One major theme of George Orwell’s 1945 novel, Animal Farm, is that an uneducated populace is easily manipulated. Orwell believed the widespread ability to read, write, think, and speak was imperative to a healthy society. For Orwell, education is power and the best way to fight authoritarianism.
Boxer is perhaps the best example of this theme in action. Despite his best efforts to learn to read and write, he is unable to learn more than the first four letters of the alphabet. Hardworking but ignorant, Boxer is incapable of thinking for himself. When trying to recall the original precepts of Animalism, Boxer slowly determines, "If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right." He then creates a slogan, “Napoleon is always right,” to absolve himself of the responsibility to think. Had Boxer been able to read, write, and think for himself, he would likely have understood the subtle machinations of the pigs before he was sold to a glue factory.
Another primary example of the importance of...
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