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Analysis of Old Major's Speech in Animal Farm Essay


In this paper, I will be discussing and analysing the different persuasive techniques in the speech by the Old Major at the beginning of Animal Farm.

One persuasive technique that the Old Major uses in the speech to familiarise with Karl Marx is the use of a rhetorical question Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? the use of a rhetorical question creates a influential or powerful device in the question, a rhetorical question appears very simple and innocent however it works very persuasively to involve the audience it is being said to along with the readers, the Old Major ensured he uses a rhetorical question at the beginning of the speech so that the audience can enjoy being engaged in a conversation by being asked a question, a rhetorical quesiton also gets the audience thinking in depth about the question therefore the Old Major intentionally used it at the beginning so that the audience are already thinking about the purpose of the speech before he went on in depth about the circumstances the animals are facing, and the aim of the speech.

Another persuasive technique used by the Old Major in the speech is when the Old Major uses the technique of opinion as fact, The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth this technique makes the phrase appear very persuasive as the Old Major presents it as a fact, not an opinion therefore making the audience and readers see it as a fact and not a opinion which can be changed, presenting an opinion as a fact helps persuade the audience to a certain mindset and pulls the audience to your view, therefore persuading them to think the same as you and see your opinion as the truth, and not a baseless opinion.

The Old Major uses many different persuasive techniques to resemble the characterstic traits of Karl Marx, one persuasive technique that resembles Karl Marxs ways is triples that the Old Major uses in the speech, No animal in England knows the meaning of happiness or leisure after he is a year old, no animal in England is free this technique is usually used to repeat an idea more than once, usually in slightly a different way but generally to get a message across loud and clear by repeating it more than once, to get it in the audiences heads so they can go over the message and think about in depth.

Triples also come to use if the audience have missed out on the first message, therefore the repetition of the message helps them understand the message in case they didnt the first time, triples helps the audience become one sided and favour the speaker it also turns the audience not only persuaded but biased also.

In conclusion, I have analysed the techniques the Old Major uses in his speech and the way he has managed to persuade the animals and bring them to his point of view and mindset, the Old Major has been successful in his speech due to the fact after this speech all the animals had been persuaded to fight for their rights and not let their lives continue to be miserable and full of slavery and hardships, the Old Majors speech could also be considered or looked at as a proposal to a solution of the animals desperate plight on the Farm, he inspires them to the thought of rebellion against their unfair circumstances, the Old Majors speech proves to be successful after his death three days later as the animals dont automatically forget the purpose and importance of his speech but however set to work immediately and bring on the proposal of rebellion, this suggests that the speech really awakened the minds of the animals and made them see for themselves the hardships they face daily on the farm, this is due to the successful persuasive techniques the Old Major uses because if he hadnt have used those techniques after his demise the animals wouldve quickly forgotten about the speech and continued to live the hard life they live on the farm, therefore this together sums up the success of the Old Majors speech and the importance the persuasive techniques he used had in the inspiration of the animals after the speech.

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