Animal Farm, the significance of Squealer

Evan

The novel Animal Farm, by George Orwell, is an allegory portraying the dangers of a totalitarian government. It seeks to show how a society where all live completely equal has not been, and cannot be achieved. Orwell, through the use of the character Squealer, shows how propaganda can affect members of a communist society in a negative way. By drawing parallels to events in communist Russia, Orwell's Animal Farm illustrates how propaganda was used to control the Soviet people by deceiving them, threatening them and keeping them ignorant in an attempt to maintain order. The story uses simple language to explain and expose the corruption of communist Russia.

Throughout the story, Orwell uses Squealer to illustrate how propaganda persuaded and victimized Russian citizens. Squealer is a sly, crafty pig who is not only intelligent, but a manipulative speaker as well. His cunning is key to the deception of the other animals. In chapter three, Squealer deceives the animals of the farm for the first time. The animals find out that the milk and apples are given solely to the pigs, and Squealer is sent to explain the uneven distribution of farm resources. "'Comrades' he cried. 'You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege?'" (Orwell 42) He goes on to explain, " 'Milk and apples (this has been proved by science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers (42). Here, Squealer tries to convince the animals that it's for health reasons that they take the apples and milk, but he tries to persuade them in other ways as well. Squealer continues, " 'The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us.... It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples'"(42). Finally, he convinces them with fear. " 'Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our duty? Jones would come back! Yes, Jones would come back!'" (42) Here, Squealer frightens the animals into submission with the threat of the return of Mr. Jones, the abusive farmer that was driven out of the farm by the animals. Squealer is desperate to obtain the apples and milk and will stop at nothing to manipulate the other animals into believing that the pigs should be the sole recipients of this luxury. By masking their true intentions by misleading the animals, the pigs are soon able to acquire whatever they want with little resistance. Orwell uses Squealer to represent the Pravda, the Russian newspaper controlled by the government during Joseph Stalin's regime. Orwell points out the corruption of the Soviet authority in his criticism of the propaganda used to subdue opposition from the masses. Orwell also criticizes the monopoly of all Russian media by the government.

Squealer was the messenger of the government. It was his responsibility to inform the animals of the arrangements of labor distribution and any other relevant legislation or news. Orwell establishes that a government-run publication as the only source of public information will inevitably be biased. Napoleon, Orwell's representation of the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, stops his association with the animals in chapter eight. "All orders were now issued through Squealer or one of the other pigs" (89). Squealer is the only source of data the farm animals have. The animals have no way to dispute or question any of the statistics he delivered. "There were times when it seemed to the animals that they worked longer hours and fed no better than they had in Jones's day. On Sunday mornings Squealer, holding a long strip of paper with his trotter, would read out to them lists of figures proving that the production of every class of foodstuff had increased by two hundred per cent, three hundred per cent, or five hundred per cent as the case might be" (89). Squealer is the liaison between the government and the public. Though the animals believe they are being fed the same amount as when Mr. Jones was in power, their government information source showed figures to the contrary that the populace couldn't dispute. Orwell was able to show that by keeping the public in ignorance, communism can be carried out without interference. In addition to being a corrupt media source, Orwell shows how the Pravda was used completely as a tool to