In Animal Farm, how does Old Major emphasize his idea of Animalism?

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Because of his age and influence, Old Major's words command respect among the other animals. When he preaches his Utopian ideals, they listen and are convinced by his eloquence and the simplicity of his ideals.

"I do not think, comrades, that I shall be with you for many...

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Because of his age and influence, Old Major's words command respect among the other animals. When he preaches his Utopian ideals, they listen and are convinced by his eloquence and the simplicity of his ideals.

"I do not think, comrades, that I shall be with you for many months longer, and before I die, I feel it my duty to pass on to you such wisdom as I have acquired. I have had a long life, I have had much time for thought..."
(Orwell, Animal Farm, msxnet.org)

Old Major uses three appeals: an appeal to wisdom -- he is old, and therefore he is wise; an appeal to emotion -- he will die soon and so his words are valuable; an appeal to fear -- if the animals do not revolt, they will continue to live in slavery. By composing his thoughts in a way that places the animals as "good" versus the humans as "bad," he sets out his ideas in a way that can be simply understood -- "All animals are equal" -- and easily implemented -- "Everyone should work for the common good." Unfortunately, the other animals fail to see how the pigs use their intellect to avoid work, and so Old Major's ideals are lost.

 

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Old Major brings out his idea of Animalism in a couple of ways.  The first is to collect the animals in detailing his dream.  In presenting Animalism in a dream to the other animals, it brings to light how their world is in fundamental need of changing.  This leads into another way of how Old Major emphasize his ideas.  He stresses to the animals that the current system is one in which the Animals are being exploited at the hands of humans.  This world is one in which the Animals are constantly under siege from the humans, exploited and used in so far as their work capacity and production will continue.  For example, Old Major draws the direct comparison that Boxer will be used and respected by the humans until he is no longer able to work.  At this point, Old Major argues that he will be sent to the "Knacker's."  In contrasting his dream with how bad things are for the animals, Animalism is emphasized in another manner.  The singing of the song "Beasts of England" at the end of the chapter is yet another way in which Old Major emphasizes his idea of Animalism, in song, in a manner that enables the animals to fully embrace the idea of their own condition being seen as something secondary to what can be.

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