GCSE Animal Farm – Character Profile: Squealer
Squealer is described as a pig with “twinkling eyes” and a “shrill voice.” He spends a lot of the book telling lies and creating propaganda to promote Napoleon. Squealer represents the use of communist propaganda in Russia and how the working classes were controlled by persuasion.
Squealer feels he is able to do these things as he is protected by vicious dogs. The other animals are too scared to ever question what he says. Squealer is very persuasive with the language he uses and he is believable. Yet, he is manipulative and deceitful and uses language to control the others more than anything else.
A loyal spokesperson
When Napoleon is the leader of Animal Farm, Squealer becomes his loyal spokesperson. He convinces the other animals that “no one believes more firmly” in animalism and the equality of animals than Napoleon. He also uses the animals fear of Jones to increase Napoleon’s power.
Squealer has an answer for everything. He even says that rigid equality is “contrary” to Animalism when the pigs and dogs rations aren’t cut but the other animals rations are cut. He is an excellent communicator and understands how to manipulate the animals through his clever use and abuse of language. He uses false statistics to claim that life is good on the farm and starts to rewrite history to make the animals believe events happened which really didn’t. Through his lies, he manages to convince the animals that Napoleon was a hero at the Battle of the Cowshed, even when Napoleon was nowhere to be seen when the fight was happening. He lies and says that “Comrade Napoleon sprang forward … and sank his teeth into Jones’s leg.”
As well as promoting Napoleon, Squealer also tries to ruin Snowball’s reputation by creating a smear campaign against him. He is vicious and uncaring and shows no remorse about selling Boxer at the end, rather than taking him to the vets for treatment. Squealer makes up evidence against Snowball and scares the other animals by saying that he may be “lurking among us at this moment.” It does show how persuasive and manipulative Squealer is, as he even convinces the animals that Snowball was a traitor at the Battle of the Cowshed and that Snowball was never awarded ‘Animal Hero, First Class.’
Orwell uses Squealer to show how language can be used to influence people. Squealer’s ability to twist language gives him great power and the kind of subtle control he maintains is dangerous. Squealer shows how propaganda was used in Russia to control the working classes.
Squealer even tells the animals that Napoleon did everything he could to help save Boxer “without a thought as to the cost.” No-one really seems to see through his lies. The animals are very trusting and believe what he says so much that with his influence, their own memories begin to change about the past.
In conclusion, Squealer is a very important member of Napoleon’s regime. He helped to build up Napoleon’s oppressive, murderous dictatorship and helped to maintain a state of terror. With the support of Squealer, the farm established a new class-based hierarchy where the interests of the pigs came first. Squealer would say anything and do anything to keep this level of control and power. He was unable to empathise with the animals and the hardships they were facings because of what Napoleon and the pigs were doing to them. He only cared about keeping Napoleon in power so that the pigs and him would be able to continue receiving all the benefits and power that they had on the farm.