Animal Farm Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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How is propaganda used in Animal Farm?

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jamiebadler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Propaganda is satirized through Squealer the pig. He symbolizes Stalin and the government's control over all media and information being given to the peasants. Because they were uneducated, the peasants could not follow twisted or illogical arguments when they were presented  by someone whom they respected and considered intelligent.  Furthermore, just like in Soviet Russia, the people had once trusted the government's intentions, so they trust the pigs and Squealer, and don't want to seem ungrateful or confrontation by questioning things that confuse them (especially because they know they don't have to the ability to argue back). 

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Propaganda is used in several ways. The first example is the song "Beasts of England," which is spread around the farm and even to other farms; this song motivates the animals to think about revolution, and to fight a specified enemy -- humans -- even though their lives are not all that bad. Later, as Napoleon begins to take control, he uses Squealer to justify all his decisions. Squealer is good with language and good at excusing behavior by the pigs that would be criminal from other animals:

He assured them that the resolution against engaging in trade and using money had never been passed, or even suggested.... "Are you certain that this is not something that you have dreamed, comrades? Have you any record of such a resolution? Is it written down anywhere?"
(Orwell, Animal Farm, msxnet.org)

This is an example of propaganda created by the "government," or by Napoleon's regime. By controlling the topics and themes of discussion,...

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ben-alberstadt | Student

First, a definition, propaganda is "the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person."

In short, the propaganda emerges after the animal revolt which deposes the Mr. Jones and installs Napoleon and company as rulers. The propaganda in the text comes from the pigs and is disseminated to the other animals formally through both the "Beasts of England" song and "The Seven Commandments."

The essential function of all the propaganda in the text is to legitimize the pigs' autority and increase their power. It is notable that while the Commandments apply to all animals, the pigs themselves break every one of them, while expecting the other creatures of the barnyard to continue their obedience.

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