Propaganda in Animal Farm: Powerful Persuasion by Pigs

Topics: Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell Pages: 6 (1006 words) Published: December 10, 2013

Throughout the Russian Revolution of 1917 propaganda told people what to believe,
ridding them of their right of freedom to think. In George Orwell’s Animal Farm the pigs use

tactics of influence against the other animals in much the same way. The leading pig, Napoleon

promptly takes over the farm after the rebellion against Jones and consequently turns his

comrades’ lives into a living hell without them even realizing it. Animal Farm vividly displays

how the varying use of propaganda can easily misguide and potentially harm the uneducated or

misinformed.

All the animals despised Mr. Jones for the way him and his men treated them, so

naturally when he is run off the farm, the animals are overjoyed. Since the rebellion, the animal’s

biggest fear has been that Jones may one day come back. With Squealer being Napoleon’s right

hand man, it is his job to convince the lower animals that is indeed will happen if they do not

follow under Napoleon’s rule. After the rebellion, Squealer is instructed to explain to the other

animals why the milk and apples will now go into the pigs mash. He announces “It is for your

sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples. Do you know what would happen if we pigs

failed in our duty? Jones would come back!” (23). The mere thought of Jones returning is

enough for the animals to forget all about the milk and apples. This shows that the easily

moulded minds of the animals allow them to be greatly taken advantage of when fear is

involved. A second act of when the pigs use fear to control the animals is when Napoleon let the

dogs loose on Snowball. They are meant to scare as Orwell explains, “Though not yet fully

grown, they were huge dogs, and as fierce-looking as wolves.” (36) From this statement, there is

an understanding for the previous question as to why Napoleon separated the dogs from the other

animals. The animals are blinded by the fear of their size to realize they are only puppies and

realistically could be overthrown if needed. Napoleon uses fear to subconsciously control his

animals when the animals are tricked into admitting crimes they did not commit, and then are

slaughtered. Baffled, Boxer concludes, “I do not understand it. I would not have believed such

things could happen on our farm. It must be due to some fault in ourselves.” (57) Boxer is too

frightened to see the fault in Napoleon and he blames himself and decided that he and his peers

should work harder for Napoleon. This shows how quickly he can be manipulated due to his lack

of education and loyalty to the farm.

In times of trouble, it is always comforting to have words of encouragement and hope.

That is exactly what the animals need when Old Major delivers his speech a few days before his

death. He encourages “Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork

is abolished forever.” (4). Although it is discreet, the statement is propaganda and gets the

wheels turning in the minds of the animals to get rid of Jones. Besides for the majority of Old

Major’s speech to be propaganda, the song Beats of England that he teaches to the animals, has a

lasting meaning. The second verse of the song, “Soon or late the day is coming, Tyrant Man shall

be o’erthrown, And the fruitful fields of England shall be trod by beasts alone.” (7) sets blind

encouragement in the eyes of the animals. They do not and cannot think clearly of the possible

consequences of a rebellion and only see the larger picture that they will supposedly be free

someday. Minimus creates a poem to honour Napoleon when he decides to abolish the singing of

Beasts of England. The song which basically gives all credit to the flourishment of Animal Farm

to Napoleon reads, “Every beast great or small, sleeps at peace in his stall, thou watchest over

all, Comrade Napoleon!”...
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