Animal Farm: The World And The Words

1223 words - 5 pages

Animal Farm is a masterfully written cynical exploration into the abuse of power through language.c George Orwell's book provides a theory of power structures, equality and the very nature of human character. As a short, ten-chaptered essay, this book has made its mark on the communist and authoritarian societies with the cutting morals and the phrase “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”
In the beginning, Mr. Jones is an antagonistic study into Czar Nicholas II and his abuse of monarchial power as he rules over the farm with an absolute law. He is drunk, lazy, and decadent, and the animals are not fed often or at all, representing the bread shortage during his reign. The animals are angry, but their malice for their master goes nowhere until one fateful night, when a elderly pig named “Old Major” summons them to a barn for a meeting. There they learn about his theory of “Animalism”, and a song called “Beasts of England”. Soon, after a day and a half of no food, the animals decide that it is time to revolt. They drive Mr. Jones off of the farm, taking over the government. That is when the corruption starts.
As time goes on, things become more and more biased towards the pigs, and Snowball-the very example of a socialist-leaning leader-is forced off of the farm by Napoleon, a pig with a large arsenal of brainwashed dogs that are absolutely loyal. At the end of the novel comes the climax, the turning event. When the animals peek into the windows of the house in which the pigs and the owners of the surrounding farms are meeting, they cannot tell the pigs from the humans; and indeed, they are indistinguishable.
The characters in George Orwell's book use language in many ways, first and foremost abusing power. Another way the representatives of Orwell's thoughts use language is through propaganda. The slogan “Four legs good, two legs bad!”<50> (This was later changed to a chilling “Four legs good, two legs better!) and the songs “Beasts of England”, and “Comrade Napoleon” are all good examples of manipulative propaganda. When Napoleon slaughters the “Supporters of Snowball”, the animals are grief-stricken, and sing “Beasts of England” as if singing a dirge; slowly, mournfully, and with much emotion. When they are done, Squealer waddles up to them, and tells them that the song has been banned. From Napoleons point of view, this is a very good move. The animals, though stupid, have an idea that this is not the dream Old Major envisioned, and they do not know what to do about it. If they had been allowed to keep singing it, they might have been inspired to rebel, but it was outlawed, so they have no outlet for their injustices. This is just another way power is abused through language in Animal Farm.
As the book progresses, argument becomes less of a liberty and more of a crime. Four young pigs are ripped to shreds for arguing against Napoleon, and Snowball is exiled for little other crime than being a...

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