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The Role Of The Pigs In Animal Farm Essay

In the masterfully constructed novella “Animal Farm” (1945) written by George Orwell, a group of animals revolt against their human masters only to become exactly like the powers and injustice they first fought against. However, on a larger scale, Animal Farm is considerably one of the most controversial and enduring novellas. It is widely regarded as an allegory of the Russian Revolution of 1917; the actions and influence utilized to gain power in what became a totalitarian state.

The use of creating a common and absent enemy indistinguishably emerges as a theme throughout Animal Farm. In Animal Farm, the exiled characters of Mr. Jones and Snowball are used by Napoleon to allow the animals to feel united against a common cause and place their trust and even lives in his leadership. Even when the animals begin to doubt Napoleon’s explanations and intentions, the intimidating remarks “Surely…you do not want Jones back?” (p.g 21) sends the animals into subservience. In a way to keep his name clean, when things went bad on the farm, Napoleon blamed Snowball, using him as a scapegoat to create a sense of fear from which only he could protect them; “The animals were thoroughly frightened…Snowball were some kind of invisible influence… menacing them with all kinds of danger.” (p.g 31). This molding of characters to create enemies unites the animals through common interests and leaves the animals completely trusting of their “great leader” to help them steer them the right path in times of hardships.

The quote “If you control the food supply, you control the people,” plainly, sums up Napoleon’s reasons for rationing food when supplies were plenty. By withholding rations, Napoleon maintains power as no animal can go without food. Food is one of the animals’ main motivations as we can see from their initial revolt when Mr. Jones was underfeeding them. Napoleon promises more food yet abuses the animals’ inability to remember as a means of controlling food distribution. Napoleon even uses food to manipulate the animals, threatening the “…hens rations to be stopped…” and “…any animal giving so much as a grain to a hen should be punished by death.” Squealer’s convincing, persuasive techniques: “Many of us actually dislike milk and apples” and “It is for your sake we eat the milk and apples…” illustrate the pigs as somewhat heroic and sacrificing their desires for the good of the farm. This coerces the animals to believe they shouldn’t be so selfish and pressures them to agree with the beliefs of their leader. Although Napoleon could be easily overthrown for his food supply, sufficiently feeding the dogs gave reason for them to stay under Napoleon’s command where the remaining animals could not revolt under such strong enforcement. Controlling the food supply allowed Napoleon to remain in power as without it, the animals could not survive and are therefore were forced to comply.

Napoleon insists on near impossible labor demands from the animals and yet, they obey. Initially the animals adhere to the commands of Napoleon for the good of the farm and the need to prove themselves to the ever watching and ever judging humans. As the demands become greater and the standard of living worsens, the animals continue to comply with Napoleon’s orders as hard work and labor is glorified. Boxer’s manta of “I will work harder…” adds to the belief that “The truest happiness…lay in working hard and living frugally.”

In the eyes of the animals, Napoleon is a seemingly ideal leader, guiding them through their troubles and preventing the hardships of the human race. However, throughout the novel, Orwell reveals Napoleon’s true colors in more depth exposing him as deceitful, greedy character, unmistakably constructing his dictatorship through absolute manipulation. The vast range of evidence used to portray Napoleon’s use of Snowball and Jones as common threats, control of food to create desperation, utilization of propaganda to change historical happening for his advantage and glorification of labor depict Napoleon’s authorial leadership. However, the question of how long that power will last until the masses rise up against their masters again to overthrow injustice creates food for thought.

Squealer and his position in "Animal Farm"

Squealer and his position in "Animal Farm" by George Orwell.

Sjanger:Analyse/tolkningLastet opp:31.05.2002
Tema:Animal farm

Squealer plays an important part in maintaing Napoleon’s power and keeping the other animals under control. He keeps turn situations into Napoleon’s favour. There is a lot of examples of this in Animal Farm by George Orwell.


In the beginning of the book, we meet Squealer, who is an excellent speaker, as the one who together with Snowball and Napoleon work out the theory of “Animalism”.


The first example of Squealer’s importance we can find at the end of chapter three. The milk, which mysterious had disappeared, was given to the pigs, and so was the ripened apples. Some of the other animals murmured to each other, but it was no use. All the pigs were in full agreement on this point. This is the point where Napoleon and Snowball had to use Squealer’s oratorical gifts. He had to convince the others about that the pigs were brainworkers and needed all the vitamins they could get. He explained to them that Mr. Jones would come back if they didn’t get all the food they could get. Now the goal was reached, because no one wanted Mr. Jones back. When it was put them into this light, they had no more to say. This is just one of the proofs that tell us that Squealer has great persuasive powers, and I think that it is in this situation that Napoleon realise that Squealer may be an important part of his further plans.


This is a common way in which some governments keep control. This situation remind me so much about developing countries in Africa where the ones with power, also have all the money. They live in castles and act like counts, while the inhabitants have almost nothing to eat and live in slum areas with deadly diseases.


In chapter five, Snowball presented his new idea to build a windmill, to produce electricity to the other animals. Napoleon didn’t like his idea, and saw the opportunity to realise his “dream”. Napoleon called nine strong dogs, who chased off Snowball. This was the start of a new epoch. Now Napoleon had Squealer and his gifts to himself. After Snowball was driven off, Napoleon made a lot of changes. Not all of them made sense to the others, and Squealer was sent out to explain and justify the new arrangements. He glorified Napoleon and his actions. What Squealer said, was that Napoleon’s responsibility was deep and heavy, and that not anyone should imagine that leadership was a pleasure. He made the others believe that Snowball was a criminal, that he had stolen the idea to build the windmill from Napoleon and that he all the way had been co-operating with Mr. Jones. This is the first real example where Squealer turns situations in only Napoleons favour. Napoleon get produced as a law-abiding saint by Squealer, and all the other animals have no reason to not believe Squealer’s word. He know so well how to be credible and Boxer’s words (“Napoleon is always right”) shows us that he really is.


This is also an example of how the governments in the real world can be and how they keep control. It can be compared with election campaigns all over the world. The people who want to win the election are fighting, and they try to dig up as much bad things about the opponents as possibly, and often they don’t care if it’s true or not.


The last example I want to use as a evidence of Squealer’s significance to Napoleon, is from the last part of the book, chapter nine. One day Boxer was sent away to the horse slaughterer. Even if the animals had seen the name on the van which picked him up, Squealer managed to convince them to believe that the van had previously been the property of the butcher, and had been bought by the veterinary surgeon, who hadn’t yet painted the old name out.


If it hadn’t been for Squealer, I don’t think that Napoleon would have succeeded in the way he did. The rebellion would have been cancelled a lot earlier and his power would have been radically weakened. I think that the other animals would have done something about the whole thing, if Squealer hadn’t been there, because Napoleon wasn’t much of a talker and needed Squealer’s help to carry through his plans.


I believe that almost every part of the book “Animal Farm” can be compared with governments of today. Either in Norway, China, Chile, the USA, Great Britain or any other country in the world. Everywhere there is someone who wants absolute power, but luckily, in most of the cases, they don’t get in charge.

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