Animal Farm

Songs, Rituals, and Slogans


The songs and rituals that were used by the animals in Animal Farm played a major role in the beliefs and actions of the animals, as well as influencing their perspectives and opinions throughout the process of rebellion and formation/function of the Animal Farm. These were various forms of propaganda used by the pigs to brainwash the animals and force them into submission.


"The singing of this song threw the animals into the wildest excitement...And then...the whole farm burst out into Beasts of England in tremendous unison. (Orwell 13)"

This quote shows how powerful and catchy a song can be. At first, you may not really understand the lyrics and might just get it stuck in your head, but the more it becomes popular, the more you understand/know the lyrics, and the more it influences your life/behavior. These actions are expressed by the animals after learning the song, and it comes to shape their perception on humans and fuel their rebellion.

It shoes the first encounter with the idea of rebellion, and is the spark that ignites the flame for a revolution.

"The sheep developed a great liking for this maxim, and often as they lay in the field they would all start bleating 'Four legs good,two legs bad! Four legs good, two legs bad!' and keep it up for hours on end, never growing tired of it. (Orwell 34)"

This shows how mindless singing and saying slogans can have an affect on your beliefs and the beliefs of others around you. As well, it shows the power of repitition and how it is used to effectively communicate a point.

This particular quote has a large impact in the book, because it fuels many later problems, such as, the lack of communication between leaders, and the confusion/mindless following of the animals.

"Boxer...voiced the general feeling by saying: ' If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right.' And from then on he adopted the maxim, 'Napoleon is always right,' in addition to his private motto of 'I will work harder.' (Orwell 56)"

These examples of slogans that were used throuhout the book show how much blind-faith had to do with the support for the government on Animal Farm. They never questioned the reasoning behind Napoleon's decrees, and they never questioned their work. All the animals looked up to Boxer, so if he was saying these things, then they would too, or at least think them.

"Every Sunday morning at ten o'clock the animals assembled in the big barn to recieve their orders for the week. The skull of old Major, now clean of flesh, had been disinterred from the orchard and set up on a stump at the foot of the flagstaff, beside the gun. After the hoisting of the flag, the animals were required to file past the skull in a reverent manner before entering the barn. (Orwell 56)"

This quote describes the many rituals that the animals on Animal Farm preformed. It shows the submission of the animals to the leaders, and the strict guidlines/regulations that were part of the governmental system. As well, the state of power the leaders had over the animals is brought to light once again, because no animals questioned the rituals or disobeyed them.

"Beasts of England was the song of the rebellion. But the Rebellion is now completed. The execution of the traitors this afternoon was the final act. The enemy both external and internal has been defeated. In Beasts of England we expressed our longing for a better society in days to come. But that society has now been established. Clearly this song has no longer any purpose. (Orwell 88)"

This shows the manipulative nature of the government, and the true power of this song, and songs in general, This song was used as a motivator/ facilitator for rebellion, and they did not want any animals getting any ideas about rebelling from the current state of Animal Farm, and overthrowing Napoleon. Because of this, they decided to ban the song, in an effort to quelsh any thoughts against the governmental rule. This exemplifies the power of songs in relation to thought, emotion, and action.


1. How have you personally been influenced by the songs, slogans, or rituals of society?

2.What are some facilitators of these propoganda techniques, and how have they become more/less prominent today?

3.How have the uses of songs and slogans changed overtime?

4. How do songs and written forms of propoganda differ from each other? How are they alike?

5. How is the use of propoganda good? How is it bad?