How Does Orwell Use Satire in Animal Farm

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4 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Words: 661|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

In George Orwell's Animal Farm, satire is employed to effectively convey the author's message about the corrupting nature of power and the dangers of totalitarianism. Through the use of allegory and various satirical techniques, Orwell exposes the hypocrisy and manipulation that can arise in political systems. This essay will analyze how Orwell uses satire to achieve his purpose in this passage, focusing on the themes of power, propaganda, and the manipulation of language.
Orwell employs satire to highlight the corrupting nature of power in Animal Farm. The character of Napoleon, a symbol for Joseph Stalin, is a prime example of this. Through satire, Orwell exposes the hypocrisy and manipulation that can occur when leaders in positions of power prioritize their own interests over the well-being of the community. For instance, in the passage where Napoleon seizes the puppies and trains them to become his personal guard, Orwell satirizes the way in which dictators surround themselves with loyal followers to maintain control. This is evident when Orwell writes, "Napoleon took no interest in Snowball's committees. He said that the education of the young was more important than anything that could be done for those who were already grown up" (Orwell, 63). This statement is a satirical critique of Stalin's disregard for the opinions and contributions of others, as well as his manipulation of the younger generation for his own gain.

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Furthermore, Orwell uses satire to expose the manipulation of language as a tool for control and propaganda. The character of Squealer, who represents the Soviet Union's propaganda machine, is an embodiment of this theme. Squealer's ability to manipulate language allows him to justify the pigs' actions and maintain their power over the other animals. In one instance, after the pigs change the commandment "No animal shall sleep in a bed" to "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets," Squealer explains the alteration by saying, "You would not rob us of our repose, would you?" (Orwell, 36). This satirical use of language highlights how those in power can twist words to deceive and manipulate the masses. Through this satirical critique, Orwell emphasizes the importance of questioning the language used by those in authority and being vigilant against the manipulation of words.

In addition to power and propaganda, satire is also used by Orwell to criticize the flaws and hypocrisy of the ruling class. The pigs, who represent the ruling elite, are portrayed as the main beneficiaries of the revolution, despite their initial claims of equality. Through satire, Orwell exposes the pigs' hypocrisy and their gradual transformation into the very oppressors they sought to overthrow. This is evident in the passage where the pigs begin to walk on two legs, a direct violation of the commandment "No animal shall wear clothes." Orwell writes, "It was a pig walking on his hind legs. Yes, it was Squealer. A little awkwardly, as though not quite used to supporting his considerable bulk in that position, but with perfect balance, he was strolling across the yard" (Orwell, 93). This satirical portrayal of the pigs walking on two legs satirizes their betrayal of the principles they initially espoused, as well as their gradual transformation into human-like oppressors. Through this satire, Orwell warns against the dangers of power and the potential for corruption even within revolutions that seek to establish equality.

In Animal Farm, George Orwell effectively utilizes satire to achieve his purpose of exposing the corrupting nature of power and the dangers of totalitarianism. Through the use of allegory and various satirical techniques, Orwell critiques the manipulation of language, the propagation of propaganda, and the hypocrisy of the ruling class. By satirizing these themes, Orwell prompts readers to question the actions and motives of those in positions of power. The satirical elements in Animal Farm serve as a powerful tool for highlighting the flaws and dangers inherent in political systems, urging readers to be vigilant against manipulation and to strive for true equality and freedom.


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Orwell, George. Animal Farm. Penguin Books, 2008.

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How Does Orwell Use Satire In Animal Farm. (2024, Jun 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
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