“Written commentary on the effectiveness of the propaganda techniques used in Squealer and Major’s speeches.”
In these two speeches we see the speakers standing in opposition where they serve as propaganda machines and use their speeches to influence the interest of their audience. The first speech by Squealer is short but contains some devices and figures of speech that signify the hate he has for the other party’ whereas the second speech by Old Major is long and uses a lot of stylistic devices to bring out the propaganda in his speech as well. In the next paragraph I am going to be talking about the first speech by Squealer.
Squealer as a propaganda machine in this text uses many techniques as mentioned earlier to express his message to his fellow comrades. “Comrades” in this circumstance refers to the other animals. This is because in his speech, he mentions that they are pigs, (lines 1 and 6), “We pigs”. This particular statement in Squealer’s speech tells us that the text is a fable. In Squealer’s speech, there is an insinuation of extortion by the pigs. This is because they are the most intelligent animals in the farm and they have the ability to run the activities and organize rebellion on the farmland. They initiated the pursing away of Jones from his farmland.
Squealer provides reasons why the pigs in the farm eat apples and drink milk, which is so that they can perform their duties effectively. He even mentions that, “milk and apples have been proven by science to contain substances absolutely necessary for the well-being of a pig.” This so that the comrades will have no reason to criticize the pigs for consuming unusual food to their digestive systems. The pigs know that their normal and natural food usually comes from the dirt in the mud, which is why Squealer trues to justify their consumption of milk and apples. This signifies the start of marginalization and corruption in the farm. If the other farm animals discover the exploitation they have been undergoing in the farm by the pigs, the revolution of the animals would fail and Jones would return.
The above reason is the main reason why Squealer tries to make it clear to the comrades that the pigs are the most important and hardworking animal I the farm. He puts it in their minds that without the pigs the other animals would go nowhere in the revolution. He emphasizes the importance of the pigs in the farm and also makes the animals feel like it is for their own good that the pigs are doing what they are doing. He also uses a rhetorical question to clarify the doubts in other animals’ minds (lines 9 and 10), “do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our duty?” Immediately after this statement he mentions that Jones would come back. Squealer also emphasizes the type of animal he is by the repetition of the phrase “we pigs” in numerous lines in his speech. This is to redefine his importance amongst the other animals in the farm.
Looking at Old Major’s speech, we see that it is a very long speech that addresses solely the animals, making them the most important audience. Old Major, just like Squealer, uses a lot of stylistic devices in his speech. He brings out the importance of the animals even more than Squealer does in his speech. In Old Major’s speech, he tries to generalize his perspective and talks about all animals and does not limit it to just pigs, and he does not prioritize pigs only in his speech, which is different in Squealer’s speech.
Old Major makes use of rhetorical questions very often in his speech. These come in instances where he wants to explain a situation or where he wishes to emphasize on an issue. He also uses personification, especially where he regards the knife with which the animals are slaughtered as “cruel”. This shows a degree of detest he has for the human activities against animals. He also uses repetition to emphasize to the comrades on the appalling character of man, like the use of the pronoun “I” and the noun “comrades”.
The main theme in Old Major’s speech is the unity of all animals, not just the farm but in the whole of England against humans. This is because he believes humans are just lazy set of beings that cannot produce anything, but rather, take from what the animals produce by nature. He mentions that, “man is the only creature that consumes without producing.” He follows this statement with the fact that man does not give milk, lay eggs and too weak to plough in the farm or run fast to catch the rabbits. These are all attributes related to animals. He also states that no animal in England knows the meaning of happiness after he is a year old. He re-emphasizes to the comrades to keep the extreme hate for man and never adopt actions attributed to man.