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Propaganda And Intimidation As The Reality Behind The Animal Farm

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Imagine being an animal on a farm which has been full of pain, overwork, constant hunger, and mistreatment. If there was even a slight chance that there could be an end to that, chances are, it will be taken. That is exactly what the animals on Animal Farm did with little to no knowledge of the possible consequences. If only they knew what they had just doomed themselves into. This book focuses on farm animals whose main focus was to live a free and equal life after being neglected . One day, the animals had enough of the mistreatment, and rebelled against the farmer and other men, which led to them leaving the farm for good. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned after a pig, Napoleon, became in charge due to the pigs being more knowledgeable. He found techniques to manipulate and get into the animals’ heads and got them to believe anything he’d say. Things started getting even worse, when Napoleon began changing the commandments leaving the animals confused, years passed by and the farm had only gotten worse. The pigs manipulated their knowledge and power. Throughout the book, Animal Farm, by George Orwell, the pigs managed to use propaganda and intimidation to take leadership over the farm.

In fact, the pigs on the farm began to focus on using propaganda as a way to create power and leadership upon themselves to use on the rest of the farm animals. For instance, propaganda was used plenty of times throughout the novel to manipulate, in simple ways such as speeches, and phrases said by any of the pigs. As an example, manipulation was used on the farm animals as a way for the pigs to get their way. This type of propaganda was used by Squealer in specific. He claimed that the pigs should be able to “drink [the] milk and eat [the] apples (...) if [the] pigs failed in [their] duty, Jones would come back! (...) surely there [was] no [animal] who [wanted] to see Jones come back.” (Orwell 36). In other words, the pigs managed to use propaganda as a way to manipulate animals into getting what they want by stating that if the rest of the animals did not support their decisions, Jones will definitely go back. This successfully worked since none of the animals would have ever wanted Jones to go back to the farm, so they had no other choice but to do as told. Furthermore, one of the multiple pigs in the novel, used propaganda to induce fear and manipulate each and every animal to promote a certain point of view. This pig, also known as Old Major, had established a meeting amongst all animals. During this meeting he had mentioned several things he dreamt of and several future plans. Old Major began to mention that, “no animal escapes the cruel knife in the end (...) [and] every [animal] will scream [their] lives out at the block within a year.” (Orwell 9). All in all, propaganda was shown by manipulation and fear when the pig, Old Major, began to cause fear to the animals by scaring them and manipulating them into going along with his plan of getting Jones out of the way. The animals surely did not want to wind up lifeless, so they listened to the pigs plan and went along with it. As one can see, both Squealer and Old Major managed to get into the rest of the animals' heads by using their fears against them, whether it be death or Mr. Jones coming back. This created more power upon them, making it easier and easier to manipulate.

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In addition to propaganda successfully being used as a way to gain control over other animals, the pigs managed to also use intimidation as a way to manipulate. To clarify, one of the pigs, Napoleon, used intimidation plenty of times in several ways, one being by having his pet dogs with him, frightening the rest of the animals, and because of that, no one dared to disagree or rebel against anything. Napoleon himself was a well respected and looked upon pig and anything said or done by him was considered to be “right”. For instance, Napoleon was once seen breaking one the farms’ when rules, he was standing on his own two legs as he pridefully stepped out of the farmhouse. Every animal feared to say anything as he walked out looking, “majestically, upright, [while] casting haughty glances from side to side, and with his dogs gambolling around him. He [also] carried a whip (...) there was a deadly silence. Amazed, terrified [and] huddling together, the animals watched (...)” (133). This proves that although Napoleon had broken every single farm rule there was, not a single animal spoke up about it, that is because Napoleon managed to induce intimidation by having his fierce dogs surround him, along with his whip in which he carried, making himself seem more powerful. No animal knew what he was capable of at that point, so they remained silent and terrified. Similarly, Napoleon had set off intimidation in the farm during a terrifying incident in which animals’ lives were taken brutally in front of their peers due to their confessions of betrayal. None of the pigs, yet alone any animal on the farm, had committed any violence towards other animals before. That was up until an assembly was held by Napoleon in where he ordered his very own dogs to drag and seize four pigs who were secretly keeping in touch with an enemy of his. The pigs were called on to confess their crimes and, “when [the pigs] had finished their confession, the dogs promptly tore their throats out, and in a terrible voice Napoleon demanded whether any other animal had anything to confess.” (84). The remaining animals were miserable and shaken to see such a thing. Intimidation was shown by Napoleon frightening the animals by letting them know exactly what he’s capable of if he were to be betrayed by any of them. The animals that were tortured, killed, and hurt, all confessed to their crimes and betrayal, that teaches the rest of the animals not to do such a thing. In summary, the animals were easily intimidated by the ways Napoleon chose to make an appearance, at times he’d be surrounded by fierce looking dogs, and at times he’d carry a whip. He used his knowledge and knew he could easily manipulate each and every single one of them.

All in all, propaganda and intimidation are two of the several ways these pigs got to manipulate others after years of trying to positively and calmly turn things around on the farm.

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“Propaganda And Intimidation As The Reality Behind The Animal Farm.” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022,
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