DNA: Animal Farm

Rachel Konop
Summit HS English
DEF Analysis
Term: A literary or rhetorical device
Definition: What does the term MEAN?
Example: Where does that term appear in
the text? What’s the context? Who’s
 Function: What’s the EFFECT? What’s the
tone/mood/theme that is communicated
with the term? WHY would the author
choose that term/technique? What idea is
being emphasized?
When I ask for a DEF, you will select a term from
your terms dictionary OR I will select the device for
you. Define this term.
Describe its place in the selected passage, using
MLA citations.
Explain its function: how is it used in the
novel/play/poem? What is the overall effect and
significance? WHY WOULD AN AUTHOR
CONVEY MEANING?????? Always question an
author’s purpose!
Common errors in DEF
Example does not match the term
selected or assigned.
 Improper MLA format
 No context given for example
 Weak analysis in function
 Summary in function, rather than
 Failure to elaborate
“The imagery gives the reader a better visual, a clearer
picture.” “[The device] gives a better understanding…”
In a word…NO.
A device has a
bigger purpose than
providing a visual for
you or simply
making reading
This visual is
inherent, a given!!
You need to figure
out the IDEA behind
Example for Animal Farm
TERM: Connotation
Definition: The implied meaning or meanings
of a word. The associations a word has with
other ideas.
Example: Once the animals discover who is
stealing the apples and milk, Squealer
addresses the animals in the hopes of
explaining why these things are necessary.
He addresses the animals as “ ‘comrades’”
Function- consider the following when
analyzing function: What associations does
the word “comrade” have? How is this ironic
given what Squealer is explaining? How is his
use of DICTION and CONNOTATION effective
in manipulating the animals?
Term: Paradox
Definition: A situation or statement that
appears contradictory, but in fact, may be true
Example: The animals’ commandments are
reduced to one commandment that appears to
sum up everything: “All animals are equal but
some animals are more equal than others”
Function- consider the following when
analyzing the function: How does this
commandment make sense? What diction
(words) is key? To the animals? To
communism/animalism? What is Orwell
communicating about the situation (theme)?
Term: Allusion
Definition: LOOK IT UP!! 
Example: The Animal Farm flag is green “to
represent the green” English fields, and features a
white hoof and horn (48).
Function: What is the flag alluding to? What do the
items represent? For the animals? For the
Russians? How is this ironic in the context of the
story? Consider the above questions to help
formulate your paragraph on function.
Example for Scarlet Letter
D- TERM: Personification- A figure of
speech where animals, ideas or
inorganic objects are given human
characteristics. Personification is most
often used in poetry, coming to
popularity during the 18th century
 (www.uncp.edu).
E- Example:
 In chapter one, as a crowd gathers
outside the prison door, Hawthorne
personifies nature, “…in token that the
deep heart of Nature could pity and be
kind to [the prisoner]” (1).
F- Function in text
Nature seems to function as its own character in
the passage with the ability to show compassion to
the guilty. The personification lends itself to the
idea that the stringent, Puritanical rules and
societal intolerance to not apply to Nature, and
that she is capable of forgiveness, unlike her
human counterparts. The juxtaposition of the rose
bush among the weeds seems to align Hester with
Nature against her community.
TERM: Metaphor- a type of figurative
language in which a statement is made
that says that one thing is something
else but, literally, it is not. In connecting
one object, event, or place, to another, a
metaphor can uncover new and
intriguing qualities of the original thing
that we may not normally notice or even
consider important (www.uncp.edu)
E- In chapter one, Hawthorne refers to
nature frequently, and ends the chapter
with a metaphor, “a sweet moral
blossom,” which he hopes will “relieve
the darkening close of a tale of human
frailty and sorrow” (1).
 Your turn! I will help you (this time) with the
effect/function by prompting you with questions.
Consider the following in your response:
 How is the moral blossom a metaphor?
 What purpose does it serve?
 How does it connect with other themes in the text?
 What tone/effect does it have on the reader?
 What IDEA does the metaphor emphasize?
Example for Brave New World
D: A figure of speech where animals,
ideas or inorganic objects are given
human characteristics. Personification is
most often used in poetry, coming to
popularity during the 18th century
E: In Chapter one, a group of students
tour the Hatchery and Conditioning
Centre, where in the lab, the light is
personified as “frozen, dead, a ghost”
FUNCTION- Huxley seems to focus on
light, where finally it is personified to
represent the coldness and starkness of
society. Where light itself could
symbolize life, in this dystopian society,
it is juxtaposed with death, thereby
illuminating the concept that energy and
vitality no longer exist in this world.
DThe implied meaning or meanings of
a word. The associations a word has
with other ideas; the feeling behind
the words.
E In chapter one, the workers in the lab
are described as wearing “white” with
“pale” gloves like “corpse-coloured
rubber” (3). The room is also described
as “[wintry]” (3).
F Your turn! I will help you figure out the
function by asking questions. This
should get you thinking about Huxley’s
What do these words have in common?
What associations do the words have? Is
the diction effective in creating a certain
tone? What kind of tone/mood do they