The Principles of Animalism are the set of principles devised by Old Major in Animal Farm that all the animals are expected to live up to and follow. These include complete equality among the animals, and a rejection of human ways. During the tale, we see these principles progressively subverted by the pigs for their own agenda, which is to assume complete control of Animal Farm, while encouraging the other animals to believe that the equality still exists. Squealer, as the propagandist on behalf of the pigs, and the sheep and dogs as groups utilised by Napoleon to advance his ause, are used by the pigs to destroy Old Majors idealism.
Squealer is used by Napoleon as a spin-doctor, to manipulate the truth and deceive the other creatures. We can see an example of this when the pigs start to subvert the principle of equality, and decide to keep the apples and milk to themselves. Obviously this arouses the animals because they are just about clever enough to see that this is not fair, and that the pigs are being greedy.
However, Squealer is sent by the pigs to quell any unrest that might be brewing: ‘Comrades! ‘ he cried. ‘You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are oing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Of course, this is exactly what the animals think, but when they are confronted in such a straightforward manner, with such a reproving tone behind the question, they cannot really reply, which gives Squealer the chance to begin his lies, which the animals believe just because they can acknowledge the fact that the pigs are cleverer than themselves. This use of a rhetorical question is Squealer’s main technique against the animals, as this type of question hides a threat of disapproval if answered, and so makes answer impossible: It was almost unbelievable, said Squealer, that any animal could be so stupid.
Other Animalism Principles
Surely, he cried indignantly, whisking his tail and skipping from side to side, surely they knew their beloved Leader, Comrade Napoleon, better than that? Once he has thus silenced the animals, Squealer, can go on to say anything that he wishes to persuade them that everything is fine. Squealer will also support his rhetorical questions with a statement to make the animals feel guilty and shamed for ever doubting the pig’s motives.
Not only do they then drop their arguments, but they will take up a different train of thought ntirely: ‘It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples. Now, as well as not being able to continue arguing, the animals will also have the new sense of gratification towards the pigs for their protection, thus making them less likely to argue in the future. Squealer is extremely clever, and so can exploit any of the animals’ weaknesses. One of these is their fear of the return of Jones who for them symbolises all the oppression that they were under in the past. By threatening the return of Jones, Squealer can make the animals more passive in their attitudes because in their minds
Jones is the ultimate symbol of oppression and fear: ‘surely there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back? ‘ Now if there was one thing that the animals were completely certain of, it was that they did not want Jones back. Looking at their situation in such a light, the animals can romanticise that whatever is happening in their lives now, it can’t be as bad as when they had no ‘equality’ under Jones: But they were happy in their work; they grudged no effort or sacrifice, well aware that everything that they did was for the benefit of themselves
False logic and facts are techniques that Squealer can use when talking to support what he is saying, but only because the animals are not educated. For example, he uses ‘facts’ from subjects that they would clearly know nothing about because they cannot read. The animals have acknowledged the pig’s intelligence over them, so they are prone to believe that the pigs know what they are talking about when in fact they do not, but are bluffing: ‘Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig.
We pigs are brain-workers. Of course the animals have no basis or education to argue with ‘Science’, and so now in their minds, ‘The importance of keeping the pigs in good health was all too obvious. ‘ The false logic that Squealer uses is often preposterous to the reader, as we can see where it breaks down and becomes sheer nonsense: A too rigid equality in rations, Squealer explained, would have been contrary to the principles of Animalism. However the animals are not able to make the same judgement because they have not developed completely logical thought yet.
Often they need time to be able to gather heir thoughts, which Squealer does not give them by making his speeches long and conclusive. What makes Squealer such a good propagandist is his ability to control the animals’ thoughts by what he is saying. Nervous little skips from side to side, giving the appearance of anxiousness, is part of his act when he wants the animals to sense importance. In a way he acts as a bridge between the pigs and the animals, as he is pretending to be on their own level, while really just acting. He can make them believe this by calling them ‘Comrades’.
He instils the trust in them, and then can xploit their belief in his truthfulness: Reading out the figures in a shrill, rapid voice, he proved to them in detail……………… The animals believed every word of it. Whatever else is happening, and no matter how much the other pigs are distancing themselves, the animals will always trust Squealer to be giving them honest information. Napoleon uses the sheep to cause confusion and disrupt the animals’ train of thought. This is centred around their ability to be taught something and then repeat it for as long as desired.
