The rise and fall of autocrats has fascinated and intrigued historians and writers likewise for ages, and Author George Orwell was no exception.
In his novel Animal Farm, released in 1946, Orwell parodied the 1917 Russian Revolution and the ensuing decades of dictatorial Soviet injustice. The story takes place on a farm where the victimized animals defy and overthrow their human overlords. They establish somewhat of a utopian society where they work for themselves and are governed by themselves; however, it does not take long for the farm to deteriorate into an authoritarian state with a ruler who can only be described as a tyrant.
The most vital factor responsible for this outcome is propaganda. Through the use of propaganda in the book, the government’s power to control its people’s knowledge and perspective is that government’s ability to manipulate and oppress. In other words, a government’s power is determined by how effectively a government can use propaganda to change one’s view To begin with, Propaganda is used very cleverly on Napoleon’s Animal Farm, and is used by some animals to falsify or alter the truth. A notable animal gaining power through these means is Napoleon. Napoleon used it to control and manipulate the animals so they did as he pleased often relying on others to do the bidding for him like Squealer.
In chapter 5, Squealer assures the animals that what Napoleon is doing is for the benefit of the animals and the farm, saying that Snowball was no more than a criminal. Squealer criticized Snowball in order to give a description of him that would give him a bad reputation. Saying, “Snowball, who, as we now know, was no better than a criminal…” and goes on to say “Snowball’s part in The Battle of Cowshed was much exaggerated.” Orwell 37 Squealer went as far as using fear to raise doubts about problematic animals such as Jones by saying things like, “Surely, comrades, you do not want Jones back?” Orwell 37. Hence, the animals could not resist this argument considering they would do whatever necessary so that Jones would never show his face again on their farm. It was in this manner that Napoleon would be able to evict Snowball from the farm, and as well as from the hearts of the animals too.
Furthermore, the song Minimus orchestrates for Napoleon praises Napoleon all god-like and such, reminiscent of the likes of todays Kim Jong Un. The songs lyrics, “Friend of fatherless! Fountain of happiness!…Calm and commanding eye, Like the sun in the sky, Comrade Napoleon…” Orwell 63 applauses Napoleon and glorifies all the positives on the farm to him. Napoleon is advertising himself with all the characteristics that the animals yearn to see in their leader.