MAJOR SPEECH IS ORWELL SPEAK
from Animal Farm
As explained in my essay ORWELL SPEAKS THRU MAJOR it is my contention that Orwell speaks to us through the main characters in his books.
In Animal Farm Orwell spoke to us through "Old Major, the prize Middle White boar" (no pun intended), who was also known as "Willingdon Beauty" (as in Wallington where Orwell conceived Animal Farm). See VISITING ORWELL'S ANIMAL FARM.
As readers will recall, Animal Farm opens with the gathering of all the animals in the Big Barn to hear a speech from the dying Old Major who "was so highly regarded on the farm that everyone was quite ready to lose an hour's sleep in order to hear what he had to say."
To demonstrate to readers how it really is Orwell speaking to us (and not Major to the animals) I have taken the pertinent excerpt from Animal Farm and translated the "animal speak" words into "people speak" words. The [substituted words] are in brackets. All the rest is directly from the text. As you read it, imagine it is Orwell speaking to you:
'[Countrymen], you have heard already about the strange dream that I had last night. But I will come to the dream later. I have something else to say first. I do not think, [countrymen], that I shall be with you for many months longer, and before I die, I feel it my duty to pass on to you such wisdom as I have acquired. I have lived [46 years]. I have had much time for thought as I lay alone in my [TB sanatorium], and I think I may say that I understand the nature of life on this earth as well as any [human being] now living. It is about this that I wish to speak to you.
'Now, countrymen, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short. We are born, we are given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength; and the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end we [get fatal diseases and die]. No [working man] in England knows the meaning of happiness or leisure after he [gets his first job]. No [working man] in England is free. The life of a [working man] is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth.
'But is this simply part of the order of nature? Is it because this land of ours is so poor that it cannot afford a decent life to those who dwell upon it? No, [countrymen], a thousand times no! The soil of England is fertile, its climate is good, it is capable of affording food in abundance to an enormously greater number of [human beings] than now inhabit it. This single farm of ours would support a dozen horses, twenty cows, hundreds of sheep — and all of them living in a comfort and a dignity that are now almost beyond our imagining. Why then do we continue in this miserable condition? Because nearly the whole of the produce of our labour is stolen from us by [the Corporate Communist Elite]. There, [countrymen], is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single [phrase]— [the Corporate Communist Elite]. The [Corporate Communist Elite] is the only real enemy we have. Remove [the Corporate Communist Elite] from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished for ever.
'The [Corporate Communist Elite] is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not [milk cows], he does not [collect] eggs, he is too [lazy] to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to [hunt for meat]. Yet he is lord of all the [working men]. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself. Our labour tills the soil, our [blood] fertilizes it, and yet there is not one of us that owns more than his bare skin. You [working men] that I see before me, how many thousands of [hours of work] have you given during this last year? And what has happened to that [money] which should have been breeding up sturdy [children]? Every [cent] of it has gone [into the banks] of our enemies. And you [women], how many [ovulations] have you [had] in this last year, and how many of those [ovulations] ever [developed into children]? The rest have all gone to [abortion clinics] to bring in money for [the Corporate Communist Elite]. And you, [woman], where are those four [children] you bore, who should have been the support and pleasure of your old age? Each was [sent to an educational institution] at a year old — you will never see one of them again. In return for your four confinements and all your labour in the [home], what have you ever had except your bare rations and a [roof over your head]?
'And even the miserable lives we lead are not allowed to reach their natural span. For myself I do not grumble, for I am one of the lucky ones. I am [46 years old] and have [written many books]. Such is the natural life of a [writer]. But no [working man] escapes the cruel knife in the end. You young [people] who are sitting in front of me, every one of you will be [worked to death]. To that horror we all must come — cows, pigs, hens, sheep, everyone [all working people]. Even the horses and the dogs have no better fate. You, [working man], the very day that those great muscles of yours lose their power, [the Corporate Communist Elite] will [send you into retirement, deny you a pension and suck you dry]. As for the [animals], when they grow old and toothless, the [Corporate Communist Elite] ties a brick round their necks and drowns them in the nearest pond.
'Is it not crystal clear, then, [countrymen], that all the evils of this life of ours spring from the tyranny of [the Corporate Communist Elite]? Only get rid of [the Corporate Communist Elite], and the produce of our labour would be our own. A1most overnight we could become rich and free. What then must we do? Why, work night and day, body and soul, for the overthrow of [Corporate Communism]! That is my message to you, [countrymen]: Rebellion! I do not know when that Rebellion will come, it might be in a week or in a hundred years, but I know, as surely as I see this [land] beneath my feet, that sooner or later justice will be done. Fix your eyes on that, [countrymen], throughout the short remainder of your lives! And above all, pass on this message of mine to those who come after you, so that future generations shall carry on the struggle until it is victorious.
'And remember, [countrymen], your resolution must never falter. No argument must lead you astray. Never listen when they tell you that the [Corporate Communist Elite] and the [working man] have a common interest, that the prosperity of the one is the prosperity of the others. It is all lies. The [Corporate Communist Elite] serves the interests of no creature except himself. And among us [working men] let there be perfect unity, perfect comradeship in the struggle. All [Corporate Communist Elites] are enemies. All [working men] are [friends].'
...'I have little more to say. I merely repeat, remember always your duty of enmity towards the [Corporate Communist Elite] and all his ways. Every [Corporate Communist Elite] is an enemy. Every [working man] is a friend. And remember also that in fighting against [the Corporate Communist Elite], we must not come to resemble him. Even when you have conquered him, do not adopt his vices... All the habits of [the Corporate Communist Elite] are evil. And, above all, no [working man] must ever tyrannise over his own kind. Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers. No [working man] must ever kill any other [human being]. All [human beings] are equal...'"
~ adaptation by Jackie Jura
Animal Farm, Chapter 1, and WHY ORWELL WROTE
ORWELL'S DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM and THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS and THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
5.Pyramidal New World Order and 9.Keeping Masses Down and 8.Classes of People and 10.The Rulers
ORWELL SPEAKS THRU MAJOR and VISITING ORWELL'S ANIMAL FARM
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