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The World of Inequalities - Revisiting Animal Farm (Part 2)

The world we are living in today is charecterised by serious shortcomings and inequalities.  Those with access to money, power, st...

The world we are living in today is charecterised by serious shortcomings and inequalities. 

Tapiwa Zuze

Those with access to money, power, state resources and influence will always thrive on manipulating the poor and weak. The inequality gap continues to widen every day. And because of the prevalence and in-depth of greediness, nations and leaders are now advocating for “permanent interests” instead of “permanent friends”. We are still living under the George Orwell’s Animal Farm. In this article, we revisit some of the key characters in Animal Farm. As you read through, kindly scan through and see how these traits are being displayed through in today’s world. 

Read Part 1 of the article here: 

Throughout his career, George Orwell explored how politicians manipulate language in an age of mass media. In Animal Farm, the silver-tongued pig Squealer abuses language to justify Napoleon’s actions and policies to the proletariat by whatever means seem necessary. By radically simplifying language – as when he teaches the sheep to bleat “Four legs good; Two legs better!” – He limits the terms of debate. By complicating language unnecessarily, he confuses and intimidates the uneducated, as when he explains that pigs, who are the “brain workers” of the farm, consume milk and apples not for pleasure, but for the good of their comrades. In this latter strategy, he also employs jargon (“tactics, tactics”) as well as a baffling vocabulary of false and impenetrable statistics, engendering in the other animals both self-doubt and a sense of hopelessness about ever accessing the truth without the pigs’ mediation. Squealer’s lack of conscience and unwavering loyalty to his leader, alongside his rhetorical skills, makes him the perfect propagandist for any tyranny. Squealer’s name also fits him well: squealing, of course, refers to a pig’s typical form of vocalization, and Squealer’s speech defines him. At the same time, to squeal also means to betray, aptly evoking Squealer’s behaviour with regard to his fellow animals. 

Old Major serves as the source of the ideals that the animals continue to uphold even after their pig leaders have betrayed them. Though his portrayal of Old Major is largely positive, George Orwell does include a few small ironies that allow the reader to question the venerable pig’s motives. For instance, in the midst of his long litany of complaints about how the animals have been treated by human beings, Old Major is forced to concede that his own life has been long, full, and free from the terrors he has vividly sketched for his rapt audience. He seems to have claimed a false brotherhood with the other animals in order to garner their support for his vision.

Tapiwa Zuze

Now, in today’s world we have these characters operating at full throttle. We have them in politics, schools, churches, homes and other organisations. Just like George Orwell’s famous statement in this book, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”; we have all lived to see the truthfulness of this statement. 

Tapiwa Zuze –

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