© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Animal Farm

Animal Farm

by George Orwell

Lies and Deceit Theme

Animal Farm runs on pig fat and lies. By the end, "truth" has become so malleable that the animals can't even remember what actually happened. A lie is something that contradicts the pigs' agenda; a truth is something that supports it. Napoleon might try to justify the lies by thinking they're for the good of the cause, but his propaganda machine is still cranking out the myths. Is our narrator the only source of unbiased fact? Or could you say that Animal Farm is a kind of anti-communist propaganda of its own?

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. What specific tools does Squealer use to deceive the animals, and why do they work so well?
  2. You might have noticed that several different animals, and humans, use deception. How do the animals use it differently, if at all? Are the motivations different? The outcomes? The style?
  3. The animals are dumb, but they're not that dumb. Well, the sheep are. But the rest have an inclination that something is rotten in the state of Animal Farm. So why don't they do anything about it?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

While the pigs are able to convince some of the animals of their lies, they ultimately can't convince the majority of animals.

The pigs' ability to alter the official record of the past is their most powerful tool of control.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement