In chapter 6 of Animal Farm, how does Squealer manipulate the animals?

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In chapter 6 of Animal Farm, Squealer uses methods such as lying and gaslighting to manipulate the animals. The pigs have started trading with nearby farms, in clear violation of the principles of Animalism. But Squealer gaslights the animals by telling them that there was never a resolution against trading with the hated human enemy. He also twists the Fourth Commandment of Animalism to justify the pigs taking up residence in the farmhouse.

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By this stage in the story, the pigs are becoming more like humans every day. As well as lording it over the rest of the animals, they've also started to give themselves the kind of special privileges previously only available to Mr. Jones and his wife. Inevitably, this generates considerable...

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disquiet among the animals. They begin to wonder what the point of the revolution was if the pigs start acting like the hated human oppressor.

Fortunately for Napoleon, his propagandist-in-chief, Squealer, is on hand to justify the pigs' seemingly unacceptable behavior. First, he resorts to gaslighting, manipulating the animals' minds to convince them that what they thought was true really isn't.

The animals are convinced that a resolution was made in the earliest stages of the revolution not to trade with humans. But Squealer convinces them that no such resolution was ever made. Squealer is assisted in this brazen deception by the fact that the animals are either illiterate or barely literate and so are unable to locate the written resolution.

Squealer then distorts the truth by twisting the Seven Commandments to justify the pigs taking up residence in the farmhouse. The Fourth Commandment of Animalism clearly states that no animal shall sleep in a bed. However, Squealer shamelessly distorts this clear rule so that it reads "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets." Like a crafty lawyer, Squealer exploits a loophole in the commandment to manipulate the animals for the benefit of his lord and master, Napoleon.

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In Chapter 6 of Animal Farm by George Orwell, Napoleon and the pigs make decisions that seem to go against the early resolutions made by the animals following the revolution. In order to keep the other animals pacified, Squealer must manipulate them into believing that the pigs are doing nothing wrong.

In this chapter, Squealer uses gaslighting to make the animals question their own memory. As defined by Encyclopædia Britannica, gaslighting is:

an elaborate and insidious technique of deception and psychological manipulation. . . . Its effect is to gradually undermine the victim’s confidence in his own ability to distinguish truth from falsehood, right from wrong, or reality from appearance, thereby rendering him pathologically dependent on the gaslighter in his thinking or feelings.

Napoleon announces that they will trade with neighboring farms, which causes some uneasiness, and the animals remember early resolutions to not have dealings with humans. Squealer uses gaslighting to make the animals question their enemy, and he convinces them the resolution never existed:

Afterwards Squealer made a round of the farm and set the animals’ minds at rest. He assured them that the resolution against engaging in trade and using money had never been passed, or even suggested. It was pure imagination, probably traceable in the beginning to lies circulated by Snowball. A few animals still felt faintly doubtful, but Squealer asked them shrewdly, “Are you certain that this is not something that you have dreamed, comrades? Have you any record of such a resolution? Is it written down anywhere?” And since it was certainly true that nothing of the kind existed in writing, the animals were satisfied that they had been mistaken.

Squealer does this again when the pigs move into the farmhouse:

It was about this time that the pigs suddenly moved into the farmhouse and took up their residence there. Again the animals seemed to remember that a resolution against this had been passed in the early days, and again Squealer was able to convince them that this was not the case. It was absolutely necessary, he said, that the pigs, who were the brains of the farm, should have a quiet place to work in.

Linguistic manipulation comes into play when Clover and Muriel read the Fourth Commandment after hearing that the pigs are now sleeping in beds.

“You have heard then, comrades,” he said, “that we pigs now sleep in the beds of the farmhouse? And why not? You did not suppose, surely, that there was ever a ruling against beds? A bed merely means a place to sleep in. A pile of straw in a stall is a bed, properly regarded. The rule was against sheets, which are a human invention. We have removed the sheets from the farmhouse beds, and sleep between blankets."

Squealer argues that they are allowed to sleep in the beds in the farmhouse because they are not using sheets—although sleeping between blankets is basically using sleeps. He claims that sheets are not allowed because they are a human invention, ignoring that the bed frame and blankets are human inventions as well.

It is also important to note that "Clover had not remembered that the Fourth Commandment mentioned sheets; but as it was there on the wall, it must have done so," therefore implying that the pigs added on the mention of sheets simply so they could manipulate the other animals into believing it was okay for the pigs to sleep there.

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Squealer is already Napoleon's spokesman and go-between since he is the one who is gifted at public speaking. Squealer has already justfied the pigs' appropriation of the milk and apples as they are the natural leaders of the farm and need their "brain food." The same goes for the pigs having moved back into the farmhouseto use as the "headquarters" of the farm. Squealer convinces the other animals that they will benefit more from this arrangement in the long run and reminds them that they should appreciate the pigs' determination and "sacrifice."

Now that Snowball has been chased away by Napoleon's dogs, he makes an easy 'culprit' for things that go wrong. No matter the fact that the windmill was Snowball's own idea and creation in the first place. When it is sabatoged, Squealer says that it is Snowball who has come back undercover at night and blown it up in retaliation for his exile. 

Convincing the animals of this dismisses Snowball as a potential rival once and for all and helps consolidate the group under the unchallenged leadership of Napoleon.

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