Rhetoric is used throughout Napoleon’s rise to power. It is used to keep the animals (excluding pigs, of course) from realizing the chasm between what really is happening and what they want to happen. They are therefore rather obsequious toward Napoleon. Napoleon uses Squealer to spread his propaganda. Squealer, being very mellifluous and silver-tongued, can easily get the animals to believe and follow Napoleon’s unorthodox laws and wishes. They don’t realize how unfortunate their fate becomes by doing this. Squealer is not the only rhetorical tool used in Napoleons rise to power. “Beasts of England” is also at fault.
Unfortunately, the very anthem from which Minimalism began is laced with rhetorical, obviously unrealistic undertones. Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland, Beasts of every land and clime, Hearken to my joyful tidings Of the *golden future time*. Soon or late the day is coming, Tyrant Man shall be earthwork, And the fruitful fields of England Shall be trod by beasts alone. Rings shall vanish from our noses, And the harness from our back, Bit and spur shall rust *forever*, Cruel whips no more shall crack. *Riches more than mind can picture*, Wheat and barley, oats and hay, Shall be ours upon that day.
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Bright will shine the fields of England*, Purer shall its waters be, Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes On the day that sets us free. For that day we all must labor, *Though we die before it break*; Cows and horses, geese and turkeys, *All must toil for freedom’s sake*. Hearken well and spread my tidings By looking at the underlined portions(marked by asterisks *), one can clearly see that, even in the beginning, the animals of Manor Farm were doomed. Ah, yes, doomed. And then comes the “Seven Commandments. ” 1 . Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. 2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. No animal shall wear clothes. 4. No animal shall sleep in a bed. 5. No animal shall drink alcohol. 6. No animal shall kill any other animal. Throughout the course of the book, the “commandments” are changed to suit the pigs’ needs. They are changed by Squealer in order to Justify the wrongdoings of Napoleon and his elite. The first change made is summarizing all of the commandments into one apothegm: Four legs good, two legs bad. The sheep take a particular liking to this phrase, and tend to bleat it out whenever possible. But, by the end of the story, this elected maxim of the farm is changed as well:
Four legs good, two legs better! Yet, apparently, this drastic change wasn’t enough. Throughout the rest of the story, 4 of the commandments are changed, Just to keep the pigs from looking wrong: 4. No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets. (due to the fact that the pigs take up residence in the farmhouse and sleep in the beds. But with blankets, not sheets, because blankets are so much different than sheets… ) 5. No animal shall drink alcohol to excess. (due to the adventures of Napoleon and whiskey, resulting in a terrible hangover the day after. ) 6. No animal shall kill any other animal without cause. U to Napoleon’s massacre of “traitors”) And, finally: All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. (this is finally the only thing on the barn wall) The fact that these “commandments” could be so easily altered shows Just how eager the animals were to believe that everything was okay. This is a common human hope. We all want everything to be okay. This leads back to the message of Animal Farm. Yes, it has yet another meaning: Everything will never be “okay,” no matter how hard you try to make it so. This puts Animal Farm in an entirely new, much more pessimistic light.