Animal Farm and A Modest Proposal
Although 'Animal Farm' and 'A Modest Proposal' were written over two
hundred years apart, and one is non-fiction and the other is not,
there are distinct similarities between the two. Both of the pieces
are political, with 'Animal Farm' based on the Russian Revolution, and
'A Modest Proposal' based on the situation of homelessness in Ireland.
Also, both of the pieces are satirical. Animal Farm ridicules the
ordinary Russian people for being gullible, and 'A Modest Proposal'
mocks politicians who ignore sensible suggestions and come up with
In the build up to his speech, Old Major first clears his throat, to
gain all of the animals' attention. The fact that all he has to do is
clear his throat to do this, gives the impression that he is
authoritative, and in control. We are given the idea that the other
animals respect him.
In the following paragraph, Old Major mentions a dream, but he says "I
will come to the dream later". The dream is the whole reason the
meeting has been called, and by saying that he will talk about it
later holds all of the animals in suspense. They are willing to listen
to what he has to say, to hear about the dream. He also mentions his
imminent death, which will gain the audience's sympathy, and again
make them listen. To guarantee that the animals are going to listen to
him, he says that he will "pass onto to you such wisdom as I have
acquired". This makes it seem like everything he is going to tell them
is wise, true and worth listening to.
In the third paragraph of his speech, he is brutally honest, and works
up the animals, to get them angry. He tells them "our lives are
miserable, laborious and short". This is the 'problem'. He then tells
them the 'solution' to the problem. He channels their anger towards
man. He asks hypothetical questions, and then answers them for the
animals, so that he is almost telling them what to think. He says "Man
is the only real enemy we have".
In the following two paragraphs, he plays on the animals' emotions by
scaring them individually. He mainly picks on the animals that are
liked by the rest of the farm. He says "You, Boxer, the very day those
great muscles of yours lose their power, Jones will sell you to the
knackers". This makes the other animals more afraid, as thoughts of
their friends dying are being put in their minds, and they want to
know what they can do to stop it happening.
In the seventh paragraph of his speech, he develops the solution to
their problems, by suggesting a rebellion, "That is my message to you
comrades: Rebellion!" It is only when he has the audience on his side,
that he mentions the rebellion. He has used persuasive techniques to
channel their anger towards man, and told them how to solve this
In the next paragraph, he warns the animals to never falter, and never
listen to anyone "when they tell you that man and the animals have a
common interest". By warning the animals, it will seem to them...