There was a quote by American moral and social philosopher, Eric Hoffer, “Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.” In the fiction novella of Animal Farm, George Orwell creates an allegory for the Russian Revolution; The animals on Manor Farm are sick of being so poorly treated by their human owners. When their farmer forgets to feed the animals they began to revolt against him and allow the pigs to be their leaders in hope of receiving better treatment. In reality, the pigs end up just as bad as the humans (if not, worse) as they try to create a perfect society under a social structure the animals call Animalism. Squealer, a convincing orator of the world of Animal Farm, represents all the different propaganda tactics used by Stalin against the Soviet Revolutionaries in attempt to convince them into his point of view.
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In one chapter, the animals have finished harvesting all the windfall apples and in addition all the cows have just been milked. The pigs then ask the animals to move all the apples as well as the milk to the harness room to store for the pigs. Because of this request the animals begin to ask questions of why the pigs have kept all the food to themselves. Squealer then responds with the claim of, “You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples.” (Ch.3, Pg. 35) He then goes onto to claim that milk and apples were a necessary part of a healthy pig’s diet, and that if the pigs had not kept all the apples and the milk for “brain food” to themselves Farmer Jones would surely come back. Here, Squealer is using the big lie tactic as well as a fear tactic. This scene is an allegory for when the aristocracy in Russia took the tax money of all the Revolutionaries, claiming the money was taken to “protect the people”.
After Snowball had run out of the farm in Chapter 5, Squealer explains that Napoleon had never completely disagreed with idea for the windmill, but that Napoleon only disagreed as a covert way to get rid of Snowball. ( Pg. 57-58 ) Using Snowball as a scapegoat in an attempt to encourage the animals to build up the windmill (again) Squealer encourages the “big” lie. The windmill as a symbol of industry, now has the animals focused on industry instead of agriculture, which in return will gain the pigs more money, yet not provide food for the rest of the animals. This correlates back to how Stalin wanted to industrialize Russia to keep up with the rest of the western world.
Continuing to use Snowball as the fall guy, Squealer persuades the rest of the animals that Snowball had not been fighting on their side during The Battle of the Cowshed, but instead was fighting on the opposite side. Trying to prove this, Squealer tries to bring falsified documents knowing that all the farm animals are illiterate and to fool them even more, Squealer has Boxer, a horse who only knows the first four letters of the alphabet, to read the documents to them. This has become an analogy for the propaganda that was used against Trotsky, by Stalin, saying that Trotsky had never fought for Russia, but against Russia. In addition, Stalin even tries to provide false documents for evidence as well.
Propaganda used by Squealer is a direct parallel of propaganda used by Stalin in Soviet Russia, not only was it used to strike fear into the hearts of the common but confuses them into believing lies they they never would’ve believed before. Squealer is Napoleon’s way of keeping the rest of the animals under control by use of propaganda. Even though it may go unnoticed, propaganda is still used today. A major example of propaganda would be all the Uncle Sam posters during the Vietnam War.
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