Abuse of Power in George Orwell’s Animal Farm

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Often times in a communist society, a leader’s use of language can lead to abuse of power. In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the farm leaders, the pigs, use unknown language, invoke scare tactics, and create specific laws, thereby enabling them to control other animals, to suit their greedy desires, and to perform actions outside their realm of power. Because of the pigs’ use of broad language, implementation of scare tactics, and creation and manipulation of laws, they are able to get away with avoiding laws and convincing other animals into believing untrue stories and lies that are beneficial to the pigs.

The first way the pigs use language to abuse their power is by using extensive detail and by using terms and vocabulary foreign to most animals. An example of the pigs using unknown terms can be found when Squealer explains to the other animals about how hard the pigs need to work to keep the farm running. “There was, as Squealer was never tired of explaining, endless work in the supervision and organization of the farm. Much of this work was of a kind that the other animals were too ignorant to understand. For example, Squealer told them that the pigs had to expend enormous labours every day upon mysterious things called ‘files,’ ‘reports,’ ‘minutes,’ and ‘memoranda’…” (129). In this scene, the animals, exhausted, hungry, and overworked, are told about how the pigs work just as hard as they do. Although this is completely untrue, seeing that the pigs only occupy themselves in self-centered and self-beneficial engagements, the other animals believe it to be true because they do not know what files, reports, minutes, or memoranda are. Their ignorance leaves them unable to question Squealers story and they mistake the pigs’ true...

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...ll return. By cleverly inducing fear into the animals, the pigs are able to convince them to agree with and support anything they suggest.

The pigs in George Orwell’s Animal Farm use specific laws, use unknown vocabulary and excruciating detail, implement scare tactics, and create and manipulate law to successfully attain the other animal’s trust, acquire certain luxuries unavailable to most animal, and establish themselves as the dictators of a totalitarian-like society. Through using detail, unknown vocabulary, specific laws, and scare tactics, the pigs acquire the ability to drink alcohol, sleep on beds, eat and drink the milk and apples, destroy Snowball’s credibility, and establish a trust between themselves and the other animals. From Orwell’s Animal Farm, one realizes how leaders with absolute power use carefully manipulated language to abuse their power.

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