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Evidently, a lack of education becomes a tool of oppression in each of the texts. The pigs within ‘Animal Farm’, the personified politicians in ‘The Mask of Anarchy’ and the clients within ‘The Balcony’ all use their victim’s lack of education to their own advantages in order to establish their authority and create a divide between the rich and the poor. In ‘Animal Farm’ the gradual changes in the seven commandments demonstrate the pig’s ability to manipulate the other animals. Napoleon takes advantage of the animal’s illiteracy and adds small changes to the commandments in order to accommodate his hypocritical flaws. “No animal shall drink alcohol” was a rule created during the earlier part of Napoleons rule but had subsequently changed to “No animal shall drink alcohol to excess”. The animals noticed the change but instead of questioning it they simply declared that they had “remembered wrong”. Within ‘The Mask of Anarchy’ Shelley reinforces the need for education by using the symbolism of the Image that appeared to define freedom. She states that “Science, Poetry and Thought are thy lamps”. By referring to education as a “lamp” Shelley is inferring that education allows you to become aware of your surroundings, when you switch on a light things become clearer. Unlike the animals of the farm, the English people are given the tools they need to rebel and become aware of their situation. This is realised by Irma in ‘The Balcony’ as she reveals “modestly” that she has an education. This modesty displays a sense of pride that she, despite her occupation as a prostitute, has the ability to understand the situation of the revolution around her. Undoubtedly, education provides the masses with the ability to better them-selves and as a result it’s clear why oppressors want to prohibit this and remain in control.


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