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Commentary on Animal Farm

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Introduction

In this extract from the book, Animal Farm, by George Orwell describes how one of the ruling elite 'top gun' pigs, specifically the one which acted as a go-between for news between the pigs and the rest of the animals named squealer announces the death of Boxer. In so doing, he dispels all fears about a 'vicious rumour' that had been circulated that Boxer had not died peacefully in a hospital in some far away land but rather been slaughtered at the glue factory, at least the words 'Knackers and Glue Factory' on the side of the van in which he was taken away in would suggest. This happens towards the end of the novella as the pigs have really started exploiting the rest of the animals and disrespecting the traditional laws of animalism. ...read more.

Middle

Evidently Squealer manipulates the animals with his appeal to emotion with his crocodile tears (line 4), and the deeply moving imagery of boxer laying in his death-bed. I suppose, Squealer's words are also intended to evoke a deep sense of empathy and chimerical joy for Boxer's unfailing loyalty as Squealer describes Boxer's last words as including 'Long live Animal Farm' (lines 9-11). An appeal to emotion is also made with lines 21-23 describing the extraordinary care given to Boxer and expensive medicines that Napoleon paid for 'without a thought as to their cost'. Orwell is intelligent in his use of the narrative voice to describe Squealers sudden change of demeanour suggesting some of the superficiality of his emotionally-charge words. Squealer appeals to the animals' better judgement as he calls on their knowledge of their 'beloved leader, Comrade Napoleon' as not being capable of such a dastardly deed: perhaps the bare ...read more.

Conclusion

Under the guidance of 'Comrade Napoleon', after the rebellion at the farm over the humans, with the elimination of any competition (that is, Snowball, a rival pig with more egalitarian ideas), the story takes on a vaudeville sense of irony even comedy as time and time again the animals are conned into believing that all the animals were equal and treated thus not unlike in a children's book were the plot complication usually consists of a number of quite simple usually repetitive events that build up to the ultimate resolution. After all, Orwell described the novella as a fable in the unpublished preface to the first edition of the novella and, in my opinion, as with any fable there are great stories to be told and often painful lessons to be learnt, the book could be called a dissertation of the most fundamental human drive that being greed. ...read more.

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