The term propaganda is sometimes brought up in casual conversation, however, many do not realize the potential power that propaganda can have. Merriam-Webster defines propaganda as the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person. In the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell, propaganda is shown to indeed cause harm. An examination of various sections of the book will be conducted in order to demonstrate three aspects of propaganda: how it is used by Snowball to positively obtain the control of Animal Farm; how Napoleon uses it in a sinister way to exile Snowball and his paradigm and to show Napoleon’s propaganda as a scapegoat for his own problems.
Again, Merriam-Webster states propaganda as the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person. First, it can be seen how Snowball uses propaganda to effectively assume leadership of Animal Farm. After the rebellion, Snowball took control and broadcast his ideas upon desprate ears. Vote for Snowball and the three day week… (p.34) Snowball spread propaganda that would promote Animalism by building a windmill. This windmill was to be used for luxuries that would make life better for everyone on Animal Farm. Snowball also said that although the construction would be difficult all animals would benefit in the long run. His positive attitude, ideas and propaganda excited the animals so much that they wanted to build it, until the demise of Snowball and his crimes of treason.
Napoleon decided to use propaganda in a negative manner to destroy the reputation of Snowball’s righteousness. During a vote when the animals of Animal Farm were to decide the fate of the windmill, the animals seemed to be siding with Snowball. That is when Napoleon implemented his wicked plot to rule Animal Farm. Napoleon exiled Snowball from the farm by means of death and then spread propaganda about how he was a traitor from the beginning and how he has been working with Mr. Jones the past (exiled) owner of Animal Farm. Napoleon did this to guarantee his position of leadership at Animal Farm to counteract when he was outsmarted by the plans for the windmill and the fact that Snowball was likely to be the one in complete control of the farm. However, all the animals accepted Napoleon’s propaganda and continued with him as their new leader.
. During the unjust reign of Napoleon at Animal Farm, he encountered many problems that would eventually be attributed to the use of propaganda. This use of propaganda was again corrupt, but it was used in a different way, propaganda served as a scapegoat for Snowball and every issue that would threaten his role as leader. This was obliviously evident in many ways. When the windmill (a bad idea to begin with) was being built under the rule of Napoleon, it toppled in a violent storm. It was declared destroyed by Snowball but he could not have destroyed the windmill due to sheer size. The animals thought about how Snowball was a traitor in the past and believed every word that Napoleon directed. This also shows how propaganda is very powerful when it is used in leadership situations. People will believe anything.
The novel Animal Farm clearly indicates how propaganda is used to change others beliefs When people are motivated by positive ideals and wish to promote those ideas, propaganda is a wonderful tool. However, when we see the darkness from Napoleon and it becomes difficult to separate the truth from lies. Hopefully, when propaganda is brought up in casual conversation it comes out in the way that Snowball intended. To help people.