After the rebellion on Manor Farm and the banishment of Mr.Jones the animals set up seven guidelines in which to govern themselves by, known as the “Commandments”. All the animals on the farm help devise and inscribe them on the side of the barn to ensure their visibility to all. The pigs manipulation of these commandments to gain control over the other animals is an evidence of the power of language manipulation demonstrated in the novel. To begin, the pigs broke the commandment “Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy” and through the use of powerful speech justify their actions to the other animals. “Napoleon announced that he had decided upon a new policy. From now onwards Animal Farm would engage in trade with neighbouring farms: not of course, for any commercial purpose but simply in order to obtain certain materials which were urgently necessary.” (Orwell 42). The animals were in agreement that from the expulsion of Mr. Jones that Animal Farm would never communicate with anything that had two legs, primarily human beings. In order to gain more materials for building the windmill and financial revenue for themselves, the pigs made the decision to start selling eggs to a market in Willingdon. Though this is contradictory to what the animals originally put forth in the commandments the pigs persuade them that it was essential to their very existent to make some form of communication with the world around them. The other animals were quite skeptical of this proposal but the convincing mannerism in which the pigs argue their survival based on trade with humans brought unchallenged acceptable of their decision. Second, the pigs also alter the fourth commandment “No animals shall sleep in a bed” so they could live inside of Mr. Jones’ old house and when questioned by the other animals; the pigs re-interpret the commandment’s actual meaning. “You have heard, then comrades,’ he said, ‘that we pigs now sleep in the bed of the farmhouse? And why not? You did not suppose, surely, that there was ever a ruling against beds? A bed merely means a place to sleep in. A pile of straw in a stall is a bed, properly regarded. The rule was against sheets, which are a human invention.” (45- 46). Through the manipulation of language Squealer cleverly convinces the animals that a human bed is no different than that of an animal bed. He goes to justify his action by stating they sleep without sheets and therefore compile with the fourth commandment. Once again the animals are permissive to this because of the pigs’ careful use of words and ability to manipulate the meaning of the commandments in their favor. Finally, the power of language exploitation is demonstrated through the pigs disobeying and rewriting the sixth commandment, “No animal shall kill any other animal”. “Squealer read the commandment to the animals. It ran: “No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.’ Somehow or other the last two words had slipped out of the animals’ memory, argued Squealer “The commandment had not been violated; for clearly there was a good reason for killing the traitors who has leagued themselves with Snowball” (61). Once again the pigs have abhorred to the rules and then found means to justify their action through words. Carefully “stringing a web of lies” with their words, the pigs trick the other animals into believing that “without cause” had always been a part of the sixth commandment and the animals were foolish to ever question the intelligence of a pig. Elise Durham, book critic, supports this perspective by asserting, “The horrific execution that follows are in direct contradiction of the original sixth commandment, but due to the pigs’ cunning linguistic skills the killing of other animals by pigs went unpunished.”  However not only are the pigs’ ability to manipulate the often vague meanings of each commandment attributed to their power of language, but also their ability to convince the other animals of the presence of an evil force responsible for all the problems on the farm.
