Animal Farm Ruling Power

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade November 2001

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Education is a key to opening up doors. Education is what draws the line between the powerful and the weak. In Animal Farm, George Orwell clearly demonstrates the advantages of the educated. He shows that the ignorant will always remain vulnerable against those who are educated. He uses the animals, and the reign of the pigs in Animal Farm, as a fairy story depiction of manipulation through the power of education. Major, who became the first pig leader of Animal Farm, created the idea of Animalism and stated "Only get rid of man, and the produce of our labour would be our own. Almost over night we could become rich and free"¦ That is my message to you comrades: Rebellion!" (p. 30). Major's belief of Animalism provided the foundation for the future of the farm. Major's vision would also influence and enlighten the other animals to revolt against the cruel human leaders.

The other animals were not mentally proficient in planning such a plot to revolt against the humans; they were so incapable that they couldn't even read, "Boxer could not get beyond the letter D"¦On several occasions, indeed, he learned E, F, G, H, but by the time he knew them, it was always discovered that he had forgotten A, B, C, and D" (p. 50). Napoleon, Snowball, and Squealer were the second-generation pigs that followed Major's ideas. They were the smartest, most influential, and most articulate animals that decided to take it upon themselves to be the ones to lead the other animals to their rebellion. The other animals soon realized that because the pigs could read, write, and use big words, they had the potential and skills to take control of all decisions in the farm. The other animals were not very smart. They believed that if they were to follow the pigs in rebelling against the humans, their life would be much easier. The lack of knowledge illustrated the vulnerability of the animals. Because the animals did not know any better, they had to put their own fate in the hands of the pigs. Because of lack decision-making, education would prove to play an important role in the conquest by the pigs.

One of the most important concepts that kept this group in the position of power was their ability to manipulate. Through manipulation, they controlled almost every aspect of decision-making for the animals. The pigs had the power to convince the other animals of whatever they wanted to make them believe. Through manipulation the pigs, especially Squealer, were able to convince the animals to labor with the least amount of consumption of goods. They took advantage of the animals through words, which demonstrates that "The pen is stronger than the sword." Squealer had this ability, which gave him an upper hand in controlling the animals. "The others said of Squealer that he could turn black into white." Many times, the animals were to ignorant to understand certain issues that he was trying to explain which forced them into accepting whatever he is saying.

The animals of the farm were manipulated in believing that the life they were living with the pigs as the leader was better than life with the humans as leaders. Their biggest fear was having Jones, the human farmer, come back and making their lives miserable again. They were not willing to change their situation, even if it meant that they were manipulated into slave-like labor by the pigs. As Boxer states, "I will work harder"¦Napoleon is always right." Boxer, like many of the other animals, was ignorant about issues in the farm so he just accepted whatever Napoleon says. However, Boxer was a dedicated loyal worker of the farm, and believed that the more he worked, the better life would be. The animals in the farm made sacrifices for a better future. They believed that if they trusted the pigs, as long as they maintained power, the humans wouldn't come back and life would be better. Obviously, education has played an important role in this situation. The pigs were educated, and they used education as a form of manipulation in creating a shield that blinded the animals from seeing the truth. The fear of Jones coming back blinded the other animals in forgetting about the present issues. Rather than thinking about how bad life was at the moment, the animals were manipulated in thinking that it was better than it was with Jones. Being unable to see things, as a whole was a disadvantage that the animals had. The pigs noticed their vulnerability and took advantage of it.

Education is a form of tool. With education, you have the power to do many things. It was once said "A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad." (Roosevelt). An educated man has more power than that of a non-educated man. This idea was obviously represented in the book, Animal Farm. Orwell described the advantages of education over those who are ignorant. He uses Animal Farm as a symbolic representation of manipulation and propagation by the strong and educated group over those who remain vulnerable because of their ignorance.