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Examples of Dramatic Irony in Animal Farm

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Words: 732 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Words: 732|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Boxer's Fate
  2. The Changing of the Commandments
  3. Conclusion
  4. Bibliography

Animal Farm, written by George Orwell, is a political allegory that satirizes the events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Stalinist era that followed. In this novel, Orwell employs dramatic irony to expose the hypocrisy and corruption of those in power. Dramatic irony occurs when the audience or reader knows something that the characters do not, creating tension and adding depth to the narrative. Throughout Animal Farm, Orwell skillfully uses dramatic irony to highlight the gap between the ideals of the revolution and the reality of totalitarianism. This essay will explore several instances of dramatic irony in Animal Farm, demonstrating how they contribute to the overall themes and message of the novel.

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One of the most significant examples of dramatic irony in Animal Farm is the unveiling of the Seven Commandments. After the animals revolt against their human oppressors, they create a set of commandments to govern their newly established society. The commandments, prominently displayed on the side of the barn, represent the principles of Animalism, the animals' guiding ideology. However, as the story progresses, the pigs, led by Napoleon and Snowball, manipulate and alter the commandments to consolidate their power. The dramatic irony lies in the fact that the animals are unaware of these changes, but the readers are privy to them.

For instance, the original commandment "All animals are equal" is gradually modified to "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." This alteration highlights the pigs' hypocrisy and their transition from revolutionary comrades to oppressive rulers. The dramatic irony serves to emphasize the widening gap between the animals' initial aspirations for equality and the reality of a corrupt and exploitative system. Orwell uses this irony to critique the betrayal of the revolution's ideals and the manipulation of language for political gain.

Boxer's Fate

Another example of dramatic irony in Animal Farm is the fate of Boxer, the loyal and hardworking horse. Boxer is admired by the other animals for his unwavering dedication to the cause, as symbolized by his motto, "I will work harder." However, the reader is aware that Boxer's loyalty is being exploited by the pigs, who plan to sell him to a glue factory for profit. Despite Boxer's belief that he will be retired to a peaceful pasture, the reader understands the cruel reality that awaits him.

This dramatic irony serves to expose the pigs' disregard for the well-being of their fellow animals and their willingness to sacrifice them for personal gain. It also highlights the gullibility of the other animals, who remain ignorant of Boxer's impending fate. Through this example, Orwell critiques the abuse of power and the manipulation of the working class by the ruling elite. The reader is left with a sense of unease and a deeper understanding of the pigs' true intentions.

The Changing of the Commandments

A final example of dramatic irony in Animal Farm is the changing of the commandments without the animals' knowledge. As Napoleon consolidates his power, he gradually alters the commandments to justify his actions and maintain control over the other animals. The reader witnesses this manipulation, but the animals remain oblivious to the changes.

For instance, the commandment "No animal shall sleep in a bed" is modified to "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets." This alteration allows the pigs to justify their own luxurious lifestyle while the other animals continue to endure hardship. The dramatic irony lies in the fact that the animals are unaware of the commandments' modifications, exposing their naivety and blind obedience. Orwell uses this irony to highlight the dangers of unquestioning loyalty and the ease with which those in power can manipulate and control the narrative.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Animal Farm is replete with examples of dramatic irony that expose the hypocrisy and corruption of those in power. Through the unveiling of the Seven Commandments, the fate of Boxer, and the changing of the commandments, Orwell effectively employs this literary device to criticize the betrayal of revolutionary ideals and the manipulation of language for political gain. The dramatic irony adds depth and tension to the narrative, allowing the reader to gain a deeper understanding of the novel's themes and message. By exposing the gap between the animals' aspirations for equality and the reality of totalitarianism, Animal Farm serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked power and the suppression of individual freedom.

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Bibliography

Orwell, George. Animal Farm. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1946.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Examples of Dramatic Irony in Animal Farm. (2024, Jun 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/examples-of-dramatic-irony-in-animal-farm/
“Examples of Dramatic Irony in Animal Farm.” GradesFixer, 14 Jun. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/examples-of-dramatic-irony-in-animal-farm/
Examples of Dramatic Irony in Animal Farm. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/examples-of-dramatic-irony-in-animal-farm/> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Examples of Dramatic Irony in Animal Farm [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 14 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/examples-of-dramatic-irony-in-animal-farm/
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