After the revolt on the farm, all major decision making was turned over to the most intelligent animals on the farm, the pigs and their leaders, Napoleon and Snowball. They often disagreed on many issues concerning the farm until Napoleon expelled Snowball from the farm via guard dogs and took control of the farm and it inhabitants. However even after the disappearance of Snowball, through the use of persuasive language the pigs still find a way to blame him for any misfortune the farm may encounter. To begin, the pigs blame Snowball for destroying the windmill in which the animals labored so long to build. “Comrades,” he said quietly, ‘do you know who is responsible for this? Do you know the enemy who has come in the night and overthrown our windmill? SNOWBALL! He suddenly roared in a voice of thunder” (47). It was clear that the terrible storm the night before could be attributed to the windmill being destroyed; however the pigs were able to persuade the animals, even in his absence that Snowball was responsible for its destruction. Christian Ballesteros, literary analyst, agrees with this agreement by stating, “A natural mishap would have been portrayed as an omen over their farm and ideology; however the idea of an evil presence working against the farm would only make the animals work more diligently and look for guidance from their all-knowing leaders, the pigs.” Next, the pigs convince the animals that their terrible crop season is because of Snowball. “The wheat crop was full of weeds, and Squealer had somehow discovered that on one of his nocturnal visits Snowball has mixed weed seeds with the seed corn.” (65). In reality the farm is suffering from disorganization and the corruption of the pigs hording profits for alcohol, which resulted in no wheat seeds being bought. Instead of explaining this otherwise selfish behavior to the other animals, the pigs convince them that their “perfect” harvest was being deliberately afflicted by Snowball. To protect their own interests in money and power, the pigs misinform the other animals with persuasive speeches to prevent them from revolting against their control and creating the illusion that the farm is still successful. Finally, after the Battle of the Cowshed, the pigs discredit Snowball of his medal, Animal Hero, First Class, for fighting bravely during the battle. “The animals now also learned that Snowball has never- as many of them believed hitherto- received the order of ‘Animal Hero, First Class’ (65). Before his expulsion the animals regarded Snowball as both a scholar and a gentleman and had grown skeptical about many terrible accusations which were insinuated him. Through the propaganda ability of Squealer and the other pigs, they were able to persuade the animals that Snowball had never received “Animal Hero, First Class” which had made him famous and admired by all. Through discrediting this award from Snowball the pigs successfully removed any association of Snowball with a hero and could therefore use him a “scape goat” for any problems without questioning from the other animals. Though the pigs’ blatant abuse on the behalf of Snowball’s name went unnoticed, an even greater manipulation of other situations by the pigs proved to only be possible due to their wit and verbal communication to create the illusion of their integrity and selflessness.
Throughout the novel, the animals are plagued with numerous problems when attempting to run their own ostracized farm. The pigs however, often find ways for themselves to benefit from the peril of the other animals but through the command of language create the illusion of altruistic and virtuous behavior on their behalf. First, the pigs convince the animals that Napoleon’s new dictatorship was not something Napoleon wanted, but was essential for the survival of the farm. “Comrades,” he said, “I trust that every animal here appreciates the sacrifice that Comrade Napoleon has made in taking this extra labour upon himself. Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure! On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility” (37). Though Napoleon’s new position has given him all the wealth and control of the farm the pigs have disguised this with arguments of works and pressure which Napoleon must endure. Angelo Christonea, college English professor, supports this view by convincingly arguing, “Napoleon’s ascension as a dictator is clearly a selfish move to elevate the pigs’ standard of living on the farm but through the use of rhetoric made to appear as a noble act.” Second, the pigs deceived the animals about their contributions toward Boxer’s murder to appear innocent and benevolent.
“It had come to his knowledge, he said, that a foolish and wicked rumour had been circulated at the time of Boxer’s removal. Some of the animals had noticed that the van which took Boxer away was marked ‘Horse Slaughterer,…….It was almost unbelievable, said Squealers, that any animal could be so stupid. Surely, he cried indignantly, whisking his tail and skipping from side to side, surely they knew their beloved Leader, Comrade Napoleon, better than that! Squealer went on to give further graphic details of Boxer’s death- bed, the admirable care he had received and the expensive medicines for which Napoleon had paid without a thought as to the cost…..” (84).
The pigs indecent regard for their fallen comrade and shameful disposal of him would have appalled the other animals. However Squealer’s clever speech and storytelling left the animals astonished by Napoleon’s apparent heroic actions. Finally, the pigs assert their selfish hording of the extra apple and milk ratios are essential to the farm’s prosperity.
“Comrades!” he cried “You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milks and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well- being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples. (. 23).
The withholding of these extra ratios is a perfect example of the pigs’ selfish intentions and corruption from the very beginning. Their manipulation of language creates the appearance that the pigs only require the extra ratios to make the farm a better place for all; however this is far from the truth. They have through words convinced the other animals of their need for the apples and milk due to their “excess intelligence” as to not comprise their appearance of innocent and altruism.
