Silence Kills, Animal Farm Essay

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Haley Zrnchik
Mrs. Hawkins
Honors English 1, Red 1
13 December 2012
Silence Kills
In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Benjamin, a soft-spoken donkey, finds his once peaceful home transformed into a tyrannical dictatorship led by a power-hungry pig named Napoleon. Because of Benjamin’s reserved nature, he ultimately was able to lead Animal Farm into its oppression. Benjamin’s silence, his ability to follow without question, and his inability to share his wisdom with the other animals turned him into one of the main contributors to the tyrannical behavior that occurred and the loss of freedom and equality on Animal Farm.

When someone keeps their thoughts silent, it usually allows wrong to happen; in this case, Benjamin and his reserved nature is what helped to fuel the farm’s oppression. So when: “Benjamin . . . seemed to understand, but would say nothing” (109) he allowed the other animals to go without knowing about Napoleon’s true intentions. Perhaps Benjamin assumed that his silence would protect him, and that by staying silent, he was not creating more drama and instead helping to minimize it. Even though Benjamin is one of the more intelligent animals on the farm, his standoffishness is what helped Napoleon lead as a dictator: “Benjamin . . . nodded his muzzle with a knowing air” (109) Benjamin had the ability to share his wisdom with the other animals on the farm. However, instead of spreading the truth about Napoleon, Benjamin kept to himself and refused to meddle in what he considered to be “nonsense”. Benjamin refused to voice his thoughts and because of that, he allowed his friends to die, his home to be destroyed, and his life to be turned into that of a follower.

Instead of speaking up, Benjamin quietly followed the orders he was given. So while he never volunteered to do extra work, he never did less than what he was supposed to: “. . . even . . . Benjamin . . . did [his] share” (60-61) Because Benjamin did not try to overthrow Napoleon, he...
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