5th Period English I
Squealer: A Symbol of Propaganda in Animal Farm
In the novel Animal Farm, George Orwell uses animals on a farm to symbolize certain aspects of the communists who took power in Russia. One of the main points he makes in the novel is that a corrupt government can easily exploit and persuade a poorly educated populace that does not think critically. Squealer, one of the pigs, represents the effective propaganda machine used by those in power to manipulate the workers. Squealer is known as “a brilliant talker, and when he was arguing some difficult point he had a way of skipping from side to side and whisking his tail which was somehow very persuasive. The others said of Squealer that he could turn black into white” (36). This means that Squealer can convince somebody that the opposite is true, and he does this throughout the novel, always to the advantage of the pigs. Squealer’s persuasive techniques convince the animals that the pigs need the best food and the best lodgings in order to continue being good leaders and to prevent Mr. Jones’s return. He helps persuade the animals that Snowball was bad and that Napoleon was the one who really came up with the idea of the windmill.
Another method of propaganda Squealer uses is to read out lists of statistics showing that production on the farm is increasing. This is also effective because “the animals saw no reason to disbelieve him, especially as they could no longer remember very clearly what conditions had been like before the Rebellion. All the same, there were days when they felt that they would sooner have had less figures and more food” (99). Orwell is emphasizing that if the animals had better thinking and memory skills, then they would be aware that Squealer is lying, instead of only having a vague feeling that they are hungry. Throughout the novel, Squealer serves as a frightening symbol of how a corrupt government can use propaganda to increase its power, conceal the truth, and exploit the naïve working class.
Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: Penguin, 1996.
Author’slastname, Author’sfirstname. Title. Place of Publication: Publisher, most recent date.
Write literary analysis in the present tense
Use formal language (no abbreviations or contractions)