The Role Of Education In George Orwell's Animal Farm

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The works of George Orwell offer its readers a perspective into totalitarian governments and control. When reading his stories, it is good to consider Orwell’s own personal philosophies on things such as social dynamics within these communist societies and social class systems in general. With the writer’s ideals in mind, the reader can begin to trace underlying themes developing as stories within the story. In a work such as his novella Animal Farm, the role of education within communist class systems becomes the topic of consideration.
Education is important to many people. Animal Farm, though influential and thought provoking, gives an unfair portrayal of educated people. Of the many characters in Animal Farm, the only literate ones are
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They faithfully follow the pigs and look to them for guidance. The comparison of the pigs’ laziness to the other animal’s hard work is specifically seen in Boxer who “from morning to night [was] pushing and pulling, always at the spot where the work was hardest” (Orwell, Animal Farm pg. 35). However, few of these other animals can read even simple words, and none can write (Orwell, Animal Farm). Their lack of education is glorified in their simplicity and their trusting manner. It is viewed almost as a virtue rather than as ignorance. Orwell’s own personal life may have contributed to this biased perception of the educated. In his studies as a child, Orwell was unpopular among other students. He noticed that his richer peers were treated better by his teachers, and he could not continue his higher education because of his own financial problems (“George Orwell Biography”). His negative experiences with education in his early life tainted his perception of the…show more content…
His unfair treatment by his early teachers is represented by the pigs, who unsuccessfully tried to teach the others to read and write. His personal distrust of the learned is shown by the manner in which Snowball manipulates the other animals. The deception is also shown in how the pigs use their monopolized ability to read and write to change the written laws of the farm in their favor, which the other animals are unable to detect. Finally, Orwell’s own personal experience of being unable to further his education and having remained a part of the working class are depicted in the other animals of the farm. Though they tried to learn to read and write, they were not able to do so. Instead, they labored and obeyed the pigs. In this way, the ability and willingness to work hard is valued more than the ability to think freely and to

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