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Scapegoat in George Orwells Animal Farm

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Words: 697 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Words: 697|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Pigs' Positioning as Leaders
  3. Snowball as a Scapegoat
  4. Boxer as a Scapegoat
  5. Snowball as a Scapegoat on a Larger Scale
  6. Scapegoating and Broader Patterns of Power and Oppression
  7. The Danger of Blindly Accepting Scapegoats
  8. Conclusion

Introduction

In George Orwell's novella Animal Farm, the concept of scapegoating plays a significant role in the narrative. Scapegoating is the act of blaming a particular individual or group for the problems and shortcomings of society, often as a means of deflecting attention from the real issues at hand. This essay will explore the theme of scapegoating in Animal Farm, examining how it is used by the ruling pigs to maintain control over the other animals and how it reflects broader patterns of power and oppression.

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The Pigs' Positioning as Leaders

From the very beginning of the story, the pigs, led by Napoleon and Snowball, position themselves as the leaders of the animal revolution. They claim to be working for the betterment of all the animals, promising equality and freedom. However, as time goes on, it becomes clear that the pigs are using scapegoating as a tool to consolidate their power and maintain control over the farm.

Snowball as a Scapegoat

One of the first examples of scapegoating in the novella occurs when Snowball is blamed for the destruction of the windmill. After the windmill collapses, the pigs, led by Napoleon, spread rumors that Snowball was responsible for the destruction. They paint him as a traitor, accusing him of being in league with the human farmers. By shifting the blame onto Snowball, Napoleon is able to divert attention away from the fact that the collapse was actually due to the pigs' mismanagement and greed. This scapegoating allows Napoleon to consolidate his power and eliminate any potential threats to his authority.

Boxer as a Scapegoat

Another instance of scapegoating can be seen in the character of Boxer, the loyal and hardworking horse. Boxer is portrayed as the embodiment of the working class, always putting in his best effort for the good of the farm. However, when Boxer is injured and can no longer work, the pigs use him as a scapegoat for their own failures. They sell him to the knacker, claiming that they are sending him to a veterinarian for treatment. In reality, they are exploiting his labor and profiting from his suffering. This scapegoating of Boxer allows the pigs to continue their oppressive rule without scrutiny or resistance.

Snowball as a Scapegoat on a Larger Scale

The pigs' use of scapegoating is not limited to individual animals; they also employ it on a larger scale to maintain control over the entire farm. Throughout the novella, the pigs use the figure of Snowball as a scapegoat for any problems or failures that occur. Whenever something goes wrong, the pigs blame Snowball, claiming that he is sabotaging their efforts and working against the interests of the animals. This scapegoating allows the pigs to divert attention from their own failures and incompetence, presenting themselves as the only solution to the problems they themselves have created.

Scapegoating and Broader Patterns of Power and Oppression

The theme of scapegoating in Animal Farm reflects broader patterns of power and oppression in society. Scapegoating is a common tactic used by those in power to maintain control and deflect blame. By creating a scapegoat, the ruling class is able to control the narrative and prevent the oppressed from questioning their authority. In Animal Farm, the pigs use scapegoating to manipulate the other animals, ensuring their continued obedience and submission.

The Danger of Blindly Accepting Scapegoats

Furthermore, the novella highlights the danger of blindly accepting scapegoats without questioning their validity. The animals on the farm are quick to believe the pigs' accusations against Snowball and Boxer, failing to critically analyze the evidence or consider alternative explanations. This blind acceptance allows the pigs to continue their oppressive rule unchallenged. Orwell's portrayal of scapegoating serves as a warning against the dangers of groupthink and the importance of critical thinking in resisting oppression.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, scapegoating is a prominent theme in George Orwell's Animal Farm. The pigs, led by Napoleon, use scapegoating as a tool to maintain control over the other animals and deflect blame from their own failures. This theme reflects broader patterns of power and oppression in society, highlighting the danger of blindly accepting scapegoats without critical analysis. Orwell's exploration of scapegoating serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us of the importance of questioning authority and standing up against injustice.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Scapegoat In George Orwells Animal Farm. (2024, March 19). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/scapegoat-in-george-orwells-animal-farm/
“Scapegoat In George Orwells Animal Farm.” GradesFixer, 19 Mar. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/scapegoat-in-george-orwells-animal-farm/
Scapegoat In George Orwells Animal Farm. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/scapegoat-in-george-orwells-animal-farm/> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Scapegoat In George Orwells Animal Farm [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 19 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/scapegoat-in-george-orwells-animal-farm/
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