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Animal Farm: Language and Power

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Erezi Egho

on 12 October 2014

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Transcript of Animal Farm: Language and Power

Introduction In this presentation, we will exploring the theme of language and power demonstrated in George Orwell's book, Animal Farm. There are many quotes that illustrate this theme, and we will be highlighting four themes. Quote #1 "Comrades," he said, "I trust that every animal here appreciates the sacrifice that Comrade Napoleon has made in taking this extra labour upon himself. Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure! On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be? Suppose you had decided to follow Snowball, with his moonshine of windmills– Snowball, who, as we now know, was no better than a criminal?" (5.19) -Squealer Quote #1- Analysis Squealer spins tales for the animals of supposed protection against their own ignorance. This is done by glorifying Napoleon, saying that he has a heavy burden by leading the animals, and belittling Snowball, saying that he was a criminal. Quote #2 “Bravery is not enough,’ said Squealer. ‘Loyalty and obedience are more important. And as to the Battle of the Cowshed, I believe the time will come when we shall find that Snowball’s part in it was much exaggerated. Discipline, comrades, iron discipline! That is the watchword for today (3.10, 11)” -Squealer Quote #2 - Analysis In this quote, Squealer explains that even though the Battle of the Cowshed was successful, Snowball’s participation was questionable. He is trying to convince the animals that they should use Snowball as an example of someone with little discipline. This shows that Squealer is using powerful language by convincing people to have self discipline by using examples and showing initiative in his speeches. Quote #3 "Comrades!" he cried. "You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for YOUR sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples." (3.14) -Squealer This quote demonstrates and showcases the theme Language and Power very well. In this quote Squealer is talking to the rest of the animals, and is telling them how pigs need milk and apples to survive. He convinces the rest of the animals that he does not like milk and apples but he needs them to keep living, he also makes them think that he is eating apples and drinking milk for their sake. This is shown when Squealer says “It is for YOUR sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples." (3.14) This quote shows language very well, by the way that squealer manipulates and deceives the rest of the animals. Squealer is so good at deceiving and manipulating the animals of the farm that he makes them have pity on him. This is a quote that represents power really well, because Squealer is a pig that knows that the other animals in the farm are not really smart. he knows that if he says some convincing things the animals will believe him. Squealer has also shown throughout the novel that he is really good at giving speeches and manipulating people. This quote is a good example of this. By using words Squealer can make the animals believe almost anything. Quote #3 - Analysis Quote #4 "It was about this time that the pigs suddenly moved into the farmhouse and took up their residence there[...]Clover, who thought she remembered a definite ruling against beds, went to the end of the barn and tried to puzzle out the Seven Commandments which were inscribed there. Finding herself unable to read more than individual letters, she fetched Muriel. [...]With some difficulty Muriel spelt it out. 'It says, "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets"' she announced finally. Curiously enough, Clover had not remembered that the Fourth Commandment mentioned sheets; but as it was there on the wall, it must have done so." (Chapter 6) Quote #4- Analysis This quote demonstrates the theme of language and power exceptionally because it shows how easily Napoleon and Squealer can change even the most important rules in the farm, such as the Seven Commandments, without anyone truly noticing. They are able to do whatever they want, as they can modify the rules to fit their personal agenda, as shown when the quote mentions that the pigs moved into the farmhouse. The rules can be changed, bent, and manipulated through language, and that can have a definite impact on the majority of animals. In addition, the animals are very forgetful and tend to not remember much. As the quote shows, the fact that the pigs can simply change the rules without anyone, other than the pigs themselves, definitively remembering what they were in the first place means that they can rule the farm.
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