Animal Farm

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Squealer Character Analysis

A pig. Short and fat, Squealer is a terrific speaker who prioritizes his personal comfort above all else. Whenever the pigs violate the tenets of Animalism, Squealer persuades the other animals that the pigs are actually acting in everyone's best interest. Squealer represents the Soviet press, which Stalin controlled throughout his rule.

Squealer Quotes in Animal Farm

The Animal Farm quotes below are all either spoken by Squealer or refer to Squealer. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Signet Classics edition of Animal Farm published in 1996.
Chapter 3 Quotes
"Comrades!" he cried. "You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. 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. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples."
Related Characters: Squealer (speaker)
Page Number: 35-36
Explanation and Analysis:

Squealer gives this speech to defend the way the pigs have hoarded milk and apples away from the other animals. He claims that they need the nutrients from the foodstuffs to properly run the farm and thus best serve the needs of others.

This speech represents a critical turning point in the text: whereas previously the pigs’ subterfuge had remained secretive and unacknowledged, here they publicly admit to withholding resources from the other animals. Their explanation is that such unequal distributions actually will have overall positive effects on the animal society. In this way, they take advantage of an ambiguity in the idea of equality: if it is defined defined based on social well-being, the thinking goes, then redistributing resources to the intelligent pigs could create more equality by bettering the lives of all.

Squealer’s flowery language also harnesses uncertainty and vagueness as a propaganda strategy. He uses the rhetorical question “You do not imagine” to ridicule any potential criticism; he summons the abstract idea of “Science” as an objective standard without offering any specific data; and he claims that the pigs’ supposedly selfish behavior is actually entirely selfless. In these ways, he becomes a parody of governmental speeches that justify the unfair distribution of resources to those in power.

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Chapter 5 Quotes
No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?
Related Characters: Squealer (speaker), Napoleon
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:

Squealer offers these comments to shore up Napoleon’s recent tyrannical actions against Snowball. He claims that power should be concentrated in the hands of fewer animals because others will inevitably make wrong decisions.

Once more, Squealer uses clever rhetorical tactics to convince the other less intelligent animals to give up their freedoms and rights. He first reiterates the central tenet of Animalism—“that all animals are equal”—which makes it seem that the later comments will not violate the principle, even if that is precisely what they do. His further comments rest on this idea that democratically-chosen decisions may not, indeed, be preferable for the other animals and that they should therefore cede their rights to the supposedly smarter animals. The phrase “be only too happy” casts Napoleon as falsely willing to acquiesce, while the taunting rhetorical question “where should we be?” goads the audience. Orwell thus emphasizes the essential role of propaganda in maintaining control of a populace.

Chapter 8 Quotes
At the foot of the end wall of the big barn, where the Seven Commandments were written, there lay a ladder broken in two pieces. Squealer, temporarily stunned, was sprawling beside it, and near at hand there lay a lantern, a paint-brush, and an overturned pot of white paint. None of the animals could form any idea as to what this meant, except old Benjamin, who nodded his muzzle with a knowing air, and seemed to understand, but would say nothing.
Related Characters: Squealer, Benjamin
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:

After the pigs begin to consume alcohol, Squealer is discovered modifying the Commandments to sanction their behavior. Though most of the animals are unable to make sense of the event, the skeptic Benjamin is unsurprised by what he sees.

The novel has previously implied that the pigs were modifying the commandments, but here their actions become fully conspicuous: not only does Squealer reinterpret the laws with clever propaganda, but also he literally re-writes them to suit the whims of the pigs. What is more surprising about this passage, however, is how the animals are unable to make sense of the event. Orwell points out how, even when confronted with clear evidence of political malpractice, a populace will not necessarily be able to make sense of it or agree to do anything about it. Due, perhaps, to exhaustion, a lack of education, or simply fear, the animals are still unable to challenge the leaders. Benjamin’s character might seem to offer a source of insight, for, from the beginning, he has been skeptical and observant of the pigs’ actions. Yet his passivity and unwillingness to share his opinions renders him fundamentally ineffective, thus pointing out that knowledge of corruption does not necessarily lead to changing it.

Chapter 9 Quotes
"Besides, in those days they had been slaves and now they were free, and that made all the difference, as Squealer did not fail to point out."
Related Characters: Squealer
Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:

As the conditions deteriorate on Animal Farm, the pigs organize a series of celebrations. They aggrandize the supposed freedom of the animals from their previous human overlords.

This ironic sentence epitomizes the false story the pigs have told about the Animal Farm society. Their belief that things today are preferable to the past relies solely on the abstract idea of being “slaves” versus “free,” rather than the actual conditions experienced by the animals. That this supposed distinction “made all the difference” implies that the animals are not considering other significant differences that may make their current lives equivalent to or worse than they were under the rule of Mr. Jones. And the addition of the clause “as Squealer did not fail to point out” reiterates how this belief is more a trick of rhetoric than an actual indication of content. The passage thus corroborates Orwell’s presentation of the animals as unable to gain an objective viewpoint on their situation. Blinded by the pigs’ rhetoric and crippled by weak memories, they continue to believe in the improvement of their society.

