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Animal Farm: Methods of Control (Population)
Transcript of Animal Farm: Methods of Control (Population)
George Orwell once wrote: “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been … against totalitarianism.”
Totalitarianism- a form of government in which the state seeks to control every facet of life, from economics and politics to the each individual’s ideas and beliefs. Different totalitarian states have different justifications for their rule. For instance, Mr. Jones runs Manor Farm based on the idea that human domination of animals is the natural order of things, while Napoleon and the pigs run Animal Farm with the claim that they are fighting for animals against evil humans. Animal Farm is the story of an imperfect communist revolution. Immediately after the revolution, the animals create a purely communist government but this government is quickly hijacked by Napoleon and gradually he changes the rules and the power structure until Animal Farm becomes a totalitarian dictatorship.
Orwell’s satire of the Russian Revolution, and his dark dystopian vision of a population under complete surveillance and control, have informed generations of readers of the threat posed by tyrannical governments. - Threat to the lives of the animals by using the puppies he had trained as guards
- Food is what motivates most of these animals and is one big reason that motivated them to revolt in the first place.
- Using psychological methods to control the population
- Rules never changed (they must've been dreaming)
- Constantly Using Squealer as propaganda to justify actions
- Reminding them of Mr. Jones and how it was
"worse" back then Methods of Population Control “Four legs good, two legs bad.”
Whereas the Seven Commandments that the pigs formulate are a detailed mix of anti-human directives (“No animal shall wear clothes”), moral value judgments (“No animal shall kill another animal”), and utopian ideals (“All animals are equal”), the new slogan contains none of these elements.
In its simplicity, this new slogan is all too easy to understand and becomes ingrained in even the most dull-witted of minds, minds that cannot think critically about how the slogan, while seems to simply support the animals’ crusade for freedom, actually enables the pigs to institute their own oppressive regime.
1) What do you think is the most effective form of control? Do you think Snowball's method of control was more effective than Napoleon's?
2) If Snowball remained in power, would he have succumbed to using the same methods of control as Napoleon? Would any pig end up acting as Napoleon did? Why or why not?
3) Which would survive longest- a communist government, a totalitarian dictatorship, or a democracy?
4) What message was Orwell trying to share with his audience about the soviet government?
5) Of all of the characters in Animal Farm, are there any who seem to represent the point of view of the author and his attitude toward control?
6) Can you account for how the pigs ascended so quickly to power over all other animals? What key steps did they take, or more specifically, which elements did they make certain to control? By: Shreya Chandrasekar
Naomi Philips Quote 5: “If you have your lower animals to contend with,” he said, “we have our lower classes!”
This quip was delivered by Mr. Pilkington to Napoleon during their feast and it makes known the process of ideological corruption that has been taking place. Old Major’s notion of the absolute division of interests between animals and humans here gives way to a division between two classes. Pigs and farmers share a need to keep down their laboring classes. In Animal Farm when Napoleon seized complete control of the farm by expelling Snowball it left Napoleon to lead without opposition. This allowed him to make decisions without asking for the approval of another.
The dictatorship also allowed Napoleon to lie to his people without the truth being dug up by an associate. Stalin did the same thing in Russia. Trotsky, in fear of his life, fled to Mexico where he was hunted down and killed by Stalin’s secret police, creating a dictatorship. Without a voice against him, Stalin gained power and influence over his people. They believed everything he said and promised because they wanted to believe. Their goal of a better life was their weakness as Napoleon manipulated and used propaganda to get them to do what he wanted. The most awarding part about the dictatorship for Stalin was his ability to ignore the rules of communism without opposition and without question from his people. Anyone who did question him was sentenced to death as a tyrant to the leader. Connection Quote 4:
"The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others. With their superior knowledge it was natural that they should assume the leadership."
The pigs originally derive power from their intellect which eventually develops into totalitarian control once Napoleon defeats Snowball. Quote 2: "At this there was a terrible baying sound outside, and nine enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars came bounding into the barn. They dashed straight for Snowball, who only sprang from his place just in time to escape their snapping jaws."
These words describe Napoleon’s violent expulsion of Snowball from Animal Farm, which is the same as the falling-out between Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky. As Stalin did, Napoleon prefers to work behind the scenes to build his power by secrecy and deception, while Snowball, as Trotsky did, devotes himself to winning popular support through his ideas and his eloquence. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
This was the ultimate example of the pigs’ systematic abuse of logic and language to control their underlings.
By small, almost imperceptible steps like these, the core ideals of Animal Farm—and any human nation—gradually become corrupted.