ELTHAM HIGH SCHOOL ANTHOLOGY
Old Major Speech Analysis
In response to Farmer Jones’ continuous mistreatment of the animals of Manor Farm, Old Major presents a speech demonstrating that “all men are enemies”. Throughout this speech, Major clearly outlines the need for a rebellion against the human race. The majority of Old Major’s speech has a pessimistic tone, although at the midpoint of the speech Major’s tone changes to optimism. This speech is mainly directed towards the animals of Manor Farm as the solution proposed within the speech involves their cooperation.
Many times throughout the speech, Old Major alludes to the fact that “the soil of England is fertile”, and that the animals “could become rich and free” overnight. Major instils a sense of hope and optimism by showing that the animals have a possibility of living happy and healthy lives outside of Manor Farm. These hints are what begin to suggest a rebellion. Old Major used these phrases to give Manor Farm a sense of hope and to reinforce his ideas of a rebellion. Old Major makes the present animals think about the prospect of a rebellion and how it will impact their lives. He highlights how miserable the animals’ current lives are, and underscores how everything would be better if man was removed “from the scene”.
Old Major’s second argument in this speech is a description of the current and end result of the animals’ lives on Manor Farm. Throughout the speech, he highlights the effects of Mr. Jones’ cruel actions on the animals’ health. Major shows how “no animal in England is free”, which makes the farm animals feel less targeted. Even with this suggestion of a rebellion, Old Major enlightens how the animals will be “slaughtered with hideous cruelty” once Mr. Jones has no use for them. Old Major also mentions how humans kill animals with their “cruel…[knives]” suggesting that humans are willing to kill animals themselves. Major portrays humans as villains towards animals as a result of his multiple statements regarding the cruel and careless actions of humans. As a whole, all of Old Major’s statements regarding the actions of humans solidify his idea of a rebellion against Farmer Jones.
In conclusion, Old Major clearly demonstrates the cruel and careless actions of Mr. Jones and the need for a rebellion. Many times throughout the speech, Old Major instils a sense of optimism within the farm animals of Manor Farm. As a result of Old Major’s accurate depictions of the human beings, he makes all the farm animals agree on the prospect of a rebellion.