The language Orwell uses in Animal Farm is simple, clear and accessible. Description and dialogue are kept to a minimum and Orwell avoids sentimentality - even the most heart-breaking sections of the text are very direct in style. He focuses on telling the story, allowing the reader to concentrate on the lessons he wants us to learn. Through the pigs, Orwell shows how rhetoric can be a powerful tool of manipulation.
|Persuading questions||"Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours?"||To make the other animals question their positions on the farm.||This rhetorical device is used to encourage the animals to rebel. Old Major asks the question and then he provides the animals with the answer he wants, persuading them that he is right.|
|Controlling questions||"Are you certain that this is not something that you have dreamed, comrades? Have you any record of such a resolution?"||Squealer controls the others by questioning their memories.||This rhetorical device is used to make the animals doubt themselves. Orwell shows how rhetoric can be used negatively.|
|Repetition||"Long live the windmill! Long live Animal Farm!"||Here Napoleon uses repetition to reinforce his message.||Repeating ‘Long live’ helps emphasise Napoleon’s point that he wants Animal Farm to continue forever. Whilst this appears to be positive, here Napoleon uses the sentiment to make a scapegoat (an individual irrationally blamed) of Snowball.|
|Emotive language||A cry of horror burst from all the animals.||The scene when Boxer is taken away is very emotive.||The fact that the ‘horror’, in itself an emotive word, ‘burst’ from the animals gives a clear indication that their fear was so great it almost exploded from within them.|
|Direct style||Boxer was never seen again.||Orwell uses very plain language to describe Boxer’s disappearance.||In contrast to the emotive language seen above, Orwell uses direct and understated language. This helps to make Boxer’s treatment more tragic.|
In order to analyse language you must:
Below is an example section from the novel. In this section Napoleon is speaking to the farm animals. He blames Snowball for the damage the bad weather has done to the windmill.
'Comrades', he said quietly, 'do you know who is responsible for this? Do you know the enemy who has come in the night and overthrown our windmill? SNOWBALL!' he roared in a voice of thunder. 'Snowball has done this thing! In sheer malignity, thinking to set back our plans and avenge himself for his ignominious expulsion, this traitor has crept here under cover of night and destroyed our work of nearly a year'Napoleon
Analyse the language used in this quotation. How do the pigs use language to control the other animals?