How Does Orwell Present The Power Of Manipulation Through Squealer? Year 10 Essay

756 words - 4 pages

George Orwell’s 1946 novel Animal Farm uses the animals of Manor Farm as a metaphor for Stalinism to establish the corruption and dangers of a Communist leadership. In keeping with this theme, the novel uses many examples of propaganda–often used by totalitarian leaders–to illustrate that people can be easily influenced by faulty ideas if they are presented in an appealing manner. Animal Farm proves that true power may not come with the dictator himself, but with the mouthpiece who speaks on his behalf.
Squealer is relied on to calm down the irritated animals and explain the advantages of the situation that is caused by Napoleon. To win the argument, he overly complicates his language (obfuscation), therefore taking advantage of the illiterate animals who have difficulty following confusing argumentative strategies. Telling them that “many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself” but that the foods are “absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig”, Squealer puts himself alongside the other animals by pretending to be more concerned in their well-being than his own. He successfully gains their agreement b subtly suggesting that if the pigs aren’t well-fed then they can’t protect the other animals, perhaps causing the hated Mr Jones to return. This kind of propaganda twists the truth by signifying that the goals of the pigs and the other animals are the same and that the pigs have the other animals interest at heart. It has the effect of silencing opposition, for the reason that once he introduces Mr Jones into his argument, the other animals “had no more to say”. The animals agree to save all extra milk and apples for the pigs’ consumption, a different belief to the one they had before listening to Squealer’s justification.
The crucial part of Squealer’s flair as an effective orator for Napoleon lies in his skill to manipulate language to be appropriate to the particular demands of his audience and the situation itself. When he wants to hide his intentions and the truth, he uses overly complicated words and ideas that threaten the other animals and make them feel less intellectual to be involved in the discussion. One example of this is Squealer’s mention of “tactics” when explaining that Napoleon comes up with the plan to...

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