What are the most important messages Orwell conveys to the reader in Animal Farm, and what techniques does he use to make these messages powerful and unforgettable?

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What are the most important messages Orwell conveys to the reader in ‘Animal Farm’, and what techniques does he use to make these messages powerful and unforgettable?

Animal Farm, (written by George Orwell in 1945) is a fable, paralleled with the Russian revolution. Its story takes us through the rebellion, and the rise and fall of communism using the allegory of a farm. Within the book there are several compelling and important messages Orwell has illustrated, and an assortment of techniques used to enforce them.

One of the most memorable messages Orwell conveys in ‘Animal Farm’, is that fear is an enormously powerful form of manipulation. Within the book, there are countless occasions where fear is used to make sure the animals remain ignorant to the horrors occurring on the farm. For instance, the character Napoleon, a fear mongering leader (paralleled with Stalin), employs multiple other animals and techniques to keep fear present.

Post-rebellion outlook is such that if the animals were to let the slightest thing slip then Mr. Jones would return with his evil, subjective regime. 'Surely there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back?' (Page 39) The repetition of this phrase, and the use of humans as scapegoats, shows that fear is brought into play by the pigs whenever dissent is shown. Even though the animals may not necessarily concur with the pigs, the fear of the humans returning is enough to keep them silent. Orwell demonstrates here how fear can be used to make someone seem indispensable.

Snowball and Napoleon are constantly in conflict with each other until the dispute over the windmill. Napoleon uses fear and fright through the dogs to chase Snowball away. This event represents the first form of animal fighting animal, which leaves the rest of the animals 'silent and terrified.' (Page 54) A physical form of fear now enters Animal Farm as Napoleon's new regime of dictatorship is established. The dogs enable further manipulation, as Napoleon employs them as instruments of fear and intimidation. With their huge snarls, terrifying growls and only one loyalty, they spread fear into the animals just as Jones used to do.

Orwell employs several techniques to leave this message circulating in our minds long after we have finished the book, for instance the repetition of the phrase ‘Jones will come back’. There is always a sense of dramatic irony about this expression. The reader understands that Jones will not return, and that this is another form of manipulation and control by the pigs, but the ignorance of the animals to this fact adds a memorable sense of anger, and creates a powerful sense of irritation, which lingers in the mind.

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Another artful technique that Orwell uses to enforce this message is the lack of descriptive language used. For example in the compelling scene of the purges (Chapter 8) there is an incredible sparseness of metaphors, adjectives and other dramatic phrasing. This is in fact more resonant than a clutter of similes, and overwriting as you do not have to look through a veil of language, which might detract from the realism of the situation ‘Confessions and executions went on, until there was a stack of corpses at Napoleons feet’ (page78)  With sparse language there is no hiding behind the words. ...

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