The Theme of the Power of Words in Orwell's Animal Farm

Manipulation is the key to dominance it not only changes words but cab change minds. In Animal Farm by George Orwell one character named Squealer understands the power of words and knows how to use them advantageously Squealer is clearly one of if not the most intelligent animal and he knows it. His unmatched intelligence makes him strong and he is able to use this to convince others of lies and even brainwash them He is able to make all the animals of the farm blindly follow a ruthless dictator Squealer is the master of propaganda and uses this ability to truly control the animals of the farm.

Three examples of using words to control are claiming boxer is being sent to the hospital, saying Snowball is allied with Fredrick, and changing the commandments Boxer, one of the hardest working and most loyal animal is not even safe from Squealers manipulation.

After he is injured he is told he is being taken to the hospital.

However this is a lie fabricated by none other than Squealer claiming that “The veterinary surgeon in Willington could treat Boxer’s case more satisfactorily than could be done on the farm” (122). Napoleon has no more use for the loyal horse and decides that he could instead send him off to a glue factory and make some money. Squealer is in charge of making sure that the death of the beloved Boxer does not cause distrust or possibly rebellion on the part of the other animals towards Napoleon.

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After Benjamin identifies the truck that Boxer is taken away in as a, “Horse slaughterer” (122), Squealer explains that it is a misunderstanding and that the van used to belong to a horse slaughterer but the name on the van has simply not been changed yeti Even in times of extreme doubt Squealer finds a way to control others using only words.

This however is not his first time using his trickery for gain The strength of Squealers skills with words shines brightest when he makes the entire farm hate Snowball. After the pigs steal food and resources the blame was passed to Snowball as he “stole corn, he upset the milk-pains, he broke eggs, he trampled the seedbeds” (88). This creates a sudden fear of Snowball amongst the animals and Squealer views this as an opportunity to ensure that Snowball is seen as the enemy without doubt, He tells the farm that “Snowball has sold himself to Frederick of Pinnchfieid Farm, who is even now plotting to attack us and take our farm away from us!”(89), Now Squealer has started using fear to control the animals There is nothing that the animals fear more than the humans coming back to claim their land and Snowball attempting to help them do it is seen as the ultimate act of treason.

From using fear Squealer immediately switches to making the animals feel betrayed and angry even going as far as to state that “Snowball was in league with Jones from the very start!“(89)t It gets the animals to question their memory which is exactly what is intended. They then describe in detail how Snowball has been deceiving them all, explaining his trickery with even more propaganda. It works and all of the animals now have a deep hatred for Snowballi Squealer‘s propaganda is rather common throughout the story especially when it comes to the commandments Arecurring piece of propaganda that appears is Squealer changing the very commandments that Animalism is built on, The first time this happens when the animals discovers that the pigs are sleeping in beds. While the original commandment states, “No animal shall sleep in a bed” (43) Squealer changes it to, “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets”.

He abuses the fact that none of the other animals can read the commandments and allows them to question their memory, This not the only time that Squealer is able to change the commandments for personal gain. Almost every single commandment is altered especially number seven going from “All animals are equal“ to “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others” (133). He also uses this in conjunction with the tactic of fear saying that if they dared to question the commandments and the pigs that Jones could come back This combination leads to serious devotion to the point were some animals are confessing small crimes knowing that it will cost them their lives.

The changing of the commandments is the changing of all that the animals hold dear and they will follow the commandments no matter what they know. Ultimately this propaganda gives Napoleon all of his power making him the unquestioned leader, Squealer is a prime example of how words are weapons as he lies about Boxer, convinces others that that Snowball is a traitor, and even changes the commandments of animalism. Unmatched in skills with word play Squealer proves himself a powerful animal on the farmiHis intellect gives him power over the animals and allows him to do almost anything. He uses many methods of propaganda including fear to control and manipulate the animals In conclusion words are a powerful tool and in the hands of the wrong person can be abused.

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The Theme of the Power of Words in Orwell's Animal Farm. (2022, Nov 18). Retrieved from

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