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The basis of inertia relates to ‘a tendency to nothing or to remain unchanged’ linking directly to the consequences of being oppressed which is relatable across the three texts. By ignoring their situations the victims allow oppressive authority figures to control their lives. A lack of enthusiasm and self-worth remains at the core of why they refuse to acknowledge the need to rebel and rise up against the people who oppress them. In ‘Animal Farm’ Orwell uses Boxer as a symbol for the proletariat in Russia. He can be seen as an exploited hard worker on the farm who continuously declares that “Napoleon is always right”. Orwell uses this symbolism to reveal the unintelligence of the workers and their incapacity to have their own views leading uncontrollably to their oppression. Shelley within ‘The Mask of Anarchy’ supports this and uses the symbolism of the ‘Image’ and its encouragement to try motivating the proletarians by declaring that “to hold no strong control over your own wills” is to be free from oppression. It’s evident that Shelley and Orwell recognise this inability to have freedom of speech without the need to stay within the constraints of their society. By not being able to have their own opinion the oppressed masses become anxious of rebelling and speaking out. When they are finally given a platform to improve their lives they feel unable to change it for themselves. This can be seen in ‘The Mask of Anarchy’ when the masses are told to “Rise like lions after slumber” in an effort to motivate them. By using the imagery of a sleepy lion awaking from slumber Shelley creates the impression that the Englishmen are slow to react to changes around them perhaps as a result of a build-up from fear of repercussions. Again, Orwell presents this installation of fear by authoritative figures through the imagery of the dogs. The animals on the farm were “silent and terrified” after the dogs chased Snowball away. The brutality of these dogs is used to control the animals in every aspect of their lives. The dogs can be seen as Orwell’s symbolism of Stalin’s secret police, who like the dogs, installed fear into the proletariats making it difficult for them to speak out against their corrupted leader. Both Shelley and Orwell recognise this as a social defect that needed to be reformed either by motivation from other sources or by education.


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