Chapter 10 Quotes
Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer— except, of course, for the pigs and the dogs.
Related Characters: Napoleon, Squealer, Minimus, The Dogs
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:

The text has now jumped several years into the future, and the narrator observes how the relative wealth of the farm is spread unevenly among the animals.

Introducing the phrase with the term “somehow” speaks to the incredulity and naïveté of the animals. Despite having witnessed the pigs’ actions for many years, they remain unable to see exactly why wealth is being unfairly sequestered in their hands. Yet the “of course” stresses how this process is logical considering the story thus far, and how it is at least understood on some level by the animals. Orwell thus points out how the populace in such a fascist regime oscillates between recognition of and blindness to what is taking place. In particular, as time has gone by and few of the animals can recall a different form of society, the current political regime becomes normalized, and inequality fades into the “of course” of a natural order.

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."
Related Characters: Napoleon, Squealer, Minimus, Mr. Pilkington
Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:

In the text’s closing passage, the pigs are seen playing cards with men. When they squabble over cheating, the narrator reflects how the two are essentially indistinguishable.

These lines confirm the way the pigs have slowly come to mimic the oppressors they overthrew in the beginning of the book. Whereas before, the animals seemed unaware of this parallel, here they finally see it manifested before them. That the pigs and men are playing poker is no symbolic accident: it stresses their selfish behavior and the way they play fast and loose with resources in a way that harms normal citizens and animals. They become, thus, representations of world leaders casually throwing around wealth and lives stolen from others. It is notable, too, that this reflection is caused by the pigs and humans fighting over cheating: what makes the pigs finally akin to humans is not their liaisons or trade deals, nor the way they consume alcohol or sleep in beds, but rather the way they persist in deceiving each other even when they have no need. Orwell implies that the fundamental character of leader-regimes like that of the USSR is a pervasive and unending greed, even once one has acquired a position of wealth and power.

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Squealer Character Timeline in Animal Farm

The timeline below shows where the character Squealer appears in Animal Farm. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
...in particular emerge as leaders: the lively Snowball and the powerful Napoleon. A third pig, Squealer, gives eloquent speeches that can convince anyone of anything. These three pigs turn Old Major's... (full context)
Chapter 3
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
...they can use all apples and milk on the farm. The other animals grumble, but Squealer explains that the pigs are crucial to the running of the farm and need the... (full context)
Chapter 5
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
Later, Squealer comes around and explains that Napoleon took on the "burden" of leadership and eliminated voting... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
Three weeks later, Napoleon announces that they'll build the windmill after all. Squealer explains: Napoleon opposed the windmill just to get rid of Snowball, who was a bad... (full context)
Chapter 6
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
...to use money. Napoleon hires a man named Mr. Whymper to represent the farm, while Squealer convinces everyone that no rule ever banned the use of money. (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
Squealer begins to refer to Napoleon as "The Leader" and the pigs move into the farmhouse... (full context)
Chapter 7
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
Napoleon now issues almost all orders through Squealer, who one day announces that the hens must give up four hundred eggs a week... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
In addition, Squealer soon announces that Snowball has been sneaking onto Animal Farm at night: Napoleon can smell... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
...he thinks Snowball was loyal at the beginning, even if he later turned traitor. When Squealer responds that Napoleon himself has stated that Snowball was a traitor from the beginning, Boxer... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
...make things better. Clover leads the animals in a sad rendition of "Beasts of England." Squealer soon announces that "Beasts of England" has been forbidden: it was a song of revolution,... (full context)
Chapter 8
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
...working harder and getting less food than back when Jones was master. But each Sunday Squealer reads off figures proving the animals are happier and better off than ever. (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
...revelry that night in the farmhouse. But the next morning the house is silent. When Squealer eventually appears he has awful news: Comrade Napoleon is dying! By evening Napoleon has recovered,... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
Soon after, a crash in the middle of the night wakes the animals. They see Squealer unconscious on the ground next to a fallen ladder and a bucket of white paint... (full context)
Chapter 9
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
...are reduced. In contrast, the rations for pigs and dogs remain at their normal levels. Squealer continues to claim that they're all better off than ever, and explains that a rigid... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
...on the new windmill, Boxer's lung fails and he falls, no longer able to work. Squealer announces that Napoleon has decided to send Boxer to a human veterinary doctor. The idea... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Three days later, Squealer announces that Boxer died in the hospital, and that his last words were "Napoleon is... (full context)
Chapter 10
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
One day Squealer brings the sheep out to a distant field with him and keeps them there for... (full context)