In the allegorical work, by George Orwell, he presents the rise and recession of power in a lifestyle dictated by an overbearing tyrant. The author builds characters’ personalities with irony to strengthen the directed ridicule. With Napoleon and Snowball always disagreeing on pointless issues, irony plays a key role in the delivery of each scene. Their endless arguments, hypocritical attitudes, and the figurative beings each of the pigs represented with their motives, enabled readers to fall in the seduction of Orwell’s vigorous diction.
In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, he utilizes different types of irony to expose a truth to world, that in any society, the corruption of power inevitably causes history to repeat itself. As the established commandments are secretly altered to coincide with the pigs’ new lifestyle, the animals notice that life commences to “readjust” frequently and some try to recall what life was like before the rebellion. (115) the pigs, namely Napoleon, maniacally begin to experiment with the manner of human ways, and as a result he and his fellow kind are engulfed in the potency of unrestricted control.
As the pigs become increasingly authoritative, they abuse power to dictate everyone and everything on the farm. Here Orwell uses dramatic irony to show the naivety of the farm animals with his illusive way of explaining Napoleon’s and his inner circle’s gradual change for the worst. The first idea of self obtained order on the farm originated from Old Major, a wise boar and prophet, he narrated his dream of a life where there would never be a food shortage or animals being sent to death before their time. (28) Old Major continued his speech by explaining to them why Man was the enemy.
Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished for ever. ” (29) This intrigued the animals and persuaded them to look for the nearing apocalypse. “Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. ” (29) With this statement they all began to realize how greatly Man depended on them, in a realization they came upon the fact that Man in reality needed them more than the animals needed Man. Before Old Major’s downfall, he represented to the animals the fact that they are the foundation of the farm and man was disposable.
Once the rebellion and transformation of power had occurred, the animals strive to make the farm the sanctuary that was once foretold in a vision, but when Snowball is exiled from Animal Farm, there is no longer a figure of authority to repress Napoleon’s tyrannical ideas. The once voided plans of constructing the windmill were hypocritically set into action, by Napoleon, after Snowball was banished. Succeeding the erection of the windmill, Napoleon personally congratulated the animals on their achievement and announced that the windmill be named Napoleon Mill.
Orwell manipulates verbal irony to announce through Napoleon, to the reader, that all the laborious days and sleepless nights that the working class of animals endured, were to be completely ignored, with the attention and glory reserved for the pigs. As the animals adjusted to living and working for themselves, Squealer acted as a figurative emotional commander for the animals that believed they were living in worsened conditions than from when they were cared for by Mr. Jones.
He continued to advise them that they are free and they are living the life they had all dreamed about with Napoleon as their superior. Boxer began to make his own maxim for an emotional pick up when work became more difficult. “I will work harder and Napoleon is always right. “(75) These were words that faithful Boxer continued to repeat as he damaged his physical self to improve the state farm. In the end, Napoleon uses Boxer’s loyalty against him only to barter for a pointless good.
The corruption of power begins as Napoleon and the pigs evolve into dictators and take on more characteristics of power-hungry humans than of pigs themselves. The ruling parliament begin to conserve the profits and accomplishments of the farm for their reputation and own yearning. They use the weaker animals to benefit themselves and their desires. Here Orwell presents situational irony to show that as responsibility falls into the malignant trotters of Napoleon, all power, recognition, and privileges are reserved for the favorably more equal animals.
They are permitted to drink beer, rest in beds, and start their day later than any other animal, simply because they are the “brain workers” of the farm. (52) As the condition of Animal Farm plummets downward, Napoleon acts as a demagogue and announces the “true” spirit of Animalism; working hard and living frugally. (129) Orwell uses verbal irony to show how Napoleon manipulates the other animals and makes them second guess their memories of life before their self earned “freedom”.
Napoleon has the animals continue working even though their rations “readjust” frequently. Boxer persists to work until his condition becomes grave and his weakness condemns him to death. Life goes on as it always has “badly” (8) and their economy eventually dwindles down to nothing so that they live in conditions far worse than with the once feared Mr. Jones. Orwell’s use of irony invigorates his satire in this allegorical novel, Animal Farm, by revealing the hypocritical personalities of characters both figurative and literal.
With this exploitation, it made the message robust and proclaimed, also helping direct his intended ridicule towards societies that strive for absolute equality. One of Orwell’s reasons for writing this novel was to clear the fog covered glasses for those who believe that a Utopia in any society can be completely reached. The straight forward message in this novel still applies to our corrupt world today. Through the extortion of power on Animal Farm, it procured history to repeat itself and restore Animal Farm to its almost original state.