Animal Farm

Old Major’s Speech: A Rhetorical Analysis 10th Grade

Animal Farm, a book by George Orwell, begins with a leader, an old, wise boar that delivers a speech after their tyrant owner, Mr. Jones, goes to sleep. He speaks about how the animals are oppressed at the farm, and allows them to see how badly they are treated. Old Major is in favor of a rebellion, and although he knows that he will die soon, he wanted to spread his ideas, later named Animalism, before he passed. During Old Major’s speech, the animals felt inspired, and they listened attentively before they all broke out singing “Beasts of England.” What got the animals to come and listen to Old Major was his wisdom, age, and the respect that he received from the animals on the farm; however, what made them listen was his skills in making a speech. He uses many effective rhetorical devices that give his speech more character, and to make it something worth listening to. In Old Major’s speech he uses repetition and rhetorical questions in order to emphasize the animals’ mistreatment and to get them to follow his ideas.

Throughout Old Major’s speech, he repeats words and phrases such as “comrades” and “all animals in England.” Both of these give the animals a sense of belonging, as he is not only addressing some animals...

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