Language plays an important role as a social control mechanism in three ways in the book Animal Farm. First, the story demonstrates that language controls the way the animals think. Second, language is used to help regulate the behaviors of the animals which leads to group conformity and obedience by the animals on the farm. Third, it is used to assert authority and superiority by the character Squealer in order to impress, intimidate and confuse the other animals on the farm. Even though language is used to manipulate the animals on the farm into behaving a certain way, it does have positive benefits on the group. Social control of the animals is shown to motivate and bring organization to the farm. These points are discussed in more detail below.
The story demonstrates that language controls the way the animals on the farm think. Squealer the pig is able to convince the animals that they should share the work equally amongst them. Squealer is able to change the way the animals thought about work as well as change their attitudes towards the humans on the farm. The change in their thinking is then able to bring about a rebellion by the animals towards the humans. Squealer uses very persuasive language to convince the animals to believe in his ideas and therefore language becomes a form of social control on the farm.
Language helps establish and maintain social control and order on the farm in a very powerful way by regulating the behavior of the animals and leads to group conformity. For example, Squealer convinces the animals to all work together and to listen to what Napoleon tells them to do. On the farm all the animals believe Squealer because of the persuasive way he talks. For example, when Squealer tells the animals to work harder and to listen to their leader Napoleon, they do. When Squealer tells them that the pigs need the milk and apples in order to keep Mr. Jones away, they believe him and give their own milk and apples to the pigs. Squealer has control over the animals’ behavior and they all conform to his requests. This benefits Napoleon a great deal and gets the farm in working order. The animals believe Napoleon is an excellent leader. This is a great example of how powerful language is as a form of social control.
Language is an effective tool that can be used to assert authority and superiority. For example Squealer speaks with authority and the other farm animals are influenced by his opinions and ideas, almost as much as their leader Napoleon. Squealer uses this authority for personal gain and to benefit the pigs on the farm. He speaks with a superiority that has a hypnotic effect on the other Animals. The animals fall for anything the leaders say. It is a form of manipulation that has positive benefits in that it helps to motivate and bring organization to the farm. Although it is mainly used to cheat the animals out of their milk and apples, it has its benefits. While Squealer is manipulating by basically mentally controlling the animals, it is for a good purpose that he does it. He is not honest most of the time but he keeps the farm in good order. A benefit of his authority and superior communication is that the animals work together for the benefit of the farm. Without that, they would probably argue and fight about who gets the milk and apples and general disorder and chaos would ensue.
In conclusion, speech on animal farm is used in several ways as a form of social control. Speech controls the way the animals think, regulates the behaviors of the animals and leads to group conformity and obedience, and is used to assert authority and superiority to impress, intimidate and confuse animals on the farm. Language is a form of manipulation that has positive benefits also because it helped to motivate and bring organization to the farm.