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Animal Farm: George Orwell

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Throughout history, education has always been important. The Greek philosopher, Epictetus, wrote in his novel, Discourses, “only the educated are free. ” Being educated opens many doors and opportunities that can get a person very far in life. In Animal Farm by George Orwell, lack of education leads to manipulation through the changes to the Commandments, the difference in work ethics of the pigs, and the excessive power of Napolean. First, Animal Farm demonstrates manipulation through the constant changes the “superior” animals made to the Commandments.

Whenever Napolean and the other pigs made changes to the Commandments, they made the rest of the animals think it had been like that all along. The Fourth Commandment said, “No animal shall sleep in a bed,” but later in the story, Squealer added words to the Commandment and made it say, “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets” (24, 67). Squealer used his persuasive powers to convince the animals it had been this way so no questions would be asked.

Another instance of the Commandments being altered is when the pigs cut the Seven Commandments into one phrase that said, ” All animals are equal/But some animals are more equal than others” (134). ‘Equal’ in this phrase takes on a different meaning. It is saying all animals are equal, but some are better than others. The changes that were made to the Commandments prove that the pigs took advantage of the other animals’ lack knowledge.

Next, Orwell shows the controlling ways of the pigs through the difference in work ethics between the pigs’ and the rest of the farm. The animals worked like slaves,” whereas, the pigs “should have a quiet place to work in” (59, 66). Basically, all of the animals worked very hard while the pigs stayed in the house educating themselves; they considered themselves “the brains of the farm” (66). “Napoleon rarely appeared in public, but spent all his time in the farmhouse,” is a prime example of what the farm was like most of the time (75). Napoleon would stay in the farmhouse all day and came out only in a “ceremonial manner” (75).

The ways in which the animals worked to those of the pigs’ clarify that they used them for their ignorance and got away with not helping the farm prosper. Lastly, Animal Farm exhibited manipulation through the power Napoleon took. After Snowball was chased away from the farm, Napoleon had no one to compete with when it came to leadership. He made the rule “there would be no more debates” (54). In other words, the animals could not openly disagree with the things he said or did.

In one occasion, the hens rebelled against him because he wanted to make a profit from the hen’s eggs. Napoleon “ordered the hens’ rations to be stopped, and decreed that any animal giving so much as a grain of corn to a hen should be punished by death” (76). After this situation, no other animal dared to protest against Napoleon. Eventually, they formed the mindset that “Napoleon {was} always right,” specifically, Boxer (56). The only reason they would believe this is because of their lack of education and knowing nothing other than what Napoleon has said.

George Orwell revealed in Animal Farm that being uneducated makes one more vulnerable to being taken advantage of through the adjustments to the Commandments, distinction of different working patterns, and the superfluous amount of authority Napoleon had. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” said Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa. The extra step a person takes to become educated will be the best one he makes.

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