Figurative Language In Animal Farm

2 Answers

amarang9's profile pic

amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Idiom: This is a word, phrase or way of speaking common to a particular group of people, a culture, or in this case a group of animals. In discussing Animalism, Snowball explains the Seven Commandments. Since some of the animals can not read well nor remember the commandments by heart, Snowball gives them a maxim which becomes an idiom, which becomes common to this particular farm of animals: "Four legs good, two legs bad." This can be considered an idiom, a maxim, or an aphorism. An aphorism is a short statement that sums up a truth, principle, or doctrine. 

In the third to last sentence of the chapter, the figure of speech "in this light" is used. Squealer is justifying to the other animals why the pigs are getting the milk and apples. Even though there are some problems (such as this inequality with the milk and apples), the animals are all in agreement that life is better without Jones. To put "in this light" is not to literally put something into physical light. Rather, it is to make it clear and understandable: it is clear that life is better without Jones. It is as if to say that it was unclear (and in the dark) and now is clear (in the light). This is generally called a figure of speech but could also be called a metaphor since Orwell uses light to describe something else: mental clarity. 

missy575's profile pic

missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Figurative language includes most of the comparative literary elements like simile, metaphor, and personification. Furthermore, it can include figures of speech, euphemism, idiom, or hyperbole. In chapter 3 of Animal Farm, many of these can be found:


"All through that summer the work of the farm went like clockwork."

Hyperbole (an exaggeration):

He had been a hard worker even in Jones's time, but now he seemed more like three horses than one; there were days when the entire work of the farm seemed to rest on his mighty shoulders.

There is no way the work of the farm could rest on one animals' shoulders.

Euphemism (essentially a figure of speech):

When it was put to them in this light, they had no more to say.

In this instance, in this light means from a certain perspective. It does not literally mean in the light of a specific lamp, the sun, or daylight. This figurative meaning makes it a figure of speech instead of a literal expression.