About this sample
About this sample
Words: 646 |
4 min read
Published: Apr 29, 2022
Words: 646|Page: 1|4 min read
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” It is essential for a nation’s citizens to be informed and educated in order to guide and protect their society. An uneducated or misinformed person is unable to foresee consequences of a rash or blind decision. George Orwell used his novel Animal Farm to illustrate the importance of educating citizens. The uneducated animals in Animal Farm are easily manipulated, deceived, and undermined by their leaders.
The educated pigs use the art of manipulation and deception to influence the other animals for their benefit. Squealer, Napoleon’s spokesperson, gathers the pigs to explain where the milk they had gathered went. He says, “You don’t imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health” (Orwell 35). This demonstrates the way the leaders use words and phrases to influence the animals to do what they want. In this case, Squealer is trying to convince them that their continued efforts to gather milk and apples is for their benefit, not the leaders’. The animals’ lack of education and inability to decipher the deceptive words leaves them no choice but to believe the lies they are told.
In addition to deceiving the working animals, the educated pigs undermine them. After Old Major died Napoleon and Snowball take the lead in establishing animalism. Together they come up with the Seven Commandments for Animal Farm. After Snowball is exiled, Napoleon gradually changes the Commandments to fit his motives and to best benefit himself. Clover asks, “‘Are the Seven Commandments the same as they used to be, Benjamin?’ For once Benjamin consented to break his rule, and he read out to her what was written on the wall. There was nothing there now except a single Commandment” (Orwell 134). Benjamin confirms to Clover that where there were once Seven Commandments there is now only one remaining on the wall. The pigs slowly eliminate and alter the Commandments as they evolve to be more like the humans. The leaders undermine the animals by gradually making changes that the uneducated animals do not notice.
On the other hand, some might argue that Napoleon is not taking advantage of the uneducated, rather looking out for their needs because they do not know enough to take care of themselves. Napoleon contradicts this theory when he orders the animals to build a windmill that he intends to name after himself. Even after an incredibly long work week, he orders them to work more. He states that the work is optional, yet cuts the food of any animal not willing to work. “Throughout the spring and summer they worked a sixty-hour week, and in August Napoleon announced that there would be work on Sunday afternoons as well. This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half” (Orwell 59). Napoleon is not looking out for the animals, but working them just like Mr. Jones. Napoleon uses fear and violence against the working animals to get them to fulfill his personal desires.
It is essential that people be given the necessary information to make a wise decision in regard to their governing body. Orwell shows what happens when people are misinformed. Giving absolute control to an individual without knowledge of consequence can lead to manipulation, deceit, and undermining by authorities. In Animal Farm, the animals overtake the humans with hopes of a better life, but their lack of knowledge leads them right back to hard times and a tyrant leader. George Orwell’s Animal Farm shows the importance of educating the citizens in an effort to hold their government accountable.
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