Nine Dogs and the Role of Violence
Andrew Heartquist, Nick, and Omar
The Nine Dogs and the Role of Violence
In both Animal Farm and Stalin's era in the Soviet Union, violence played a big part in controlling the state.
Ever since the animals were under Mr. Jones’ control, violence was an important role in the farm. It is initially presented at the beginning of the story showing that violence was already a part of the animals lives. This means that they are used to experiencing it, and being manipulated by it.
“When they had finished their confession, the dogs promptly tore their throats out, and in a terrible voice Napoleon demanded whether any other animal had anything to confess.” (7.25)This is one of the many examples of Napoleon using violence to control the animals.
Through violence he instills fear in the others, forcing their obedience to him.
Its interesting to note that as Napoleon's corruption throughout the story increases, his violence increases. In this particular passage, the sturdy, hard-working character of Boxer is able to defeat the threat of violence. At the same time, Boxer does not realize his own power.
And so the tale of confessions and executions went on, until there was a pile of corpses lying before Napoleon's feet and the air was heavy with the smell of blood, which had been unknown there since the expulsion of Jones. (7.26)
The death of the animals is meant to expunge their supposed crimes- but in fact the violence represents a further moral decay on the farm.
He [Snowball] was running as only a pig can run, but the dogs were close on his heels. Suddenly he slipped and it seemed certain that they had him. Then he was up again, running faster than ever, then the dogs were gaining on him again. One of them all but closed his jaws on Snowball's tail, but Snowball whisked it free just in time. Then he put on an extra spurt and, with a few inches to spare, slipped through a hole in the hedge and was seen no more. (5.14)
While violence was at first only present in conflicts between animals and humans, it eventually takes over Animal Farm and the interactions between the animals themselves.
- What does the role of violence play in the world today?
- Is there a such thing as good violence? Explain
- If confrontations in the story were diplomatic and non-violent, how would the story differ? How would some of the world’s problems (past, present, or future) be different if diplomacy was held above conquest?
- How does violence influence those who see it, but not experience it?
- As corruption in governments increase, does violence do so too? Use Animal Farm and F451 as references