Identify examples of repetition in Chapter One of Animal Farm.

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter One of Animal Farm, we can find examples of repetition in Old Major's speech. This is first introduced when Old Major begins to argue that all farm animals have miserable lives. Here are some examples:

"Our lives are miserable, laborious and short."

"The life of an animal is misery and slavery."

"And even the miserable lives we lead..."

Similarly, Old Major uses repetition to introduce and establish the idea that Man is responsible for creating this misery and must be removed. There are several examples littered throughout Old Major's speech: 

"Man is the only real enemy we have."

"Remove Man from the scene and the root abolished."

"Man is the only creature that consumes without producing."

"Only get rid of Man."

What is significant about this repetition is its deliberate use: Old Major highlights and reinforces these points on purpose. In fact, this repetition is a propaganda technique used to convince the animals of their subjugation and to gain support for his idea of rebellion. Evidently, this technique is successful because in Chapter Two, after his death, the animals rise up against Mr Jones and overthrow him. 

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I tend to think that the strongest example of repetition from chapter one of Orwell's work would be the singing of "Beasts of England."  All of the animals in the barn rejoice in singing the song in unison with one another.  They repeat verse after verse as a glorious exaltation in shared consciousness following Old Major's speech.  The repeating of the song is what awakens Jones, causing the meeting to disperse, but not changing how the animals feel.  The repetition of the song's chords resonate in their minds and souls, helping to spearhead revolutionary change.

Another example of repetition would be Old Major's case against the humans.  He repeats examples of ways in which the humans exploit the animals.  From Boxer to the pigs to the hens, Old Major's theme of exploitation is repeated in different contexts in order for the animals to fully understand how they are all mistreated by the humans.  In its repetition, Old Major is able to emphasize the collective  consciousness of the animals has to be embraced and understood in order for change on the farm to happen.