The quote “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” from George Orwell’s Animal Farm is an example of paradox in literature.
As a literary device, a paradox is a set of two or more contradictory concepts that, when considered, reveal a hidden meaning or truth.
The quote “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” is a good example of paradox. Equality means that everyone is on the same level. It is not possible for someone to be “more equal” than someone else, because that is contradictory to the concept of equality.
However, when the above quote is considered, it becomes clear that what Orwell is discussing is the nature of equality as defined – in this case – by government and politics. Animal Farm is an allegory for the Stalinist government of the Soviet Union, a government that (on paper) promised equal treatment and a fair share for all workers but that (in reality) was deeply unequal and treated certain people far better than others.