Good Morning S5!
 Today we are going to...
 Think about Orwell’s attitude to language.
 Think about the power of language and how
it can corrupt.
 Look at speeches by Old Major and Squealer.
 (Eric Arthur Blair) 1903 – 1950.
 Born in India to British parents.
 The book questions whether a focus of power
in one person is healthy for a society.
 Perhaps the largest overriding theme in
"Animal Farm" is the famous quote by Lord
Acton, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute
power corrupts absolutely.“
Orwell’s views on language
 Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of
speech that you are used to seeing regularly; (avoid
Never use a long word when a short one will do;
If it’s possible to cut a word out always cut it out;
Never use the passive where you can use the active;
Never use a foreign phrase, scientific word or jargon
word if you can think of an everyday English
Break any of these rules sooner than say anything
outright barbarous.
Orwell’s attitude to
 Key Point One
 Orwell tells his tale simply – without long or
ornate description of figurative language.
Why is this important?
 An allegory is a story in which simple characters
are made to represent ideas or the ways
particular types of people might behave in the
real world.
Eg. Manor Farm represents the corrupt state,
Napoleon represents Stalin etc.
They are often simple stories or fairy tales.
It is like an extended metaphor – one subject
representing another.
For an allegory to be effective it must be subtle
yet obvious to the discerning reader what the
object of writing is.
 Orwell frequently uses irony to make readers
think about the motives and morals of the
characters in the story.
 We see that something is ironic when we are
able to understand something better than
those actually involved in what’s going on.
 For example, we can see through Napoleon’s
behaviour in a way the animals can’t.
 Look at pages 45-46.
 Where is the irony in this passage?
Orwell and Language
 One of Orwell’s central concerns in Animal Farm ,
is the way in which language can be manipulated
as an instrument of control.
 In Animal Farm, the pigs gradually twist and
distort a rhetoric of socialist revolution to justify
their behaviour and to keep the other animals in
the dark.
 The animals heartily embrace Major’s visionary
ideal of socialism, but after Major dies, the pigs
gradually twist the meaning of his words.
Old Major’s speech
 Pages 3-8.
 Old Major = Lenin (a revolutionary thinker
who established the principles on which the
Russian Revolution was based.)
 Read his speech and highlight techniques he
uses to make his speech persuasive/effective.
Old Major’s Speech
 Simple language
 Addresses animals as ‘comrades’ – a word that is
associated with the Russian Revolution and has
connotations of friendliness combined with
military ideas.
Repetition (comrades) makes speech persuasive.
Emotive – emphasises degradation animals are
Inflammatory – words like ‘slaughtered’,
‘misery’, ‘slavery’, ‘cruelty’.
Rhetorical questions
 “The others said of Squealer that he could
turn black into white.”
 Squealer = the propagandist/party
 He uses language to distort the truth, cover
up meaning and justify Napoleon’s actions.
 Read page 23 and comment on Squealer’s
oratory techniques. Why is his name
 He mentions the doubts of the animals in the
form of a question that makes them sound
 Uses questionable scientific evidence.
 False logic; if the pigs don’t eat the apples, they
wouldn’t be doing their duty. Their duty is to
prevent Jones’ they must eat the
apples. But the apples would be good for
 Rhetorical question to make animals feel guilty.