In Animal Farm, how does Squealer use language to control the animals?

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hilahmarca | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Squealer represents the propaganda machine in Communist Soviet Union.  He twists meanings and carefully selects words in order to serve Napoleon's purpose and get the pigs to fall in line with Napoleon's unjust policies.  He often takes advantage of the animals' lack of education by using long words and complicated phrasing in order to fool the animals into thinking Napoleon's policies are in the animals' own best interest. Some examples of this is when Napoleon makes the commandment "Four legs good, two legs bad," the birds originally complain since this excludes them.  Squealer confuses and ultimately appeases the animals by saying, "A wing is an object of propulsion, not maniuplation.  Therefore, a wing should be regarded as a leg."  In another example, the animals are working longer hours and getting smaller rations than ever.  Squealer gets them to accept this by saying the extra working day is not mandatory; however, rations will be cut for those who don't work it.  Anyone with any intelligence could see the exploitation here, but Squealer uses words in a crafty way to confuse the uneducated masses into working harder to help the pigs prosper.

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