In conclusion, Animal Farm, provides a very important lesson for all who read it. It shows that the true intent of some can often be shrouded with clever rhetoric and captivating speech, often leading the masses into confusion and vulnerability. Although the characters in the novel were animals and could be considered unintelligent, the novel conveys that we humans are no better when it comes to exploiting one another with the power of words, “As we starred through the window it was no question now. The animals outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which” (95).
 Durham, Elise. “The Seven Commandments of Animal Farm.” 123HelpMe. 2000. 17 Dec 2008 <http://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=15455>.
 Ballesteros, Christian. “Animal Farm Essay.” Literature Network Forums. 2005. 17 Dec 2008 <http://www.online-literature.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9049>.
 Christonea, Angelo . “Absolute Power in “Animal Farm”.” Book Rags. 12 09 2005. 16 Dec 2008 <http://www.bookrags.com/essay-2005/8/1/225342/5601>.
Animal Farm begins on Manor Farm in England. After Mr. Jones, the neglectful owner of the farm, has drunkenly shut the animals away and gone to sleep, the animals all assemble in the barn to hear a respected boar named Old Major speak. Old Major proceeds to share his dream of a world without men, one ruled by animals. He points out that all of the suffering endured by the animals is the result of man. Mr. Jones forces the animals to work too hard and then steals the products of their labor. Furthermore, the animals all know that Mr. Jones does not value their lives and will mercilessly slaughter each and every one of them once they have outlived their usefulness. Old Major tells the animals that their lives would be much better if they could overthrow man and find freedom. He cautions them, however, that if they should ever overthrow their human masters, they must take precautions against acting like humans themselves and should remember to treat all animals as equals.
Three days later, Old Major dies and the animals begin to prepare for the rebellion. The preparations are led by the pigs, who are the cleverest animals on the farm. Two pigs in particular—Snowball and Napoleon—take on leadership roles and are aided by Squealer, an extremely persuasive pig. The pigs turn Old Major’s speech into a philosophy, which they call “Animalism.” They then hold weekly meetings to teach the rest of the animals about Animalism, though they find the animals are easily distracted by Moses, a raven who likes to tell the animals about a place called Sugarcandy Mountain where animals go when they die. The rebellion comes sooner than expected when Mr. Jones forgets to feed the animals and then attacks them when he sees them helping themselves. Incensed, the animals drive Mr. Jones and his men off the farm and take over, changing the name to Animal Farm. The pigs paint the principles of Animalism on the barn wall. There are seven commandments in total, and each one comes from Old Major’s speech to the animals.
1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
3. No animal shall wear clothes.
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
7. All animals are equal.
The animals are eager to prove themselves a success and complete the harvest more quickly and efficiently than their former human master could ever have done. Most of the animals believe strongly in Animalism and work very hard to do their part for the farm. However, there are troubling indicators that not all the animals are being treated equally. The pigs, being the cleverest of the animals, quickly become the permanent leaders of the farm. Despite the fact that they supervise the farm work instead of performing any labor themselves, the pigs begin claiming extra rations in the form of milk and apples. This seemingly unequal treatment is easily explained away by Squealer, who warns the animals that Mr. Jones might return if the pigs are not given what they need to run the farm successfully. Soon after, Mr. Jones really does return in an effort to recapture the farm. Snowball has been studying military tactics and successfully commands the animals to victory in what the animals later call the “Battle of Cowshed.”
As time goes by, the pigs remain in a leadership position, though the other animals still vote to approve or reject the resolutions submitted by the pigs during weekly Sunday meetings. A power struggle begins to emerge between Snowball and Napoleon, who disagree on nearly everything. While Snowball is an enthusiastic and persuasive orator, Napoleon is better at gaining support behind the scenes. Snowball tries to engage the animals by organizing them into committees and teaching them to read, while Napoleon focuses on the education of the youth, taking nine newborn puppies up to a loft to be personally educated by himself. Snowball and Napoleon’s greatest disagreement is over Snowball’s plan for a windmill. Snowball argues that the windmill would generate electricity that could then be used to heat the animals’ stalls and make their workload lighter. Napoleon argues that the animals will starve if they neglect their farming to focus on a windmill. Though the farm is initially divided, by the time the animals are preparing to cast their final votes, it is clear that Snowball’s passionate speech in favor of the windmill has won them over. Just before the vote, however, Napoleon gives a signal and nine ferocious dogs (the now grown-up puppies) attack Snowball and chase him off the farm. Napoleon addresses the shocked animals and announces that the Sunday meetings are abolished. Farm policy will now be decided by a committee of pigs, over whom he will preside. In an about-face, Napoleon soon announces that they will begin construction on the windmill. Squealer tells the animals that it was originally Napoleon’s idea—Snowball, he says, stole it.
