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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. (6.1)
Orwell contrasts the animals’ visions of the future with reality.
Years passed. The seasons came and went, the short animal lives fled by. A time came when there was no one who remembered the old days before the Rebellion, except Clover, Benjamin, Moses the raven, and a number of the pigs. (10.1)
Despite visions of a better future, the years progress with little or no change.
Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life and to know that things never had been, nor ever could be much better or much worse-hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he said, the unalterable law of life. (10.6)
Benjamin’s clear vision of the future is the product of his unadulterated memory of the past.