In Animal Farm, how does Orwell use the narrative voice to portray Clover's distress in Chapter Seven?  

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter Seven of Animal Farm, Napoleon takes his brutal revenge on the animals who have questioned his authority. In the aftermath, Clover has a pensive moment on the knoll, prompting a change in Orwell's narrative voice.

What is most striking in this portrayal of Clover's distress is the use of setting. Using heavy description, Orwell portrays Clover in a "clear spring evening," amid the "young wheat" and the "red roofs" of the farm buildings. This idyllic world filled with beauty and equality contrasts sharply with the preceding paragraphs in which Napoleon exacts his revenge amid the "tumult" and violence.

In addition, Orwell's narrative style gives Clover a voice:

If she could have spoken her thoughts, it would have been to say that this was not what they had aimed at when they had set themselves years ago to work for the overthrow of the human race. 

In doing this, Orwell allows Clover and the reader to connect. This enables the reader to understand and empathize with Clover and the other animals as they come to the stark realization that Napoleon is just as brutal as Mr. Jones ever was.