Fear is utilized as an effective propaganda technique in order to oppress and control the animals in Orwell's celebrated novella Animal Farm. Initially, Mr. Jones ruthlessly wields his authority by oppressing and intimidating the animals. Mr. Jones and his men use whips, prods, and harnesses to punish and control the animals. As a result of his intimidating presence and the threat of violence, the animals fear Mr. Jones. They passively submit to his authority.
Following the successful Rebellion, Snowball, Napoleon, and the other leading pigs use the fear of Jones's return to motivate the animals into accepting the principles of Animalism and following their directives. The animals submit to the ruling pigs's policies because they fear Mr. Jones will return and brutally oppress them. Once again, fear is the essential element needed to motivate the animals into obeying the pigs.
Napoleon recognizes the power of fear and trains his menacing dogs to strike fear in the animals. This terror tactic allows him to easily usurp power and rule the farm as a ruthless tyrant. Napoleon's ferocious dogs act as his personal bodyguards and accompany him everywhere he goes, intimidating the other animals and threatening political dissidents. Napoleon also strikes fear in the animals by holding public executions, which allegorically represent the Great Purge under Stalin's leadership in the late 1930s. Squealer manipulates the animals into obeying Napoleon's oppressive policies by suggesting that Mr. Jones will return if they do not follow their leader's directives. The possibility of Mr. Jones's return strikes fear in the hearts of the animals, and this terror motivates them to obey every command.
Squealer and Napoleon also make Snowball a scapegoat. They tell the animals that he is in a league with Mr. Jones, dedicated to the demise of Animal Farm. Any problem or issue on the farm is immediately blamed on Snowball and his apparent presence cultivates an atmosphere of hysteria. The animals fear Snowball and Mr. Jones, while looking to Napoleon as their courageous leader. This contributes to his image as their brave guardian and protector.
Overall, Orwell illustrates how fear can be utilized as an effective propaganda technique. It can be used to manipulate the masses and allow clever politicians to control and oppress an ignorant, hysterical population.