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George Orwell’s Animal Farm: Ignorance of Animals and Pigs Controlling Farm

In George Orwell’s book, Animal Farm, it is obvious that that the pigs, tyrants though they were, were awarded control of the farm through the ignorance of the other animals. There are various statements in the book that support this idea. After reading this piece, the importance of education should be clear. It seemed as though the pigs created and enacted propositions, and took liberties that increased their control over the other animals, bit by bit, cajoling and threatening until the ignorant animals were convinced that the pigs’ license was in their own best interests.

It was always the pigs who put forward the resolutions. The other animals understood how to vote, but could never think of any resolutions of their own. (Page 38) This quote is symbolic of the way that animal farm was operated. The pigs acted as leaders, the other animals were followers. Especially when a new rule that involved more work was ratified. Then the pigs simply acted as overseers, and, in effect, slavedrivers of the working animals, blatantly avoiding anything physically taxing.

This is demonstrated in a quote from page 35, The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others. Of course, the ignorant animals put forth no opposition. The sheep, cows, horses, and birds were digging their own graves when they reacted passively each time Napoleon usurped a little more power. Since very few of the animals could read, or adequately remember what was read to them, they failed to notice or object when the Seven Commandments were altered. ….

But it appears to me that the wall looks different. Are the seven commandments the same as they used to be Benjamin?…. There was nothing there now but a single commandment. It ran: All Animals Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others. After that, it did not seem strange when next day the pigs ho were supervising the work of the farm all carried whips in their trotters. (Page 123) No animal protested this. It is apparent that education is a powerful weapon against tyranny.

The ignorance is bliss philosophy is one that will lead to a life of oppression. Despite the most adamant warning, the most evil, but educated, tyrant will overcome the most virtuous and noble fool. On page 21, Old Major warned And above all, no animal must ever tyrannise over his own kind. Weak, strong, clever, or simple, we are all brothers. But the simple brothers soon became mere slaves to the demands of a self-inflicted tyranny.

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