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Transitivity Analysis of Totalitarianism in Animal Farm

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Han Yuhang

Professor Yang Jing

Advanced English

4 May 4, 2019

Transitivity Analysis of Totalitarianism in Animal Farm

Abstract:George Orwell's "animal farm" is a satirical novel, the novel through in the form of a language describes the animal world, the right is how to gradually turned into a dictatorship, the novel used symbolism from the deep meaning, which is ironic the Soviet government. This thesis interprets the concrete power arrangement in George Orwell's novel Animal Farm.

Keywords:Animal Farm; totalitarianism; the ruling class

I. The Emergence of a New Ruling Class

As Mr. Jones was driven out of the farm, the pigs, “who were generally recognized as being the cleverest of the animals”, began to operate the whole farm. On the surface, the farm is a kingdom of the animals, actually what the pigs do makes no difference to what Mr. Jones does in nature before the revolution. To the pigs, the other animals are just working machines controlled by them.

Pigs, as the ruling class on the farm, have the privilege of enjoying more delicious food than other animals. They mix their mashes with milk and even make an order that the apples are for the use of the pigs only. The milk and apples are supposed to be shared out equally to all animals, however, only the pigs have the special right to enjoy them. Other animals have no opportunity to take even a bite of it.

Squealer acts as a persuasive talker serving for the totalitarian controller. He keeps fooling the hardworking animals with his crafty speeches, making them fall into the trap of totalitarian control step by step without consciousness.

II. The Fighting for Leadership between Napoleon and Snowball

After the expelling of Mr. Jones, the original master of the farm, the pigs gradually become the ruling class, in charge of the management and organization of the whole farm. Among whom two pigs stand out, they are Napoleon and Snowball. There is fierce competition for the leadership between the two pigs from the very beginning. “These two disagreed at every point where disagreement was possible”.

“Napoleon was a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker but with a reputation for getting his way”.

The clause above is a relational process, in which Napoleon functions as the carrier, “a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar” as the attribute. Besides, this relational process is in attributive-intensive mode, which means that an entity is one member of the class of entities. In other words, "Napoleon is a member of the class of the large, fierce-looking Berkshire boars".

Napoleon’s fierceness can even be felt from his appearance. The circumstantial element in this relational process is “the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker but with a reputation for getting his way”. Napoleon is special due to his unique breed- Berkshire, which is “only” on the farm, making a foreshadow for Napoleon's becoming the supreme controller afterward. Besides, he is known for conducting things according to his own will. The description leaves us with the impression that Napoleon is definitely not easy to deal with.

In the novel, Snowball is depicted as an intellectual with outstanding capacity. He devoted himself to close study of the construction of the infrastructure on the farm and put forward many innovative schemes and improvements that many animals had never heard before, such as the silage, field drains, and basic slag. What's more, he even proposed a scheme of building a windmill. He told the animals how they would benefit from the completion of the windmill and how they would have their lives improved. When Snowball worked out his design of the windmill, many animals came to visit Snowball’s drawings, which they “found and completely unintelligible but very impressive". But what is Napoleon’s reaction like? He seemed quite indifferent to Snowball's design and had never come to look at the drawings, saying that Snowball could accomplish nothing.

III. The Establishment of Napoleon's Tyrannical Control

The ferocious dogs are Napoleon's political army. Their only duty is to ensure Napoleon's authority and attack anyone against Napoleon. Actually, the dogs have become Napoleon's servants. In their eyes, Napoleon is their supreme master. Napoleon means everything to them and Napoleon's interests are above all others. As a matter of fact, the dogs are the victims of Napoleon's totalitarian control. They are taken away by Napoleon and kept in a loft segregated from the rest of the farm. Napoleon's so-called education is to make the dogs loyal and obedient to himself, absorb in whatever they are told. In other words, the dogs are brainwashed by Napoleon. This kind of inculcation of distorted ideology makes the dogs become Napoleon's private army. Napoleon completely. In this way, the political army is set up, the foundation for his tyrannical control on the whole farm. They are made use of by which provides the basic.

By far Napoleon has established the totalitarian empire on this farm completely. The fierce dogs work as the political army serving for Napoleon, they will eradicate anyone unfavorable to Napoleon and supervise every action of the animals. There is only Napoleon in the dogs' mind. Their duty is to protect him from any threats. While Squealer, the persuasive talker, who could turn black into white, acts as Napoleon's political representative. He is the spokesman of the pigs, he can always make the absurd behaviors of the pigs reasonable and justified. In this way, the animals are cheated by his sweet words again and again and fall into the trap of totalitarian control step by step.


Through the above-detailed study, we can have a more comprehensive understanding of the theme of the novel through the transitivity analysis. Moreover, it makes us realize George Orwell's great achievements in language choices and applications.

Since this book is political satire, Orwell engages us readers’ mind by writing this novella as an allegory for the Russian Revolution of 1917; power can corrupt morality, leadership, and order, and Orwell conveys this message through characters such as Napoleon, Snowball, and Squealer and their increasing



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