Animal Farm Response #1

Is it more important to have a strong ideology, or a strong leader for revolution to occur? What tactics do leaders use to convince others of their ideologies?

In every revolution, a strong ideology trumps a strong leader. Ideologies hold a revolution together; they are the backbone. In order to band people, or animals, together, there must be a powerful reason to fight, a source of injustice. A leader, on its own, is incapable of fabricating a motive strong enough to convince citizens to uproot their lives- the cause needs to affect them personally. In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the leaders, “the pigs, [have] great difficulty” convincing the animals to fight for ‘Animalism’ (pg 6). The animals bring up many doubts and questions as they lack a personal need for the rebellion. Until, the animals begin to experience mistreatment from their human owner, Mr.Jones. After many days with the “fields […] full of weeds […] and the animals […] underfed,” anger begins to sprout, and the animals develop a want to fight (pg 6). This personal mistreatment sparked their first major step in the rebellion, in a way the leaders couldn’t dream of doing; it caused a “sudden uprising of creatures,” with the animals driving away the superior humans (pg 6). All leaders use the ideology to convince others to follow them. They inspire others by pointing out the mistreatment and providing a solution. With strong ideologies like ‘Animalism,’ leaders naturally arise. In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the first leader is Major and then it transfers to the other pigs. In the fight for the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, dozens of different leaders arose throughout the revolution (some including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and many more). In all of these cases, the citizens banding together over an ideology naturally evokes leaders, proving the first and most essential step is common motive. Overall, we see that the ideology holds the revolution together and inspires the fighters.


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