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The Use of Language in Animal FarmAnimal Farm by George Orwell is an allegory in which animals are personified to represent the struggles

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The Use of Language in Animal Farm Animal Farm by George Orwell is an allegory in which animals are personified to represent the struggles and conflicts of the Russian Revolution. The main point emphasizes in the novel is that language is a powerful tool, which can be used to manipulate and control people in order to bring about change, whether big or small. In the story the pigs govern everything that happens, whether it is something as miner as eating a meal, or something as major and important as fighting a strategic battle. Napoleon, the foreman, or leader of the pigs is the most powerful of them all. ...read more.


They have no choice, but to listen to the pigs, and agree with what they say so that they will not be considered as going against them. Only Molly, a horse, is smart enough not to listen, and leaves the farm. Napoleon is one of the most dangerous manipulators throughout the novel. At first he rejects all of Snowball's plans, and takes part in nothing, but after chases Snowball away with his vicious dogs, he tells everyone that it really was he who came up with the plans for the windmill, that it was he who came up with all of the other good ideas. ...read more.


He is a good and persuasive speaker, who is able to twist words around for the benefit of Napoleon, and in order to gain some power over the farm. In Animal Farm Language is used as a very powerful tool. From Major revealing his dreams for the future to the pigs manipulating his words for their own benefit, this is seen. In the end it becomes obvious that there is little difference between the humans and the pigs; that the freedom for which they are working is not really there. Orwell very cleverly illustrates these manipulative and abusive aspects of language he uses. A final commandment in his novel, which states, "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others", his basis for the pigs assuming the power to define the word equal, and justify their "greater" equality. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This is a good essay. It takes the focus of the question well and concentrates on it explicitly, making direct links and references to the question throughout. All the analysis is focused on the abuse of language and how the ...

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Response to the question

This is a good essay. It takes the focus of the question well and concentrates on it explicitly, making direct links and references to the question throughout. All the analysis is focused on the abuse of language and how the pigs manipulate in order to control the farm. However, the candidate's comment are far too general in places. Aside from "the pigs", there is little focus on individual characters' language use, such as Boxer's, Old Major's and Squealer's. I would argue the analysis of Squealer's language use is pretty imperative for a good grade here, as it is he who is most at fault when it comes to manipulating the behaviour of the other animals through the abuse of language (think about how he addresses them). And so, due to some of the analysis not being pinned to precise enough examples and.or characters some of it falls flat.

Elsewhere, the candidate makes some minor errors, but they do have big resonances that may send the message to the examiner that the essay was written with a certain carelessness - saying Old Major's dream of Animalism was a "prediction" is one; and also writing "However, when he dies, the other pigs, Napoleon, Snowball, and Squealer, are able to take control, and twist his words around to make the farm the way they want it, so that, the other animals can not argue against them without going against the idea of the revolution.", which makes Snowball seems as bad as Squealer and Napoleon, but in fact he is hugely different and should not be confused. Small errors like this have big costs, and some examiners may not grace the candidate for even small errors likes this, so you must be sure not to make them be re-reading and checking what you write after every paragraph.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis shown is good, and it shows a candidate operating at a strong B grade for GCSE. There is a consistent focus on the use of language to control the animals (I would argue that, to get a higher grade, more could be said about the resistance of Molly, and how this undermines the power of language, but no matter). I would like to see more focus on individual characters - How does Old Major instill his vision to the other animals and paint it so vividly and temptingly? What about the way he speaks and who he is makes the other animals listen to him?

This would then lead on to something most candidates miss - the link between language and power. To control language is to control all, as everything is the basis of language, hence, candidates must draw links between the animals' readiness to obey and believe Old Major - a high and respected pig - and the scepticism about the rise of Napoleon and the top dog of the farm. Napoleon rises to the top by abusing language. In other words, his manipulation of discourse seizes power. This would nicely demonstrate how the candidate appreciates the power of language in 'Animal Farm'.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is fair, but there is definite evidence of carelessness in some spelling and grammar, such as "miner" instead of "minor" and "emphasizes" instead of "emphasized". These two particularly work against the candidate as they feature in the first paragraph, and so set a bad impression right from the off. Candidate must re-read and spell-check there work before final submission because errors like this suggest to the examiner that not enough precision was taken when writing or proof-reading.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 09/08/2012

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