Because of a complete lack of intelligence on their part, they do ot actually have their own opinions on any matter, and even to teach them simple phrases takes its time. They are very useful though in quashing any signs of rebellion on the part of the animals, because they simply do not allow anyone to have any form of say by the sheer amount of noise they create: Frightened though they were, some of the animals might possibly have protested, but at this moment the sheep set up their usual bleating of ‘Four legs good, two legs bad’, which put an end to the discussion.
The use of the sheep is here timed to perfection so that the animals have no way of rotesting against what the pigs are doing. This routine is thoroughly well planned by Napoleon so that he can do whatever he wishes without having to use Squealer or force (or in fact when he can’t use Squealer, as when the pigs begin to walk on their hind legs- because they are now acting above the animals, Squealer is no longer a bridge). The sheep use simple slogans such as ‘Four legs good, two legs bad’, which are easy to remember and can be repeated over and over ad infinitum.
In this way they usurp the animal’s right to free speech by denying them the opportunity to speak out. The timing of their bleating is co-ordinated by the pigs via secret signals and therefore disguised as coincidence. It was noticed that they were especially liable to break into ‘Four legs good, two legs bad’ at the crucial moments in Snowball’s speeches. The animals never realise that the pigs are controlling the sheep, it seems to them like chance whether the sheep will start bleating or not. They become accustomed to the sheep breaking in to calm any tensions: Then, as usual, the sheep broke into ‘Four legs good, two legs bad! and the momentary awkwardness was smoothed over. This is the reason that the sheep are so successful in disruption; the animals are not aware that their timing has been orchestrated, and so do not realise that they will start their bleating at crucial moments. If they did they might be able to keep their key arguments in mind and then take up the issue at another time. The other group of animals without any opinion is the dogs, who were taken away at birth by Napoleon to be secretly trained to respond to his command. They are very vicious, and seen by the other animals as being ‘creatures’ who are completely nknown and alien.
They quickly become the enforcement of order by brutal means, often killing, and so the animals quickly become afraid of them just as they are of humans. They attend the pigs wherever they go and prevent any form of argument with the threat of violence: But suddenly the dogs sitting round Napoleon let out deep, menacing growls, and the pigs fell silent and sat down again. Here the animals with the most chance of formulating an effective protest, some young pigs, are stopped in their protests at not being able to debate the running of the arm any more (the removal of free will from the animals) by the threat of force from the dogs.
These same pigs are later targeted when the dogs serve a new purpose in executing animals who are apparently traitors to Animal Farm. The dogs’ influence quickly grows until they are on a par with the pigs in terms of importance and stature: Once again all rations were reduced, except those of the pigs and dogs. The dogs are needed in full health by Napoleon so that they can be a guarding escort for the important pigs, but they are more than that because they are Napoleon’s ersonal protection elite as well, and so hold more weight than a normal guard force would.
They also start to help supervise the running of the farm, highlighting their difference to the other animals (they are not just being used): The dogs saw to it that these orders were carried out. The dogs are shown to be devoid of any personality, which contributes to the animal’s fear of them as it enforces their alien nature; they are thoughtless beings that exhibit no signs of compassion. When they kill, the animals are firstly horrified, but come to realise that they are easily capable of such things, and so a threat.
Napoleon uses the dogs as a threatening force, a protection service and to get rid of potential troublemakers. These troublemakers are dispatched with intention, however there are also random killings that cause the animals much fear and distress. These random executions that begin are just a way of making all the animals live in fear of stepping out of line and of the dogs (their ruthlessness in killing their own kind is shocking to the animals). This fear means that they never dare to do anything other than go along with the pigs, because they know it will probably result in death for eing a ‘traitor’.
All in all, the pigs use many methods with which to subvert the principles of Animalism. The use of fear is key to controlling the animals, and is used by both the dogs and Squealer, but in different ways; Squealer uses words to scare the animals into submission, while the dogs actually hold a force which they demonstrate regularly. Another method is that which is employed by the sheep, which is on the whole very different, yet very effective. By means of creating noise in the form of a repeated slogan, the sheep confuse the animals thoughts, and remove the opportunity or debate or argument.
All of this goes towards making the animals passive in preparation for the final subversion of Animalism; the final great shift where the pigs make the transition from the animal to the human, the very same force that the animals strived to defeat and against whom they gained their independance in the first place (this shift meaning that all that the animals have done is worth nothing, as they are back where they started, perhaps with even less, as now they have no hope with which to console themselves; everything has been removed form them).