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Power And Propaganda: How Pigs Gain Control

1685 words - 7 pages

Propaganda empowers those in control to manipulate the uneducated into believing farcical facts and doing ridiculous actions. It communicates false information to people in a sly manner (“Reporting”). George Orwell’s Animal Farm focuses on the various forms of manipulation the lower class animals suffer a result of the pigs’ quest for power. Also an allegory of the Russian Revolution, Animal Farm resembles the events and actions surrounding Soviet leaders who rose to power, specifically Stalin and Lenin. The novella incorporates Communist agitprop as well as class conflict among the animal version of the intelligentsia, bourgeoisie, and proletariat classes. Similar to how Stalin seized power in the Soviet Union, the pigs gain control, uphold power, and manipulate the animals on Animal Farm through their use of gaining trust, distortion and concealment, and bad logic.
Orwell’s Animal Farm closely follows the people and events of the Russian Revolution. In fact, Orwell wrote Animal Farm to convey the evil correlation between revolutions and tyrannies, and to point out the fault in revolutions (“Animal Farm” Literature). The Russian Revolution came about when the Bolsheviks took power after overthrowing Czar Nicholas II and Romanov rule, around the 1920s (Smele). This revolution was the real life version of the Rebellion on Animal Farm, an event in which the animals overthrew the evil humans who owned the farm. Two of the most well-known figures of this time include Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin, who both used and accentuated propaganda. In the novella, Napoleon the pig represents Stalin. Both Napoleon and Stalin became a dictator and stopped any resistance to their power through the use of propaganda (Stults). Old Major, a respected and prize winning boar who dies early on, represents Vladimir Lenin, who played a notable role in establishing Soviet agitprop. Agitprop, or agitation and propaganda, is a method of controlling the ideas of citizens through publicizing a specific idea (“agitprop”). Leon Trotsky, represented by Snowball the pig, developed detailed plans for the betterment of Russia, but Stalin ousted him before he could take power. Lastly, Soviet propaganda, which was put out by the government, aided in the brainwashing of uneducated citizens. Animal Farm not only resembles that of the Russian Revolution, but closely ties in with specific people and events in the fashion of an allegory.
The pigs gain the animals’ trust to convince them of almost anything, which leads to the pigs being able to get away with everything. Propagandists often gain trust so people will agree with them, and will see them as a reliable source (Stults). After Napoleon declares himself leader in Chapter 5, Squealer elucidates to the animals the difficult tasks that come with leadership, which causes the animals to admire Napoleon for taking on the job. For example, when Squealer speaks of Napoleon’s role, he exclaims that every animal should appreciate the...

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