Why is Squealer a porker?Why are the important pigs in Animal Farm  (such as Major and Snowball and Napoleon) boars, meaning they are very masculine, while Squealer, who is absolutely essential...

Why is Squealer a porker?

Why are the important pigs in Animal Farm  (such as Major and Snowball and Napoleon) boars, meaning they are very masculine, while Squealer, who is absolutely essential to keeping the regime in place, is only a "porker," which is a castrated pig? Even though he plays all the games of power, he lacks that power of manhood that Napoleon possesses, for example, which we see when he sires the next generation of elite pigs (the four sows all have litters "simultaneously" and everyone knows the father is the strapping Napoleon). Why is Squealer in this way such a "wimp"? Orwell feminizes him in all sorts of ways--such as how he skips around.  Any ideas on what Orwell's sexual politics might be here?

Asked on by sagetrieb

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e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This is a very interesting question! I like the idea brought up in post #3 here, suggesting that Squealer's role is that of the "go between". 

He relates to both worlds - the world of power and the world of the governed - and he is able to navigate both worlds. He is a satyr, an avatar for both camps, offering each side an image of itself. 

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I don't wish to lower the tone of this fascinating discussion posting, but I wonder whether to develop #4, Squealer is trying to compensate for his physical shortcomings in other ways - perhaps with his deviousness and hypocrisy. It is clear that Squealer does a lot of the dirty work and he carries this out zealously. Perhaps Orwell is giving us an insight into the petty-minded official who, for whatever reason, is not able to rise above his position and therefore makes life a living hell for everyone else.

merchant's profile pic

merchant | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

This is an interesting topic. I feel another approach to figuring this question out is to ask why would Orwell want to have a sharp distinction between the boars, who have the visible outward trappings of power and importance, and squealer, the eunich porker who is, in many ways, the real power, the real danger?

By having Major and Napoleon as very masculine boars and Squealer as an emasculated porker, Orwell is setting up a very sharp distinction. Maybe this is his way of saying "sure look out for the Stalins and the Lenins of the world, but the real danger are the day to day bureaucrats;" those "little" administrative officials may seem harmless and weak, but in actuality they may be just as dangerous - and possibly more so - than the puffed up overblown public leaders. After all, who knows more of how the government works - the leaders, or the bureaucrats? Who has more real, or at least more direct, power over the daily lives of individual citizens - the leaders, or the bureucrats? Who carries out most of the dirty work - well, you get my point. And how often do those little adminstrators use their position and knowledge to work the system to their self benefit?

renelane's profile pic

renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

I think of Squealer as the two-faced politician type. It is interesting to me that he changes the commandments to accommodate his misdeeds, and that mostof the animals are none the wiser. I think because he seems to do thingsthat benefit him in an underhanded way, that it makes sense that he would be portrayed as an emasculated pig.

clane's profile pic

clane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

This is such an intersting post, I never really thought about this in depth before.

I do know that Orwell has never been popular with feminist groups in the past because he seems to make underhanded derogatory statements about the weak nature of women in 1984, Animal Farm,and several essays. In Animal Farm in particular he chooses a female (Mollie) to satirize the vanity of people and obviously he feels that females are the prefect specimen to illustrate vanity and laziness because all Mollie cared about was how she looked and she had no desire to do any real work. Perhaps if Orwell had this view of women, he may have felt the same way about all things feminine and he may have felt that this group included homosexuals (none of this post reflect my own personal views). Perhaps Squealer is supposed to represent homosexuals and he is saying that they are powerful, obviously Squealer has a finesse with the other animals that Napoleon couldn't master, but he was a porker because he couldn't sire any offspring, just as homosexuals having children during the time he wrote this book was not a widely accepted social practice like it is today.

I have no idea really, but it is an interesting question and I would be so interested to hear what others view might be on the subject because I feel as though I haven't quite got the right idea. 

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