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Animal Farm

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All dictators use nefarious means to gain power. A perfect example of this is found in George Orwell’s political satire, Animal Farm, in which he uses oppressed talking animals to satirize the Russian Revolution. Early on in the novel, when the animals finally have driven out their oppressive master, Mr. Jones, they take the management of the farm into their own hands, creating a set of Seven Commandments based on the teachings of a wise old pig by the name of Old Major. Commandment numbers one through six are centered upon the general idea that no animal should ever come to resemble man, and commandment number seven states, “All animals are equal.” The commandments are observed until the leader who is working in the animal’s best interests, Snowball, is driven out by a tyrannical, opportunistic pig named Napoleon. Soon, the equality and values of the community of animals are lost, only to be replaced with greed, violence, and injustice. In order to gain and keep power, Napoleon and his associate, Squealer, use the propaganda tactics of lack of education, intimidation, and repetition to gain complete and ultimate control of Animal Farm.

By forging documents which the animals cannot understand, but which help his point, Napoleon is using their lack of education to manipulate them. Supposed documents are found which allegedly contain proof that Snowball had been consorting with Mr. Jones from the very beginning of the revolution. “It has been proved by documents which he [Snowball] left behind him and which we have only just discovered. [...]. I could show you this in your own writing, if you were able to read it” (79-81). Earlier on in the novel, Napoleon claims he had always suspected Snowball was a traitor, and has driven Snowba...

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...phrases which are to be repeated until they are generally excepted and commonplace.

Among other methods of propaganda, Napoleon uses the tactics of appeal to authority, fear, and repetition, in order to gain and retain power. The reason why the propaganda of Napoleon is so pertinent to the novel is that without the propaganda, Napoleon would have never managed to gain power, keep power, or live like a human. Concerning the effectiveness of the propaganda in obtaining and maintaining leadership, the effectiveness is found in the results. Napoleon achieved all of his ends, and even some which he may not have seen at the beginning of his leadership. In modern times, one can tell a bad leader based on whether he spends his time and resources promoting himself through propaganda and advertising, or whether he spend his time and resources for the good of the people.
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