Propaganda in Animal Farm
“I want YOU for US Army!” This is one of the most well known uses of propaganda today. Propaganda is the use of statements that are false or over exaggerated spread in order to help or harm another party. In the novella Animal Farm by George Orwell, Napoleon the pig uses various forms of propaganda to ensure that the other animals will continue to follow his lead and not rebel. On Mr. Jones’ farm, life is not good. Food is scarce and beatings are regular, but one day the animals rebel and throw the humans out of the farm, leaving the place to the animals. From the beginning two very different leaders arise, Snowball and Napoleon, both with clashing ideas.
Napoleon quickly runs Snowball off of the farm to ensure that he has his say in things, making the farm his. He rules with his orator, Squealer, who conveys the information to the animals on the farm. The use of a variety of forms of propaganda helps Napoleon keep control of the others.
One major form of propaganda used throughout the novel by Napoleon and
Squealer is glittering generalities. Glittering generalities are a phrases or words with high emotional value that are used to convey feelings to the reader. The seven
commandments written by the pigs are a great example of this because they use words that strike a feeling of pride in the animals.The commandments are:
One:What ever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Two: What ever goes on four legs, or has wings, is a friend. Three:No animal shall wear clothes. Four:No animal shall sleep in a bed. Five: No animal shall drink alcohol. Six:No animal shall kill another animal. Seven: All animals are equal (Orwell,16).
The use of the words enemy, friend, and equal are all examples of glittering generalities. The animals see the words and they believe in themselves and that they are free. The commandments make the animals feel strong and give them a sense of pride. While glittering generalities is just one, there are many different forms of propaganda that are used by the pigs to manipulate the animals into doing what they want. Another use of propaganda that is used in Animal Farm is name calling. Name calling is the verbal, personal attacking of another. Snowball, one of the original leaders of the farm, was a victim to name calling after being run off the farm by Napoleon because of their clashing views. Napoleon and Squealer call Snowball names in order to convince the animals of their opinion. An example of this in the book it: ”Do you know the enemy who has come in the middle of the night and overthrown out windmill?
Snowball!” (Orwell,43). Squealer is telling the other animals on the farm that Snowball is a traitor and has snuck in to ruin the farm and the lives of everyone on it. This leads the animals to believe that Snowball actually did sneak in and try to harm their lifestyle, when in reality he did not. This also shows how easily the animals are manipulated into
believing whatever they are told. Propaganda as a theme is seen commonly throughout this novel. Glittering generalities and name calling and a third, fear, are just a few of these forms.
Napoleon uses fear as his biggest form of propaganda. Fear as propaganda is defined as the instilling of fear into a person as a way to gain their support. Napoleon uses fear in two major ways. One way that he uses fear is by means of his large vicious dogs. Whenever somebody tries to oppose Napoleon, his dogs intimidate the animals into changing their mind. Napoleon uses his dogs in this section of the text “Four young porkers in the front uttered shrill squeals of disapproval… but suddenly the dogs…