In the first chapter Old Major tells the other animals about a dream he had in which he saw the animals join together and overthrow the farmer. This is the first glimpse of the cruelty that is to come later in the novel. When Old Major is telling the animals of his dream the animals all burst into 'Beasts of England' in tremendous unison. The animals were so excited about the prospect of overthrowing the farmer that they only thought of their gain and not of the pain and suffering that the rebellion would cause the farmer, his wife and the workers. Their party is broken up by the farmer brandishing his gun, this is the second show of cruelty. Instead of finding out what was wrong with the animals the farmer immediately fires off six shots towards the animals. This is interesting as a snapshot of what we would view as ‘natural’ human behaviour but when we look closer we see that is a very selfish and cruel first instinct.
The next major act of human cruelty is in chapter two, the farmer is so self-obsessed that he forgets to feed the animals. This in itself is incredibly selfish and could be seen as cruelty in it’s rawest form but it is what comes next that is appalling to read as human nature. When the animals break into the store shed to get food, which in itself is selfish and an example of the ‘me, me, me’ society we live in, the farmer and the workers immediately run into the store shed with whips. Instead of the farmer realising his mistake and fixing it,