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Animal Farm and the Importance of Education

By cutekissis101 Apr 25, 2010 501 Words
Animal Farm is educational in many ways. It teaches that it is easy to be influenced if individuals do not take a stand for what they believe in. If the animals had been more educated they could have stopped Napoleon. Because they did not know what their ancestors fought for they never protested the pigs power. What would a society be like if all of its inhabitants were uneducated? What if no one could make a clear and distinct decision for themselves about what is right and what is wrong? If they allowed a ruler to have absolute control over their lives, then the ruler would probably become corrupt from this authority. Lack of education in society will let the educated to rule over the uneducated. Through a lack of education, the animals became unable to see the power Napoleon was gaining over them. The pigs "have taught themselves to read and write" (15), so everyone agrees and believe everything they say because they are the educated ones. The pigs also limit the other animals opportunity to gain education. They teach themselves to read and write from a book but destroy it before the other animals can have the same chance. Most of the animals never learn more than a few letters of the alphabet. The pigs use being able to read and write to manipulate the other animals. For example, knowing that the other animals cannot read the Seven Commandments, they revise them whenever they like. The pigs also use it to learn from manuals. Boxer is the most naive of them all. He admired Napoleon, who was educated, and appeared so smart. He worked overly hard and always quoted “I will work harder” (77). Boxer was very uneducated, and although he tried “he could not go past the letter D” (23). Because he was uneducated he believed whatever he was told because he didn't know any better. He also admired those who were smarter like the pigs and wanted to be like them.

The most uneducated animals on the farm are the sheep. The pigs were able to teach the sheep to help in taking control over the farm. The sheep constantly chant "four legs good, two leg better" (91), after being trained by the pigs that this was the best way. Through this lack of education they are very weak and often believe everything that they are told because they have not learned otherwise.

The pigs’ intelligence and education allow them to bring the other animals under their rule. An educated person is taught how to think instead of what to think. The animals who were educated could use this to their advantage in many ways. Education gives you the freedom to think for yourself and not to do whatever you are taught or told. If you rely on others completely to think for you, you lose all freedom. It is hard to take use of your rights if you aren't even aware of them.

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