In this extract from the book, animal farm, by George Orwell describes how one of the ruling elite ‘top gun’ pigs, specifically the one which acted as a go-between for news between the pigs and the rest of the animals named squealer announces the death of Boxer. In so doing, he dispels all fears about a ‘vicious rumour’ that had been circulated that Boxer had not died peacefully in a hospital in some far away land but rather been slaughtered at the glue factory, at least the words ‘Knackers and Glue Factory’ on the side of the van in which he was taken away in would suggest. This happens towards the end of the novella as the pigs have really started exploiting the rest of the animals and disrespecting the traditional laws of animalism.
As the pigs adopt these human traits this will lead as a sort of turning point in the book as before, mere favouritism towards the pigs was something that may have been perceived as innocuous-the act of killing another animal in cold blood and not just any animal but one of the most faithful not to mention diligent animals; the work-horse Boxer was before even below the lowest acts that the pigs that the pigs would have performed and marks a crucial change in mindset of the pigs as they realise just how much they can get away with and decide to all but completely abandon any former sense of ethics. The characters involved in this scene include most prominently the figure of Boxer and Squealer and then the supporting roles of Napoleon and the rest of the farmyard animals. Squealer gives a characteristically brilliant and convincing monologue to the murmurs and general agreement of the other animals: it is this particularly one-sided and completely false yet idealistic view that this portrayed in this scene.
Evidently Squealer manipulates the animals with his appeal to emotion with his crocodile tears (line 4), and the deeply moving imagery of boxer laying in his death-bed. I suppose, Squealer’s words are also intended to evoke a deep sense of empathy and chimerical joy for Boxer’s unfailing loyalty as Squealer describes Boxer’s last words as including ‘Long live Animal Farm’ (lines 9-11). An appeal to emotion is also made with lines 21-23 describing the extraordinary care given to Boxer and expensive medicines that Napoleon paid for ‘without a thought as to their cost’. Orwell is intelligent in his use of the narrative voice to describe Squealers sudden change of demeanour suggesting some of the superficiality of his emotionally-charge words. Squealer appeals to the animals’ better judgement as he calls on their knowledge of their ‘beloved leader, Comrade Napoleon’ as not being capable of such a dastardly deed: perhaps the bare reason that the animals could not simply fathom the kind of depth of corruption that such a deception in this instance on the part of Squealer would implicate. The sense of sound is appealed to with Boxer’s whispered words although the extract goes on to state that ‘Squealer went on to give further graphic details of Boxer’s death-bed’.
The explanation is elegant, well told and altogether eloquent and balances the other two section about the forlorn Boxer in his dying moments perfectly like the minor middle section of an otherwise major musical piece of the form ABA. Orwell is instrument in describing the gullibility and the transformation that takes place, just one part of a larger transformation that takes place over the course of the book which sees the pigs act advantageously to the cost of the animals overall well-being. Under the guidance of ‘Comrade Napoleon’, after the rebellion at the farm over the humans, with the elimination of any competition (that is, Snowball, a rival pig with more egalitarian ideas), the story takes on a vaudeville sense of irony even comedy as time and time again the animals are conned into believing that all the animals were equal and treated thus not unlike in a children’s book were the plot complication usually consists of a number of quite simple usually repetitive events that build up to the ultimate resolution. After all, Orwell described the novella as a fable in the unpublished preface to the first edition of the novella and, in my opinion, as with any fable there are great stories to be told and often painful lessons to be learnt, the book could be called a dissertation of the most fundamental human drive that being greed.