Thematic Study: Propaganda

Animal Farm Unit
To explore how Orwell
uses Squealer the pig
as a platform for
propaganda in Animal
Whole class task
Group tasks
Napoleon uses Squealer to
“brainwash” the farm
animals into accepting
his decisions and
e.g. The building of the
Windmill as Napoleon’s
idea – even though they
know it was Snowball
who came up with it.
Propaganda is
information, ideas, or
rumours deliberately
spread widely to help or
harm a person, group,
movement, institution,
nation, etc.
It is associated largely in
politics and crucial to the
plot of Animal Farm.
As he is in charge of all
the propaganda,
Squealer uses his skills
with language to
persuade them that
everything is for the
SELECTION of facts which only support arguments
LYING – telling lies e.g. Hitler : “ If you tell a BIG LIE
enough and loudly enough people will begin to
believe it.”
3. REPETITION – repeating certain words/statements
4. PINPOINTING THE ENEMY – an attempt to unite
everybody against an “enemy” tp prevent them
thinking for themselves.
5. ASSERTION – bold statements made
6. RHETORICAL QUESTIONS – speaker can’t answer
them yet does not wish the listeners to respond.
Task One: Using Squealer’s speech, discuss and make notes
on the following:
How does Squealer anticipate and deal with the
accusation that the pigs are creating a privileged class?
2. How does he use pseudo-scientific ‘facts’ that apparently
back him up?
3. What reason does he give for the pigs needing milk and
4. How does he make the pigs sound selfless and
5. What threat does he finally use that he knows will clinch
the argument?
Task Two: Each group will be given the list of
persuasive tactics from the previous slide. You
must highlight the relevant examples before
noting down the effect of the technique i.e.
How this affects the characters/plot etc.
Orwell uses Squealer to:
1. Lie to the animals
2. Repeat certain phrases
3. Blame the enemy i.e. Farmer Jones and
4. Assert new rules
5. Pose rhetorical questions
6. Select some facts
What are the effects of each on the characters
and plot of the novel?
Remember to focus less on the what and more
on the how...
This is how you provide appropriate analysis of
this theme in a critical essay.
Consider and make notes on Napoleon under
the following headings:
1. Characterisation i.e. How he comes across
2. Actions i.e. How he bahaves
3. Use of Squealer (continued) i.e. propaganda
4. Treatment of the animals – particularly
those executed
This chapter is focussed on the continuing rise
to power by Napoleon.
Lesson focus: What techniques does Orwell use
to make Napoleon a strong and dominating
Lesson focus: How Orwell represents Napoleon
in this chapter.
In groups discuss the following and make brief
noted/key words only:
1. The gap widens/ Napoleon becomes more
and more of a leader
2. The Battle of the Windmill
3. The consumption of alcohol
Lesson focus: How Orwell makes the reader feel
sympathy for Boxer.
Consider the following and make notes in your jotters:
1. The diligence of Boxer
2. Boxer’s size and stamina
3. The reason for his departure
4. The reactions of the other animals
How does Orwell build to this emotional climax?
Lesson focus: How does Orwell create an
ambiguous ending to the novel?
1. What is the function of the narrator?
Consider how the story is told and from
which view point.
2. What are the advantages of this view point?
Make notes on how the animals have been
affected by Napoleon’s rise to power.
Explain what you suspect will happen next.
Explain why you feel this is an effective ending
to the novel. Refer to techniques of character,
plot, propaganda/theme, climax and turning
Corruption of power
Terror/rule by fear
Old Major
The turning point serves to change the action
and the plot direction changes.
The climax is the event which Orwell builds up
to – the worst event of the whole novel which
is intended to shock the reader – even more
so than the execution of the animals.
The structure reflects the logical decline of
Animal Farm and the rise of Napoleon’s
Chapters 1 -10
The first starts off positively, but by the last
chapter all animals are negative, over-worked
and hungry.
Remember that the critical essay is marked on
four sections:
Understanding of the main ideas of text
Analysis of the techniques used by Orwell
Evaluation of how effective you find these to be
Expression – how you express
yourself/technical accuracy.
You should attempt to join sentences and
paragraphs appropriately:
Furthermore, in addition to, however, despite
this, consequently etc
Evaluation comments should show how you
have engaged with the text:
Clearly, it is obvious, shocking, forces the
reader to feel, surprisingly, effectively
Choose a task you can complete a FULL essay on.
Make sure you have memorised a couple of
quotations for each technique and can analyse the
use of it e.g. Characterisation
3. Every paragraph (topic sentence) should link back
to the task.
4. Your essay should have an obvious line of
argument which is developed as the essay
progresses to its conclusion.
Answers to questions in this section should refer to the text and to such relevant
features as: characterisation, setting, language, key incident(s), climax/turning
point, plot, structure, narrative technique, theme, ideas, description
Task: Choose a novel or short story in which two of the main
characters have a disagreement which is important to the
outcome of the novel or short story.
Identify the reasons for the disagreement and go on to show
how the effects of the disagreement have an impact on the
rest of the novel or short story.
The techniques highlighted in bold are the ones we
have studied – therefore you should refer to at least
three of them in your essay.
Using highlighter pens, go through the task and
identify EXACTLY what is it asking you to do.
Once you have completed that, you should make a
rough plan with the techniques you wish to include
and how they relate to the question.
Using the book and all your notes (as well as
planning page), you should complete the
essay in 45 minutes. Remember:
Introduction: Title Author Refer to Task
Conclusion: A summary of the main points of
the essay. DO NOT include something you
have not already mentioned in main body of