Propaganda is all around you; you hear it, you see it, you even smell it from time to time. One thing that you may not know is that there are many types of propaganda, and they are all very different, but accomplish the same goal. You even use propaganda from a day to day basis and you may not even know it. This has bee demonstrated in the novel Animal Farm where there is a lot of propaganda. In this story, if you watch what is going on and what the animals are saying and doing you will witness propaganda at work everywhere.
There are many types of propaganda, and they all work differently. The “fakery” technique attempts to deceive the consumer into thinking that the product is good without ever describing the real merits of the product. An example of this could be a soda pop commercial where they only say that it tastes “great!” but they never say what it does for your health such as give a caffeine boost or satisfy the consumer’s caffeine and or sugar cravings. Another type of propaganda is called “association.” Association is used when an object is being sold in the same picture with an object that is considered very impressive. For example when a U.S. president gives a speech with an important backdrop (ie. Aircraft carrier). These are only two examples of the many forms of propaganda that are very different but accomplish the same thing.
Like I said, propaganda is all around us, and you can’t escape it. Its on television, in schools, even on the clothing that you’re wearing at this moment. It influences you because you can’t escape it. It’s thrown at you all of the time and since it’s all around you, you grow accustomed to it. Familiarity lowers our defenses and we “let our guard down” and absorb it into our unconciousness. After a while you start to associate the products that the propaganda represents. It the propaganda has been successful you’ll want to buy the product it represents.
The type of propaganda that affects me the most as a consumer is that which appeals to my sense of humor. The funny commercials and advertisements make me want to buy their product whatever it is. For example there is this commercial for Pepsi Max that has a fun and up-tempo song in it but everyone pictured is falling asleep. As soon as they take a sip of the Pepsi Max they become alive and vigorous. They act somewhat strange but do many humorous things. After seeing this commercial I wanted to buy their product in hopes of acting like the people pictured, and the next time I went to a gas station I grabbed Pepsi Max just because of propaganda.
There are many uses of propaganda in the story Animal Farm, from the beginning of the story when the Old Major gave his riveting speech and “razzed” all of the animals, to the end of the book when “Squealer” took the sheep away from the rest of the animals and taught them to chant, “Four legs good, two legs better!” The propaganda found in Animal Farm is mainly just catchy slogans and speeches that “Napoleon” thought up and “Squealer” spread. There were a lot specific types of propaganda that are found in this story and they are; “feelings”, “Attitudes”, “Diversions”, “Loophole Fallacies”, “ Oversimplification”, “ Black or White Fallacy”, “Changing the Meaning”, and many more. Napoleon and Squealer used these speeches and slogans to practically brainwash the common animals into the pigs had the same agenda and interests that they had. Even though Squealer was the largest spreader of the propaganda all of the animals are to blame for the spread of it, because they repeatedly said the slogans and quoted the speeches that Napoleon made. Even Boxer made some chants that helped him and the other animals work harder when building the windmill and other jobs around the farm.
The propaganda in Animal Farm worked because it was engrained into the heads of each and every one of the animals. In the start of the story the pigs got the animals to let their guards down by making them think that they were on the animals’ side. The pigs made it seem as if everything they did was for the best interest of all the animals. Once the pigs gained the trust of the common animals, they started giving themselves privileges and justified those privileges by saying things like, “We deserve to get more food because we do all of the thinking.” and other well worded lines that made it seem like it was for the “greater good” when in reality they didn’t. Some other propaganda that was used in this story and worked the best didn’t even come from the pigs; it came from some of the common animals like Boxer. Since Boxer was one of the most respected animals on the farm when he made a catchy slogan it caught on like wildfire. Some examples are “I must work harder.” and “Napoleon is always right.” Those were extra strong with the common animals because boxer was one of them, and the animals believed that they should adopt those because of that. All of this propaganda coming from different places helped to brainwash the animals. After the animals were brainwashed the pigs were able to do whatever they wanted to without repercussions.
It is evident that propaganda can move mountains when used in the most effective ways. One must be aware that when using propaganda, you can’t let it change you or the things you want to accomplish. Propaganda can be your friend or foe depending on how you use it.