Squealer’s speech : the power of words

mardi 8 octobre 2019
par agnesueur

JPEG - 182.2 ko

- In the extract " Napoleon’s coup", pick up the rhetorical elements that Squealer uses to persuade the other animals.

- Recap the figures of speech used and their effect on the audience.

Afterwards Squealer was sent round the farm to explain the new arrangement to the others.
"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. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be ? Suppose you had decided to follow Snowball, with his moonshine of windmills−Snowball, who, as we now know, was no better than a criminal ?"
"He fought bravely at the Battle of the Cowshed," said somebody. "Bravery is not enough," said Squealer. "Loyalty and obedience are more important. And as to the Battle of the Cowshed, I believe the time will come when we shall find that Snowball’s part in it was much exaggerated. Discipline, comrades, iron discipline ! That is the watchword for today. One false step, and our enemies would be upon us. Surely, comrades, you do not want Jones back ?".
Once again this argument was unanswerable. Certainly the animals did not want Jones back ; if the holding of debates on Sunday mornings was liable to bring him back, then the debates must stop.
Boxer, who had now had time to think things over, voiced the general feeling by saying : "If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right." And from then on he adopted the maxim, "Napoleon is always right," in addition to his private motto of "I will work harder."

A few figures of speech


for now... and future use ;)

Alliteration
Alliteration is the repetition of the beginning sounds of neighboring words.
-  We wonder why the world whimpers. Nous nous demandons pourquoi le monde geint.

Antiphrasis
Antiphrasis is a figurative speech in which a phrase or word is employed in a way that is opposite or literal to its meaning, in order to create an ironic or comic effect.

Anaphora
Anaphora is a technique where several phrases or verses begin with the same word or words.
-  I came, I saw, I conquered. - Julius Caesar
-  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. - A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
-  With malice toward none ; with charity for all ; with firmness in the right. - Abraham Lincoln
-  We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end... we shall never surrender. - Winston Churchill

Assonance
Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds (not just letters) in words that are close together. The sounds don’t have to be at the beginning of the word.
-  A - For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore. (Poe)
-  E - Therefore, all seasons shall be sweet to thee. (Coleridge)
-  I - From what I’ve tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire. (Frost)
-  O - Oh hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn. (Wordsworth)
-  U - Uncertain rustling of each purple curtain (Poe)

Euphemism
Euphemism is a mild, indirect, or vague term that often substitutes a harsh, blunt, or offensive term.
-  ’A little thin on top’ instead of ’going bald.’ Devenir chauve
-  ’Fell of the back of a truck’ instead of ’stolen.’ Tombé du camion
-  ’Letting you go’ instead of ’firing you.’ Laisser partir au lieu de virer
-  ’Passed away’ instead of ’died.’ ‘parti’ au lieu de ‘mort’

Hyperbole
Hyperbole uses exaggeration for emphasis or effect.
-  I’ve told you to stop a thousand times.
-  That must have cost a billion dollars.
-  I could do this forever.

Irony
Irony occurs when there’s a marked contrast between what is said and what is meant, or between appearance and reality. Examples include :
-  "How nice !" she said, when I told her I had to work all weekend. (Verbal irony)
-  Naming a tiny Chihuahua Brutus. (Verbal irony)
-  When the audience knows the killer is hiding in a closet in a scary movie, but the actors do not. (Dramatic irony)

Metaphor
A metaphor makes a comparison between two unlike things or ideas.
-  Heart of stone
-  Time is money
-  The world is a stage
-  She’s a night owl
-  He’s an ogre

Onomatopoeia
Onomatopoeia is the term for a word that sounds like what it is describing.
-  Whoosh
-  Buzz
-  Click
-  Bang

Oxymoron
An oxymoron is two contradictory terms used together.
-  Peace force
-  Jumbo shrimp
-  Sweet sorrow
-  Free market

Personification
Personification gives human qualities to non-living things or ideas.
-  The flowers nodded.
-  The snowflakes danced.
-  The thunder grumbled.
-  The fog crept in.
-  The wind howled.

Simile
A simile is a comparison between two unlike things using the words "like" or "as."
-  As slippery as an eel
-  Like peas in a pod
-  As blind as a bat
-  Eats like a pig
-  As wise as an owl

Synecdoche
Synecdoche occurs when a part is represented by the whole or, conversely, the whole is represented by the part.
-  Wheels - a car
-  The police - one policeman
-  Plastic - credit cards
-  Coke - any cola drink
-  Hired hands – workers

Understatement An understatement occurs when something is said to make something appear less important or less serious.
-  It’s just a scratch - referring to a large dent.
-  It’s a litttle dry and sandy - referring to the driest desert in the world.
-  The weather is cooler today - referring to sub-zero temperatures.
-  It was interesting - referring to a bad or difficult experience.
-  It stings a bit - referring to a serious wound or injury.


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