Animal Farm Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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Figurative Language In Animal Farm

What are some examples of figurative language used in chapter 3 of Animal Farm?

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The animals are said to have a "stormy debate," for instance, over retirement ages. "Stormy debate" is a figure of speech used to describe the arguments that arise between Snowball's and Napoleon's ideas. Since it is not literally rainy and windy as they debate, the word stormy is being used as a metaphor, or a comparison that does not use the words like or as, to describe the tension of these debates.

When Squealer says to the other animals that "Day and night we are watching over your welfare," the phrase "day and night" functions as a figure of speech. The pigs are not literally watching over the animals twenty-four a day, as they have to sleep and do other things. The phrase is an example of hyperbole (exaggeration) used to emphasize a point. Further, it is a cliche, or an overused term that has been repeated so many times it has lost most of its power. It is just filler language, which is very typical of Squealer. Finally, the words "watching over your welfare" are also a figure of speech....

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