Animal Farm George Orwell

9 September 2016

George Orwell has used many techniques of writing such as irony and humour to portray significant events throughout Animal Farm. This extract, just after the slaughter of the ‘disloyal’ animals (one of the most emotive of the events in the book), is no exception and so I will be analysing and interpreting the response of readers as well as making links to other parts in the book. ‘Loud singing’ could be heard from the farmhouse, this is just after the pigs have come across a ‘case of whiskey’.

It is not the singing itself, which is the ‘surprise’ to the animals but the song that is being sung, Beasts of England. Beasts of England, the song of rebellion and hope, has just been banned. The banishment of the song stood for the destruction of old Major’s vision of a ‘perfect unity’ between animals. Also the song signifies rebellion and so Napoleon has forbidden it to extinguish any fighting spirit against his dictator-led regime. The pigs, after being intoxicated, lose all their inhibitions; it seems ironic how they are now relying on their natural instincts rather than their brains.

Animal Farm George Orwell Essay Example

Them singing Beasts of England is hypocritical of the banishment, and supports the readers dislike of the pigs. Napoleon is seen wearing a ‘Bowler hat’ and ‘gallop rapidly round the yard’, this is the only time where Napoleon loses control. In my opinion, which may be disputed, this is a sign of Napoleon evolving in to the ‘pig to man’ he becomes in the end. His wearing of the bowler hat, an item of clothing, reveals his human behaviour in contrast to him galloping, which exposes his animal instincts. To us this image of a boar in a bowler hat is amusing although the animals must have been confused.

The following morning Squealer appears, ‘walking slowly and dejectedly’, already the readers are able to make the link that the pigs must be hung over hence no ‘pig appeared to be stirring’. Squealer announces to the animals that Napoleon ‘is dying! ‘ As a reader I have no sympathy towards the announcement but only humour since I know he is not going to die, he is only hung over. On the other hand the reaction from the animals is tremendous; ‘a cry of lamentation went up’ and they had ‘tears in their eyes’ while asking each other ‘what they should do if their leader were taken away from them’.

As readers it is very frustrating to see the animals act so pathetically, that they are so dependant upon ‘comrade Napoleon’ their ‘leader’. Later on Squealer declared ‘the drinking of alcohol was to be punished by death’, this was Napoleon’s last decree. This again is comical to us because he isn’t going to die neither will it be his last act upon the earth. Napoleon ‘pronounced’ the decree resulting from his own belief that he was going to die. Snowball has once again been used as a scapegoat; Orwell has depicted Snowball as the more intelligent and resourceful of the pigs, a ‘vivacious pig’ and ‘more inventive’.

I think he has done this in order to show that these types of revolution leaders like Trotsky will never prevail over those who use forceful tactics alongside fear. Napoleon has a ‘reputation of getting his own way’ and is the successful leader of this revolution symbolising such important figures in history like Stalin and Hitler. Napoleon has ordered ‘the small paddock’, which had previously been intended for animals who were ‘past work’, to be ploughed up so it can be reseeded since its ‘pasture was exhausted’.

However ‘it soon became known that Napoleon intended to sow it with barley’. This is a classic example of the pigs’ cycle of lies. They lie then time goes on and the truth is uncovered but then the pigs produce more lies through propaganda and manipulation of language to hide the old lies. More time goes on and the old lies are forgotten. This is the form of brainwashing the pigs use against the enslaved animals. This act of dishonesty along with many other shams shows Napoleon as no better than Jones, even worse than Jones, since Jones was always honest.

Benjamin is a wasted intellectual figure; he refuses to intervene, knowing that it would be pointless under the strict animalism regime. A typical illustration would be when Squealer is found ‘temporarily stunned’ after falling off the ladder, by the seven commandments, with a ‘paintbrush and an overturned pot of white paint’. Ben nods with a ‘knowing air’ he does not hide the fact that he knows what is happening but he does not share his knowledge with the other animals. Again this is exasperating because we can see that Ben is not going to have the courage to interfere until it is too late.

Squealer’s nightly visit confirms that he’s been adjusting the commandments with the intention of benefiting the pigs. Muriel’s keen interest in the commandments suggests that the smartest of the working animals have realised what is happening but conceal their knowledge with deliberate unawareness or possibly willing ignorance since they are kept in fear by Napoleon and his dogs. The dogs do not only protect Napoleon but all the pigs as shown when they ‘made a ring round Squealer’ after he had fallen, preventing any intrusion by the animals.

The dogs are an evil force, which help Napoleon maintain power. The narrator of Animal Farm is closely linked with the working animals; he recounts the story in deliberate ignorance. This is how the animals are viewed, ignorant, although this is not the case. Since the animals are ruled by fear it would be unwise to discuss or even think about going against Napoleon’s regime, due to the increasing power sustained through the dogs and the growing number of pigs.

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