Who are the three most important characters in Animal Farm?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It would be hard to argue about the importance of three of the main characters in Animal Farm: Napoleon, Snowball and Squealer. Napoleon is named after the famed French emperor, but he represents Russia's Joseph Stalin in the novel. Like Stalin, Napoleon ruthlessly has his opposition exiled (the Trotskyesque Snowball) or executed, and he double-deals with his neighbors Pilkington and Frederick (Germany and England). He embodies the name of Napoleon--corrupt and power-hungry. Snowball is based on Russia's Leon Trotsky, who is forced from power by Stalin, just as Snowball is run off the farm by Napoleon. Snowball is blamed for all of the farm's problems in absentia, just as Stalin used Trotsky to cover his own mistakes. Squealer is the leader of the propaganda arm of the farm, the equivalent of the Russian newspaper Pravda. Like Pravda, Squealer represents the truth, but little that comes from his mouth is honest.