Animal Farm “Intelligence and Education as a Means of Oppression”

Anyone who has read “Animal farm” would agree that the pigs used the other animals’ lack of intelligence and education as a means of oppression, but is it possible to say that Napoleon and his most loyal follower, Squealer, educate the others so as to control them? Right from the beginning of the novel we can see that the ones who took control of the development of the farm were the pigs, because they were the “smartest of the animals”. At that point, they were still using their superior intelligence and commanding ability to lead the rest of the animals towards what everyone believed was freedom and common welfare.

Everything went right until the pigs found something they wanted only for themselves: milk and apples. And that was enough to have greed taking control of the situation. From that moment on, their greater ideals were left behind and they started deceiving all the other animals. The pigs began stealing more than food for themselves; they started stealing the others’ dreams, hopes and illusions, to turn them into a worse nightmare than the one they had lived when the farm was under Mr. Jones’ careless, almost unbearable regulation. Furthermore, they started using not only education, but also terror to have power over the others.

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First, they threatened the animals, and then they showed themselves as the only ones who could protect their entire lifestyle from any outside threat. For instance, when they accused Snowball of having destroyed the windmill and had threatened with destroying the whole farm. The pigs invented this awful set of lies in order to terrorize their so called “comrades” only to say afterwards that they were the only ones who could control and neutralize the treacherous pig who had run away and wanted revenge, as Squealer would always remark.

And the deal was settled. The small possibilities the other animals had for learning were destroyed, for instance, by burning the books before the animals had learnt to read and write properly. In addition to this, they used propaganda to emphasize and twist reality according to their convenience, like when they changed the seven commandments according to their egotistic needs. To add more, Napoleon also educated the puppies and the piglets to serve his own selfish interests.

He did it so these animals would protect him from a possible wrath and to keep away the farm’s “second class citizens”, the ones who worked hard indeed, but anyway they slowly but inevitably lost their most basic rights, like food, shelter and rest. In conclusion, throughout the novel we’ve seen how the pigs’ intelligence and education allowed them to bring the other animals into submission while they restricted the others’ possibilities to get educated and be their own bosses.

With this novel the author is trying to open our eyes and make us realize how we delegate power and are functional to our government’s lack of connection with our reality and personal greed for power. We just work hard, pay our taxes and let them do what they want; because they are the ones who are supposed to do what’s best for everyone. We study what we are told is the best and we receive the news they want us to get. We are also given a huge influence from propaganda that emphasizes that if you are not with them, you are against them. And not only this, you are also a traitor to the nation, exactly the same as in “Animal farm”.

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