What is Orwell's message about the power of education? Give examples from the novel.

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In Animal Farm, Orwell is anxious to convey the message that education can be used both to liberate and to oppress. Just like the Bolsheviks with the Russian masses, Old Major wants to wipe out illiteracy among the animals. He believes that the human oppressor has been using the animals' illiteracy as a means of keeping them down, keeping them in a state of perpetual ignorance. For Old Major, the animals will only be able to walk tall—in a figurative sense—if they're able to read and write as well as the humans themselves.

However, Old Major's liberating message is cynically distorted by Napoleon and the other pigs once they've achieved power. They proceed to keep the other animals in a state of subjection even worse than what they experienced under Mr. Jones. And the pigs use education—or rather, the lack of it—to maintain their iron grip on power. The animals' illiteracy allows Napoleon to change the Seven Commandments of Animalism whenever it suits him. It's always easy to change...

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