Old Major's speech in Animal Farm
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- Découvrir un aspect de la thématique d'étude l'art du débat
- Approfondir ses connaissances sur le roman de George Orwell, La Ferme des animaux
- La Ferme des animaux (Animal Farm) est un roman allégorique écrit par George Orwell, dans lequel un groupe d'animaux veut se rebeller contre le fermier considéré comme un oppresseur
- Leur but est d'établir une nouvelle société où chacun serait libre et où l'égalité serait règle, ainsi qu'un système d'autogestion dans la ferme.
- Le sanglier, Old Major, instille en eux l'esprit de révolution en leur tenant un discours emprunt d'idéaux socialistes. Cet animal est une combinaison de l'hommes politique russe Lénine et du sociologue et économiste allemand Marx.
Animal Farm is an allegorical novella
written by George Orwell and published
in 1945. It deals with a group of farm animals
who want to create a new type of society where the
animals would get rid of their terrible condition to be
equal, free and happy at last. Consequently, they decide
to rebel against Mr. Jones, the owner of the farm, but
the rebellion fails and ends up in a state as bad as it was
before, under the dictatorship of a pig
named Napoleon, the main villain of the farm.
Among the characters is Old Major, a wise aged exalted boar, who instills the principles of revolution in the farm.
As we can easily understand as the story develops, Old Major is both a combination of Marx and Lenin. He is wise and learned but he is also well-respected on the farm. But he is old and he knows he is going to die. Therefore, he wants to pass on his knowledge and wisdom to the rest of the group. So he organizes a meeting and tells his friends what he has imagined for them as the situation on the farm cannot continue this way. Moreover, he has had a dream in which Man had disappeared and, as a consequence, the world was far better.
During his speech which takes place in the first chapter of the book, Old Major explains that animals are “miserable” and their life is “short” because Man has decided it. To him, Man is an animal who “consumes without producing”, he is also cruel and tyrannical. So, he must be overthrown for the sake of their democracy which he intends to establish:
When Mr. Jones, the alcoholic farmer considered as the human oppressor, is overthrown they will be able to run the farm themselves.
To excite his audience, Old Major teaches them a song his mother used to sing when he was young, a song called Beasts of England. It is a revolutionary song as the following verses imply:
Soon or late the day is coming,
Tyrant Man shall be o'erthrown,
And the fruitful fields of England
Shall be trod by beasts alone.
The song, which corresponds to
The Internationale, soon becomes
their anthem. Now, they can envisage a rebellion.
By motivating his friends to take action and by developing socialist ideas, we can assimilate Old Major to Karl Marx and Vladimir Ilitch Lenin whose views greatly inspired their followers.
They condemned the alienation and exploitation of labor under capitalism because it was degrading, and they wanted the proletariat to rise up and seize the means of production from their capitalist masters.
They rejected fascism, imperialism, and capitalism.
We must acknowledge that Old Major’s speech is well organized as it is centered on five essential points:
- The miserable life of the animals
- The abundance of resources on the farm
- The responsibility of Man for their condition
- Rebelling against their oppressor is the solution
- Animals must be unified to win
Old Major's speech is very important because it raises awareness about the animals’ condition on the farm. It is also of course educational and inspiring. Thanks to his speech, Old Major manages to instill the notion of rebellion in the minds of the other animals. For the first time, they become aware that Man is the real enemy and they the victims of his oppression. Old Major’s speech makes him the leader of the movement.
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