How would Boxer give a speech persuading the rest of the animals to turn against Snowball in Animal Farm?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In his A Study of George Orwell: The Man and His Works, critic Hollis wrote 

The author of such a fable must have the Swift-like capacity of ascribing with solemn face to the animals idiotic but easily recognized human qualities.

This advice seems a suitable paradigm for the composition of a speech by Boxer in which he tries to persuade the others to reject Snowball as a leader. For, it is in keeping with Boxer's character, a personage who has little independent thought; his opinions are mere quotations, the thoughts of others. In Chapter 6, for instance, when Clover cautions Boxer against over-straining himself,

His two slogans, "I will work harder" and "Napoleon is always right," seemed to him a sufficient answer to all problems.

Therefore, since Boxer is a true follower, and Napoleon has pronounced Snowball as a traitor, Boxer will surely denounce Snowball in the same words. Incapable of reasoning for himself, Boxer will preface what he says with "Napoleon has told us..." or "Napoleon says...." For instance, he could begin his speech with something like this (which is based upon the content of Chapter 6),

"Comrades, you all have heard Napoleon tell us that Snowball is a traitor, and Squealer tells us that he was in league with Jones from the very beginning! Remember how he charged ahead of us in the Battle of the Cowshed? Squealer says that was just for show; it was to make us think that he was on our side. Then, he was going to give the signal for flight and leave us to the enemy. Napoleon has told us that Snowball left the field just when Jones and the other humans came inside the yard. Squealer says that Napoleon charged forward at this time and bit Jones's leg.

"I am not sure that Snowball was a traitor in the beginning, but with the destruction of the windmill, I think what Napoleon says is true. If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right. [this is a pulled quote from Chapter 6] Here's why I now believe Snowball has betrayed us:

  1. What he has done since the Battle of the Cowshed is different from his first actions. (Stating a reason will be helpful, here)


Since we educators at Enotes do not write essays or speeches for students, this is just a beginning. The important thing to do in composing the remainder of the speech is to stay within the character of Boxer, and to use material from the novel in order to create verisimilitude. Perusing the chapters to find the thoughts and words of Boxer which can be incorporated in his speech will also be advantageous. Considering his mantra of "I will work harder!" as the solution to all problems will also be helpful since he will most likely encourage the others to do the same at the end of his speech.

Remember, too, in persuasive arguments the speaker gives his reasons, but also provides a counterargument against the opposing side. See the link below on writing a persuasive work.