In Old Major's speech in Animal Farm, what is one example of repetition that is used?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Old Major makes his speech to the animals, he uses repetition in a number of ways. Here are some examples:

  • He repeats the idea that an animal's life is miserable. He states that an animal's life is never allowed to reach its "natural span," for example, by alluding to the practice of slaughter. He also mentions Mr. Jones' use of the whip, an idea which is further reinforced in the song, Beasts of England.
  • He repeats the idea that Man is the enemy of all animals. He says that Man steals the produce of other animals, like milk and eggs, and claims that "Man is the only creature that consumes without producing." He also claims that Man is not capable of feeling unity with animals since he is greedy and self-interested: "Man serves the interests of no creature but himself."

It is the repetition of these key ideas which make the animals realize the extent of their exploitation and which encourage them to rebel in Chapter Two. 

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of Animal Farm, old Major gives an impassioned speech in which he urges the animals to rebel against Mr. Jones in order to live better lives. Throughout his speech, old Major uses the rhetorical device of repetition to emphasize significant themes and ideas. Old Major continually refers to the animals as "comrades" throughout the speech to emphasize that each animal is in the same situation. Repetition of the word "comrades" also focuses on the camaraderie of the group, and encourages the animals to identify with one another. Another example of repetition in old Major's speech is the continued use of associating "man" with anything negative. Old Major repeats how man is selfish, useless, and oppressive throughout his entire speech. He continually mentions how man is responsible for the dire conditions on the farm and urges the animals to rebel against Mr. Jones.