After Napoleon takes power, the quality of life on the farm begins to deteriorate. Building the windmill is grueling work, and the animals are given fewer and fewer rations. When Napoleon announces that he will begin conducting business with the neighboring human farms, the animals are uneasy, but they are convinced by Squealer that there was never an actual rule against trade. The pigs move in to the farmhouse and justify their actions by rewriting the commandment against sleeping in a bed to read “No animals shall sleep in a bed with sheets,” though they convince the rest of the farm that it always said that. The pigs lead a smear campaign against Snowball, who they claim was a criminal working to secretly undermine the farm. Bad events on the farm are routinely attributed to Snowball’s machinations, and when the half-constructed windmill is destroyed in a windstorm, Napoleon is quick to blame the absent pig.
The animals begin the difficult work of rebuilding the windmill, though they are now nearly starving. The hens begin a small rebellion when Napoleon tries to sell their eggs, but they are soon defeated. In the spring, Napoleon calls a meeting in which multiple animals come forward and publicly confess to various crimes. They are immediately executed by Napoleon’s dogs. Disturbed and frightened, the animals look for the commandment against killing animals but find that it now reads “No animal shall kill any other animals without cause.” Meanwhile, Napoleon takes great pains to conceal the failure of the farm from the neighboring humans and begins negotiating a deal to sell some timber to either Mr. Frederick or Mr. Pilkington. After using Mr. Pilkington to drive up the price, Napoleon sells to Mr. Frederick. He is outraged, however, to discover that Mr. Frederick paid him with fake banknotes. The next morning, Mr. Frederick and his men attack the farm and blow up the windmill. Soon after, the pigs discover a case of whiskey in the farmhouse, and the commandment “No animal shall drink alcohol” is secretly changed to “No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.”
As the animals work to rebuild the windmill for the third time, no animal works harder than Boxer, a loyal horse. Though Boxer is nearing retirement age, he does not slow down, wanting to contribute what he can before he retires. Meanwhile, the preferential treatment the pigs grant themselves only grows more obvious. Piglets are discouraged from playing with other young animals, and it is decreed that any animals meeting a pig on a path must step aside. Though the animals remain tired and hungry, Squealer continually announces that the farm is more productive and successful than ever. As the animals no longer clearly remember what life was like under Mr. Jones, they have no way of disputing the pigs’ claims that things are now better. One day, Boxer collapses while working on the windmill. The pigs tell the animals that they are sending Boxer to an animal hospital, but Benjamin, a donkey, sees that the van taking Boxer away is labeled “Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler.” Horrified, the animals rush after the van but are unable to free Boxer. Three days later, the pigs announce that Boxer died at the hospital. They shut down the “rumors” about the van by explaining that the veterinarian had recently purchased it and not yet repainted the outside.
As the years pass, many of the animals on the farm grow old and die; there are only a few left who remember the days before the rebellion. Though the animals’ lives are hard, they still take pride in being an animal-run farm. One day, however, the animals are shocked to see that the pigs have learned to walk on two legs. When they return to the barn, a couple of the older animals notice that the wall where the commandments once were now just reads “ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.” As the weeks pass, the pigs continue to walk on two legs and even begin wearing human clothes that they find in the farmhouse. A week later, Napoleon invites several humans, including Mr. Pilkington, to visit the farm. The men tour the farm and commend Napoleon for making the animals work so hard for so little food. Later that night, the animals watch through a farmhouse window as the pigs play cards with the men. Napoleon gets up and announces that Animal Farm will be reverting to its “correct and original” name, Manor Farm. As the animals look through the window, they suddenly realize that they can no longer tell the difference between the men and the pigs.