The Role of Propaganda in Animal Farm

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Role of Propaganda in Animal Farm
The novel, Animal Farm, is a well-known allegory written by George Orwell. As a satire of the Russian Revolution, Orwell portrays the rise of a cruel dictatorship and the mistreatment of the general population under it. Like the Communist government in Russia, the government in Animal Farm employs the use of many manipulative tools, especially propaganda. Propaganda was used by the pigs throughout the book, deceiving many of the animals. As this story shows, propaganda can enable governments to bend people to any purpose. By spreading positive messages about Napoleon, persuading the animals that Snowball is an enemy, and convincing the animals that they can’t survive without the pigs, propaganda helped give rise to a vindictive and selfish totalitarian government.
By first using propaganda to persuade the animals that Snowball was an enemy, Napoleon’s rise to power began. Snowball was Napoleon’s only real threat to assuming leadership. In the story, the two pigs always disagreed with each other. The other animals were divided equally in supporting either Snowball or Napoleon. By spreading the rumor that Snowball was a traitor, Napoleon was able to drive Snowball from the farm and become the leader of Animal Farm with no one to oppose him. Napoleon, with the help of Squealer, turned all the animals against Snowball. Squealer, who was a masterful manipulator, played an important part in convincing the animals that Snowball was an enemy. Naming Snowball as a “traitor”, Squealer played on the animals’ fear of humans and told them that Snowball had been a spy for the humans. The animals believed Squealer and thought that Snowball was only trouble on the farm. They later suspected that Snowball was the cause of anything that went wrong in the farm. For example, when the windmill was destroyed Snowball was blamed. It had actually fallen because its walls were too thin. Propaganda was also used when Napoleon wanted to “get rid” of some animals on the farm because they were causing too much rebellion on the farm. Napoleon used Snowball as an excuse to execute these animals. He forced them to “confess” that they had caused trouble because Snowball had told them to. By blaming Snowball, Napoleon was able to eliminate the animals who threatened his leadership. Claiming Snowball as a traitor also allowed Napoleon to take away the rights of the other “common” animals and give himself more control. For example, Napoleon informs the animals that a special committee of pigs, which was headed by him, would now “make all the decisions concerning Animal Farm”. There would be no more Sunday-meetings where all the animals were able to attend and make decisions. Squealer told the animals that this decision was made for the animals’ own good. “But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where would we be? Suppose you had decided to follow Snowball with his moonshine of windmills¬¬─...

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