Literary devices used in Animal Farm Timothy Quong
What is the definition of a good novel? Opinions on this question may differ, but there are many things that good novels have in common. Most importantly, the reader must enjoy the novel. When I use the word enjoy, I don’t necessarily mean that it should make the reader ‘happy’ or ‘joyful’. The novel should give the reader a valuable or worthwhile experience. Many good novels often address topics that relate to our own reality. In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, one of the main focuses is on power and corruption.
Although consisting of only 95 pages, Animal Farm is effective in delivering its message. Orwell uses a variety of literary devices in Animal Farm that make it a deceptively complex and effective novel. I have decided to examine three of these literary devices:
Structure, atmosphere, and irony. To chart the progression of the story, I will demonstrate how different things change throughout the story.
Work and food-
After the revolution, all the animals shared the food equally. They also worked to their own capacity. The first cases of inequality occur in the third chapter. All the milk and windfall apples are given to the pigs, instead of being shared among all the animals.
After Napoleon took power, the common animals worked 60 hours a week and had to work on Sundays as well. In the past, each animal worked to his own capacity, now anyone that didn’t work on Sunday would have his rations reduced. As the story progresses, the rations of the working animals slowly decrease and the amount of work increases.
After the death of Old Major, seven commandments were proclaimed. Over time, the pigs changed the commandments.
Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy – The pigs engage in business and trade with the humans. Napoleon socializes and plays cards with the humans.
Four legs good, two legs bad – Four legs goo, two legs better.
No animal shall wear clothes – The pigs eventually wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed – It changes to: No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.
No animal shall drink alcohol – No animal shall drink alcohol in excess.
No animal shall kill any other animal -- No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.
All animals are equal -- All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others are.
Initially, the animals used a green flag with a horn and a hoof. The green represented the green fields of England and the horn and hoof represented the future ‘Republic of the Animals.” Later, the pigs changed it to a plain green flag. Since by that that time, the pigs had already become humans. Beasts of England was abolished by Napoleon after the first executions and replaced by songs about his own greatness. The gun was also fired on his birthday. In the last chapter, military-style parades were held.
Initially, if any animal didn’t work hard enough, the leadership would overlook it. Debates and criticism...