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Analysis of Squealer from "Animal Farm" by George Orwell

lorentzium 1 / -  
Feb 21, 2008   #1
This is my first post... I have never been good at writing, but I don't know why I got the low grade because there were no markings on the actual paper (no feedback). I've posted this here in hope that someone can explain my faults.

Thanks for reading...

Prompt: Choose only one character (from George Orwell's Animal Farm) listed below and in a well developed 5 paragraph essay with an introduction, 3 developing paragraphs, and a conclusion, thoroughly summarize:

1. The character traits of your chosen character
2. Who or what the animal represents allegorically, and does the allegory "fit" as Orwell intended? Why or why not?
3. How that the character either uses or responds to specific propaganda techniques in the book Animal Farm.

Choices: old major, moses, boxer, mollie, benjamin, squealer

Analysis of Squealer from Animal Farm

Squealer represents the chief minister of propaganda, who uses trickery, and deception to persuade the masses. Squealer's charismatic intelligence and unwavering loyalty to "comrade" Napoleon makes him the ideal propagandist for any tyranny. Throughout the book, Squealer acts as a spokesman for Napoleon, justifying his actions and policies. He succeeds because the animals fail to notice how he slowly twists the truth.

Squealer has all the characteristics of a successful orator; he is charismatic, intelligent, emotional, persuasive, and even hypnotic. He shed tears when speaking about Boxer's death, convinced the animals to lower their food rations, and as he walked to and fro, his tail "moved in a way which was very persuasive." Squealer's name suits him appropriately. Since a pig's primary vocalization is squealing, Squealer squeals nonsense and betrays his animals.

While pigs like Napoleon and Snowball are allegorically Stalin and Trotsky, respectively, Squealer has a less definitive role. Being the chief minister of propaganda, Squealer probably represents Stalin's close associate and protégé, V. Molotov. He can also represent the wider array of propagandists, like the newspaper Pravda. It is also possible that Squealer was inspired by Goebbels of Nazi Germany. Squealer is in Animal Farm to illustrate the effect propaganda has on the masses, and how the masses easily change their minds. The allegory fits because the way Napoleon tyrannizes his people without opposition is similar to Stalin's regime.

Squealer employs techniques from the entire spectrum of propaganda. He uses confusing vocabulary, impenetrable statistics, and limits the terms of any debate. HE uses glittering generalities, like "freedom" (from Jones) and "justice" (against Snowball). When Napoleon exiles Snowball, Squealer calls Snowball names. HE uses the transfer method to associate Napoleon with revolution and the construction of the windmill, while associating Snowball with its destruction. Napoleon's regime is bases on fear if death (by carnivorous dogs) and fear of the return of Mr. Jones. Squealer uses double-speak and euphemisms. For example, he refers to the puppies' training as "special education." Squealer also uses testimonials, deliberately misquoting Old Major. He also alters the seven commandments, praying on the animal's inability to notice. Squealer appeals to the people by using the plain folks approach, praising Napoleon for his work ethics. Sometimes, Squealer uses bad logic to end an argument. On the question of why the pigs consumed the most milk and apples, Squealer replied that the apples helped the pigs think, which prevented Mr. Jones from returning.

Squealer's propaganda succeeds in manipulating the animals. His position serves a fitting allegory for the Soviet propagandist, V. Molotov or the newspaper Pravda. The techniques he employed were very effective in demonstrating the post revolutionary naivete of the animals, and of the people they represent.


Focus: (3/4) / (2/4) "apparent points made about single topic with sufficient awareness"
Content: (3/4) / (2/4) "sufficient; developed content with adequate elaboration or explanation"
Organization: (3/4) / (2/4) "functional arrangement of content that sustains a logical order with some evidence of transition"
Style: (3/4) / (2/4) "generic use of a variety of words and sentence structures that may or may not create writer's voice and tone appropriate to audience"

Conventions: (3/4) "sufficient control of grammar, mechanics, spelling, and usage and sentence formations"
Overall Grade: 70%, C-
Instructor Comments: "This is not well organized & is very difficult to read"

Comments: this was an in class essay (40 min), related to Animal Farm, by George Orwell, which we spent 2 weeks reading and discussing in class. We had a one day's preparation time (prompt was given one day beforehand). This is sophomore seminar English, high school. The essay itself was hand-written; my original was a bit messy (bad handwriting), but with appropriate arrows linking inserted sentences; all sentences follow logically in the original. There are no random disconnected sentences.

EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Feb 22, 2008   #2

Well, I have to say that I think your instructor must have been grading on handwriting, because I think it's a very good essay! It's better-written than a lot of the college essays I see--and I see a lot of them!

I suppose I do agree that it could be organized a little better, but considering that it was an in-class, timed essay, it hardly seems fair that that one factor alone (besides your handwriting) should make it a C- paper. If you'd had a week to write it, perhaps so ... but no, not even then would I have given this a C-.

Your introduction could be a little more introduction-like, perhaps. But all in all, I'd have to say that I agree with you that the grade is unfair. I'd be very interested to know what grade you'd have gotten if it had been typed. You answered the prompts very well.

With regard to typing, just FYI, you might want to correct these typos if you ever use this again:
Napoleon's regime is based on fear of death

I wish you the best of luck with your studies (apparently, writing talent is not enough, with this instructor!).


Sarah, EssayForum.com

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