How is power and education related?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Power and education are strongly linked to one another in Orwell's work.  The powerful are educated.  Those who are not educated are not powerful.  This is seen in several instances throughout the narrative.  The pigs are powerful primarily because they are the only animals who are able to read and write.  Power is defined in the ability to understand to be educated.  The pigs are able to act as "the vanguard of the proletariat" because they can read and write.  They are the first ones to raid Jones' house for books and read them.  The other animals do not, and in this, one sees a significant trend which defines the narrative.

Over time, education is something actively denied to the other animals.  It is denied because the pigs realize that they are able to control the other animals better if they remain uneducated.  Through the other animals' inability to read and write, the Commandments on the side of the barn can be altered and changed.  It is only Benjamin, who springs to action far too late, who understands that Boxer is being taken to the knacker's when he reads the side of the van.  Boxer, himself, works until the very end, when he hopes to learn how to read the rest of the alphabet.  He dies before this can happen.  Power and education are linked through the pigs in Orwell's novel.