Rhetoric, Propaganda and Animal Farm

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Animal Farm by George Orville is a modern day fable that has many important lessons. One great lesson is the danger of rhetoric or the use of language to persuade an audience of a belief or point of view. In this story, Orwell sets up a scenario that is perfect for absorbing lies of a tyrant. In order for a tyrant to hold power , the masses have to want to believe the dream and secondly, they have to be removed from honest reporting, preferably undereducated and have scapegoats to absorb the blame for any failures or wrongdoings of the leader. The Animal Farm environment is ripe for Napoleon’s propaganda. Squealer, the persuasive wing pig, is the speaker for Napoleon and is a conniving liar who artfully twists the facts that are brought before him. Napoleon’s regime encourages the chanting of political slogans, guilt and embarrassment if the animals question management’s motive, and denial and confusing doubletalk when it is obvious that management disobeys the governing rules of the farm The chanting and singing of political slogans and songs reinforces the propaganda of Napoleon’s regime. Napoleon, along with Squealer, drills ideas into the other animals minds, making them believe and fallow what is a lie. Mantra is used in Animal Farm to ingrain beliefs. In the beginning of the book, Boxer only had one personal motto which was “I will work harder”. But, after Napoleon took charge, he added “Napoleon is always right”. This addition was an important piece because Boxer, the well respected animal on the farm, faces propaganda in Napoleons rule. Squealer who acts as Napoleon’s loyal subject, questions the animals in ways in which they cannot answer and must believe that what Napoleon is doing is right or, as said in some cases, that if they stopped working Mr. Jones would return. “Four legs good two legs bad” is propaganda because as the book progresses, the shortened 7 commandments is changed to “Four legs good, two legs better” and the pigs appear before...
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