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Animal Farm

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  • October 26, 2008
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Propaganda is the organized spread of ideas. It is an attempt to persuade a group emotionally, to promote a cause. In the fable, Animal Farm, George Orwell explores the use of propaganda on the animals. Equality and freedom are lost and they live a life where lies and terror rule. The scapegoat technique, card stacking and appealing to authority, are three propaganda techniques used by the strong to gain power and control over the weak.

The scapegoat technique has the propagandist blaming everything on someone else. Napoleon makes Snowball into his scapegoat and blames all bad events on him, therefore nothing seems out of Napoleon’s control. In chapter six, the windmill is destroyed in a storm. Napoleon blames the bad weather on Snowball. Napoleon asks, “Comrades, do you know who is responsible for this? Do you know the enemy who has come in the night and overthrown our windmill? SNOWBALL!” (82). Napoleon’s propaganda takes a true leader and turns him into a common enemy. By making Snowball someone to fear, Napoleon is seen as a protector and the animals depend on his leadership. In chapter seven Squealer spreads lies by saying Snowball was a traitor from the beginning. Squealer announces “Snowball was in league with Jones from the very start!” (89). Squealer’s propaganda convinces the animals that Snowball is not to be trusted and Napoleon only has the best of intentions. By using Snowball as a scapegoat, Napoleon takes attention away from what he is really doing.

In addition to using Snowball as a scapegoat, card stacking, or distorting the truth is another technique used to control the animals. In chapter nine Orwell writes, “Squealer always spoke of it as a readjustment, never as a reduction.” (115). Squealer is able to fool the animals into believing that they are better off now compared to the days of Jones. The animals believe the propaganda even though they are hungrier than ever. In...