How is propaganda used in old Major's speech and throughout the novella?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During old Major's speech, he uses several techniques to propagate his views and ideas. Old Major refers to the animals as comrades which creates a sense of partnership and invokes a close friendship with his audience. He then associates his age with wisdom and tells the animals that he doesn't have much longer to live. The audience now has empathy for the speaker and listens closely to what he will say. Old Major proceeds to vilify humans, gives the animals the 7 Commandments, and teaches them the song Beasts of England. Propaganda is used in the way old Major points out a common enemy and teaches the animals a song which will spread his views each time it is sung.

Throughout the novella, Napoleon and Squealer use propaganda to oppress and control the other animals on the farm. Napoleon uses fear and violence to coerce the animals into obeying him. His dogs scare the animals and Squealer continually mentions the possibility of Mr. Jones returning to the farm. Squealer manipulates language by making minor changes to the 7 Commandments, using euphemisms, and teaching the sheep a new mantra that aligns with the pigs' views. Squealer also fabricates statistics, and Minimus writes various poems to honor Napoleon. The animals ignorantly accept the statistics and blindly follow Napoleon without questioning his decisions.