What is the impression of Snowball based on Squealer's representation of him in Animal Farm?

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is best to give an excerpt of Squealer's speech. It is rather long, but well worth reading.

‘Comrades,’ he said, ‘I trust that every animal here appreciates the sacrifice that Comrade Napoleon has made in taking this extra labour upon himself. Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure! On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. 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? Suppose you had decided to follow Snowball, with his moonshine of windmills — Snowball, who, as we now know, was no better than a criminal?' ‘He fought bravely at the Battle of the Cowshed,’ said somebody.

‘Bravery is not enough,’ said Squealer. ‘Loyalty and obedience are more important. And as to the Battle of the Cowshed, I believe the time will come when we shall find that Snowball’s part in it was much exaggerated. Discipline, comrades, iron discipline! That is the watchword for today. One false step, and our enemies would be upon us. Surely, comrades, you do not want Jones back?’

Based on this speech, we can make three points. 

Napoleon is portrayed as sacrificial. He does not think of his own needs, but the needs of the farm and the animals. This, of course, enhances his leadership, because good leaders are sacrificial. To put it another way, Napoleon has no self-interest. 

Second, Napoleon believes in equality. Squealer says clearly that Napoleon believes in the equality of all animals. Moreover, he wants the animals to have a say. The only time he will intervene is if he thinks the animals are making a mistake. How noble, right? 

Third, Napoleon possesses a quality that is more important than courage - loyalty and obedience. In other words, Napoleon will be committed to the animal and the farm no matter what. 

The picture that emerges is that Napoleon is an amazing leader for the animals. Rhetoric is a powerful force.