Use of Propaganda in Animal Farm, by George Orwell

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Politics At Day, Lying At Night

Have you ever been convinced by someone to do a chore, but you end up doing more than you expected? What about being told that doing homework helps you become smarter? These forms of propaganda persuade you to do/join something that you are interested in, but the result is not what you expected. The British author, George Orwell, who wrote 1984 and Animal Farm, was interested in showing the human tendency to get what they want. In Animal Farm, he shows us the results of not considering possible consequences of obtaining our wants, through Squealer-the persuasive “propaganda” pig who will do many things to cover up traces of the true actions being done. Squealer uses propaganda to persuade the other animals into doing something, but at the cost of misleading the other animals.

As soon as Mr. Jones leaves Manor Farm, Old Major (an old wise pig) speaks to the rest of the animals. His speech compares the old life with Jones to the possibilities of a new life without Jones. Old Major points out that with Jones, they had minimal food. Without Jones, all of the animals could have more than plenty of their favorite foods. With Napoleon in charge the expected food is not showing up. Orwell writes, “In January food fell short. The corn rations were drastically reduced. the potato crop had become soft and discoloured, only a few were edible.” (Orwell pg 74) The animals were convinced that food would be more plentiful, but it turns out to be quite the opposite. As the novella continues, Squealer’s propaganda techniques keep working, and the animals keep getting the short end of the stick.

One of the main commandments from the beginning of the book was “all animals are equal.” (24) The equality of the pigs and the other animals continues to increase to opposite ends of the equality spectrum. At the beginning of the life of Animal Farm, the animals went through the day together, as a single group as seen here with the use of “they”. “Then they filed back to the farm buildings and halted in silence outside the door of the farmhouse.” (Orwell 22) Towards the end of the book, things change.

“About this time, too, it was laid down as a rule that when a pig and any other animal met on the path, the other animal must stand aside;...

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