him. »… the dogs promptly tore their throats out…« This is an example of how the dogs do as they’re told, no matter how gruesome the task may be.
The dogs resemble the secret police forces that were used to spread fear and by that obedience in dictatorships. They shed no means to fulfill their tasks given by their ruler.
The remaining animals form the lower classes. They are forced to work hard for the pigs’ benefit and are continually manipulated to think it is really in their favor.
The working animals work harder than they ever did with Jones as their master, and they are fed close to nothing. » …the lower animals on Animal Farm did more work and received less food than any animals in the county. «
The lower-class animals are held down by fear of the dogs and have been so influenced by the pigs’ propaganda that they can’t tell they’re being manipulated and treated terribly. »
But doubtless it had been worse in the old days. They were glad to believe so. « This indicates how the animals have been manipulated so much, that their own memories of how the time with Jones had been, was replaced with the disinformation that Squealer continually promotes.