Give an example of the propaganda technique of lesser of two evils that the pigs used in Animal Farm.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Squealer is a master of using the "lesser of two evils" technique to ensure that the leadership of the Pigs is not questioned by other animals.  Squealer understands that it benefits the pig leadership if Jones is made out to be the personification of pure evil and malevolence.  It is first seen in chapter 3, when Squealer explains why the pigs "have to" eat the milk and apples.  When Squealer justifies this in that the pigs have to lead the farm, he ends with the idea that Jones' presence is worse than anything else.  Even if this means a temporary setback on the part of the animals, Squealer suggests that short term losses are better than a long term return of Jones.  In making Jones out to be the "straw man," in which all of the fears of the animals can be harnessed, Squealer and the pigs are always able to use a "fall guy" or a ready- made scapegoat that can make the pig leadership appear better than it actually is.  In chapter seven, when Napoleon's brutality has been made available for all to see, Squealer is still able to use the justification of Jones' rule in comparison with the pigs' as the lesser of two evils and ensure obedience from the other animals.


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