How is George Orwell persuading us (responders) throughout Animal Farm? What techniques does he use to persuade us?

2 Answers | Add Yours

kapokkid's profile pic

kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

There are several different techniques that Orwell uses including dramatic irony, the sort of fairy tale setting, allegory, etc., but one of the most powerful in my mind is satire.  The idea of portraying world leaders as farm animals and changing the place of their occurance to be on the farm is brilliant and leads to a number of important effects.

The first is the idea of imagining these very important, famous people as animals.  Imagining a world leader as a pig is a very quick way to change people's opinions of them.  It places their actions under a different light of scrutiny as well.  Instead of just assuming that these powerful men know what they are doing, you wonder, does this pig really get it?  Aren't they a little misguided?

So in my mind the satirical bent of the novel really does a great deal to change our view of these world leaders and the events Orwell includes in the plot.

lfawley's profile pic

lfawley | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

Written with the subtitle a fairy story, satire is definitely the strongest persuasive technique used by Orwell. Through his allegorical tale in which farm animals take on characteristics associated with human counterparts, Orwell sends a message that it id important for us to guard out freedom, to keep an eye on those who lead us lest they become too powerful. It is a tale of a people's (animal's) violent revolution and subsequent inability to hold on to the positive changes they had fought for because of the ulterior motives of the equality to new leadership who go from champions of equality to quasi-benevolent dictators in rapid succession.The idea of a socialist Utopia was something that, as political  scientists throughout history have noted, looks great on paper but fails in practice as human nature doesn't work that way. An element od satire, then, is irony as what starts as a good plan ends up in something evil and potentially worse than what they had when they started. Greed tends to be as powerful motivator, and the satirical humor factor lies in the fact that Orwell makes the greedy "pigs"- traditionally an animal that is seen as noxious and gluttonous. Although the novel is meant as a satirical examination of the Russian Revolution, the theme is universal as this could happen anywhere.

Two other themes in the novel that help persuade are the use of Snowball as a scapegoat (how many times in our own world has the one good, well-meaning person been the target for blame?). By making everything out to be Snowball's fault, thye people (animal's) attention is distracted from the truth and they blindly follow Napolean. Secondly, the use if religion as a means of controlling the masses. By changing the commandments, the "word of God" so to speak is changed, but as long as the masses still believe it to be true it can be used to keep them in line. This is how the Christian Bible is used in this country as a means of making people follow certain ideologies even though the Bible itslef has been rewritten so many times that non one can really know what it once said. The same can be said od the current Jihad and Muslim extremists - manipulating a text to match a different set of personal aims.

He also emphasizes the importance of knowledge for it is the animal's ignorance that gets them into the situation that they end up in. Napolean appears to value education, but only to an extent and to the extent at which he can use it for control. They begin with an admirable goal, rallying the masses to rise up against an unfair oppressor, but they end up allowing one of their own to take that same position. The idea of those who do not learn from the past are doomed to keep on making the same mistakes prevails in this piece so that the strongest persuasive message comes in the fact that we must be aware and take responsibility for the actions of those who lead us if we want to have a real say in our governance.

We’ve answered 318,989 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question