In "Animal Farm," why are Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer so important?.

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jamesk8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Napoleon leads the rebellion against Jones with Snowball, until he runs Snowball off the farm.  Napoleon has a lust for power and getting his own way.  The many crimes he commits against his own comrades range from seizing nine puppies to "educate" them as his killer guard dogs to forcing confessions from innocent animals and then having them killed before all the animal's eye.  He gradually changes the Commandments to allow himself privileges and justify his dictatorial rule.  By the end of the book, Napoleon learns to walk upright and starts to behave similarly to humans.

Snowball tries to help the animals understand Animalism by reducing the Seven Commandments to "four legs good, two legs bad".  He aims to improve Animal Farm with a windmill and other technological advances before Napoleon has him run off the farm.  Because of Napoleon's lies, Snowball comes to represent an abstract idea of evil.  The animals blame misfortunes on him and believe that he is lurking on one of the neighboring farms, plotting revenge.

Squealer is "brilliant talker" who is talented in the art of argument.  Under Napoleon's rule, Squealer acts as the liaison to the other animals.  Squealer lies to the animals and is especially good at playing on the animal's ignorance and gullibility.  Napoleon uses Squealer to turn the animals against Snowball.