Role of Songs/Slogans/Rituals

Shalaka Damle and Silpa Gollapudi



  • "Beasts of England" is like "The Star Spangled Banner"
  • songs serve as propaganda
  • sense of unity
  • helps strive for goal of freedom


  • used for manipulation
  • tool to deceive animals
  • summary for all commandments


  • reinforce loyalty
  • working class becomes more reliant on ruling class


Example #1

Beast of England, beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken to my joyful tidings,
Of the golden future time.

Soon or late the day is coming,
Tyrand Man shall be o'erthrown,
And the fruitful firleds of England
Shall be trod by beasts alone.

Rings shall vanish from our noses,
And the harness from our back,
Bit and spur shall rust forever,
Cruel whips no more shall crack.

Riches more than mind can picture,
Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels
Shall be ours upon that day.

Bright will shine the fields of England,
Purer shall its waters be,
Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes
On the day that sets us free.

For that day we all must labour,
Though we die before it break;
Cows and horses, geese and turkeys,
All must toil for freedom's sake.

Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken well and spread my tidings
Of the golden future time.
(Orwell 12-13)

Example #2

"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.'" (Orwell 56)

Example #3

"When they had once got it by heart, the sheep developed a great liking for this maxim, and often as they lay in the field they would all start bleating "Four legs good, two legs bad! Four legs good, two legs bad!" and keep it up for hours on end, never growing tired of it." (Orwell 34)

Example #4

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.
(Orwell 24-25)

Example #5

" On Sundays there was no work. Breakfast was an hour late than usual, and after breakfast there was a ceremony which was observed every week without fail. First came the hoisting of the flag. Snowball had found in the harness room an old green tablecloth of Mrs. Jones's and had painted on it a hoof and a horn in white. This was run up the flagstaff in the farmhouse garden every Sunday morning. The flag was green, Snowball explained, to represent the green fields of England while the hoof and horn signified the future Republic of the Animals which would arise when the human race had been finally overthrown. After the hoisting of the flag all the animals trooped into the big barn for a general assembly which was known as the Meeting." (Orwell 31)

Example #6

"The animals decided unanimously to create a military decoration, "Animal hero, First Class," which was conferred there and then on Snowball and Boxer. It consisted of a brass medal, to be worn on Sundays and holidays. There was also "Animal hero, Second Class," which was conferred posthumously on the dead sheep". (Orwell 44)

Discussion Questions


1. How does the use of songs/slogans/rituals make people work to a certain cause?

2. Do methods like these exist today? If so, where are they seen?

3. How do the songs hold a solidarity for the animals?

4. Do you feel that Orwell purposely chose certain types of animals to assume certain roles that would reflect traits normally associated with the animal?

5. How did the pigs quickly rise to power over the other animals? What steps and elements did they use in order to control the population?

6. How were Snowball and Napoleon different in their techniques in their struggle for power?