Animal Farm

Propaganda and Power in Animal Farm 10th Grade

From Hitler to Hussein, the rise and fall of dictators has captivated historians and writers alike for centuries. British novelist George Orwell (1903-1950) was no exception. In his 1946 allegory Animal Farm, Orwell satirized the 1917 Russian Revolution and the subsequent decades of totalitarian Soviet oppression. The story takes place on a fictional farm where the maltreated animals rebel and overthrow their human overlords. They establish a seemingly utopian society where they work for and are governed by themselves; however, it doesn’t take long for the farm to deteriorate into a totalitarian state with a ruler who can only be described as a tyrant. The most pivotal factor responsible for this outcome is propaganda. Through the use of propaganda in the book, Orwell argues that a government’s power to control its people’s knowledge and views is that government’s capacity to manipulate and oppress.

The first way that Orwell demonstrates the insidious power of propaganda is through the carefully crafted language used by the farm’s pigs, who incrementally assume all power and control over the other animals. For example, in chapter three, Squealer, who is essentially the mouthpiece of the despotic Napoleon, declares that “the...

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