The three main types of irony, dramatic, situational and verbal are all used in this passage as well as throughout the rest of this book. Something ironic that the reader notices but the character in the book doesn’t is when, in the first passage, Squealer takes the sheep to another paddock, where they can’t contact the other animals, to teach them a song, ‘for which privacy was needed’ (pg. 75). This first part corresponds with the paragraph where the sheep start singing ‘four legs good, two legs better’ (pg. 76). Evidently, the ‘song’ that Squealer was teaching the sheep was this repeated phrase which the propagandist uses to prevent the public from protesting. This is apparent when we see the line just before the sheep start chanting, ‘as if on a signal’ (pg. 76). In other words Squealer made a signal indicating to the sheep to start chanting the phrase that Squealer had taught them, using this to silence dissent. Sheep are stereotypically seen as being animals that follow others and follow blindly, without objection. We see why Squealer chose the sheep over the other animals and how they are realistically represented as it quotes ‘especially successful with the sheep’ (pg. 28) implying that the sheep are easily manipulated animals. They represent the masses who are easily swayed by the
mainstream opinion and are used as tools to help influence others like puppets on a string. When we apply this knowledge we begin to realise how easy it is for the propagandist (Squealer) to influence doubtful supporters.
At the beginning of the book when animalism begins to form and the Ten Commandments are written, it is stated that everything that walks on two legs is an enemy. However, this is verbally ironic because later on in the book in chapter 10, the pigs are seen walking on two legs as they begin to adopt the traits of those they denounce. One can see from this that the transition from hating everything human to embracing human ways such as walking on two legs and as mentioned later on, drinking alcohol and sleeping in beds. It is ironic and demonstrates how greed and the hunger for power can consume us and cloud the true meaning of peace or in this case, communism. We see the pigs slowly turning into those they so despise. In terms of the Russian Revolution against capitalism we see humans slowly turning into pigs, stereotypically greedy. From this we lead into situational irony where the pigs are becoming the exact thing they use to fear and loathe. They are unknowingly transforming into their enemy as their decisions are driven by the desire for power, greed and superiority. We recognise many human characteristics and actions now represented in the animals for example Napoleon carrying a whip to intimidate the other animals, which, is mentioned in chapter 10.
Anthropomorphism is when we apply human characteristics to things that aren't human, usually animals. It is a very important technique used to create satire and distinctively used in Aesop’s fables. Using animal representations of real-life people and events helps to portray the true