A revolution of animals kick their caretaker out, leaving the door to a leader open. Pigs snatch up this opportunity and become the dominant species on this farm. Every animal on Animal Farm has a purpose, but these creatures on this farm stand for something much bigger than meets the eye. Animal Farm by George Orwell takes a look at what life was like during the Russian revolution using animals and direct and indirect characterization to portray real-life human beings. Squealer likes to spread fake news, Boxer is one who isn’t that smart, but the hard worker inside makes up for it. Finally, there is Snowball who in the end, got into big trouble with the lead pig.
Squealer was used for the spread of propaganda given to him from Napoleon. He squealed these rumors, lies, and fibs all around the farm using his persuasive skills to make it seem like it was always the truth. He was a “brilliant talker” who had a special skill of being a brilliant lier (Orwell 16). For instance, even when the farm was low on food, and all the animals were hungry, he got everyone to give up all the milk and apples to the pigs so they could stay healthy. He remarked them as vital to the pigs’ health. “Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig” (Orwell 35-36). Squealer used a credible source to persuade the animals that pigs need these items to survive. He also acted like he knew what he was doing, but in one case, it really showed it was all an act. “Here Squealer’s demeanour suddenly changed. He fell silent for a moment, and his little eyes darted suspicious glances from side to side before he proceeded” (Orwell 124). Yet, the animals did not catch it, and he went on with the propaganda speech. Here, Squealer shows that he is a very eloquent speaker, but knows he is telling lies.
The working class during the revolution, who live in despair and disgust, give their entire life to working only to get little in return. These people are represented by Boxer, who gives all he can, and has muscles as strong as steel. Just like a fighting boxer in real life, Boxer works every spare minute of the day as a boxer would train. In fact, just to motivate himself and others, he adopted his own motto: “I will work harder!” (Orwell 29). This goes to show that brains are sometimes better than brawn. The pigs motivate him and try to get the other animals to be like him, but in the end, the pigs get all the food they want, which doesn’t leave much for the hard workers. Yet, the workers do nothing about it, since they thought the pigs made a compelling argument. Boxer always liked to push himself as well, as would a human boxer today. For example, when he was hurt in the Battle of the Windmill, he took till summer to do any major work. At this point, he is beyond the age of retirement for horses, but he will work harder. As he tried to lift a boulder to the construction site, it fell along with Boxer. “He had gone along to drag a load of stone down to the windmill. And sure enough, the rumor was true. A few minutes later two pigeons came racing in with the news: ‘Boxer has fallen! He is lying on his side and can’t get up!’ ”(Orwell 119). He tried to pull even more of his weight, even though he was already severely injured in his hoof. This shows he was such a dedicated worker, he gave his life to the farm; and how do the pigs repay him? They send him to a horse slaughterer.
The snowball effect is when something starts small and insignificant, but then builds upon itself into a dangerous size or level. Snowball was a character in the book that fought with Napolean over almost everything. It started out small when Snowball created committees to educate the animals. Napolean took no interest in teaching the old, but more in teaching the youth. This hatred grew the more Snowball debated with Napolean. Snowball “talked learnedly about field-drains, silage, and basic slag and had worked out a complicated scheme for all the animals to drop their dung directly in the fields, at a different spot every day, to save the labor of cartage” (Orwell 48). These schemes only fueled Napolean’s hatred toward him. It finally reached its peak when Snowball brought up the idea of a windmill which Napolean said would come to nothing. After months of drawing up plans, it came time to have a debate over the building of a windmill. Snowball would be for it of course, and Napolean would be against. Snowball gave a very elequent speech, and almost got every animal to vote for him. “By the time he had finished speaking, there was no doubt as to which way the vote would go. But just at this moment, Napoleon stood up and, casting a peculiar sidelong look at Snowball, uttered a high-pitched whimper of a kind no one had ever heard him utter before” (Orwell 52). Snowball’s ball of hatred against him had gotten too big. Napolean, who knew had no chance but to run him off, tried to kill him with his bodyguard dogs. While Snowball was quicker in speech, he was no match for sharp teeth.
George Orwell portrayed what really happened in real life using explicit name choice, carefully drawing out their actions, and using indirect and direct characterization. After Snowball was run off by hatred that grew too big, Napolean took overall control over the farm, basically turning it into a dictatorship. Squealer was by his side the entire time, making him look good, making it seem that life was better with Jones gone, and making it seem that the animals had rights. Boxer was one who fell to these tricks. Even though he devoted his life to Animal Farm, it was not enough. Unless he could live forever, once he could no longer pull his weight, he was slaughtered. Overall, Orwell chose his characters’ names for a reason, not just out of the blue. They all have a deeper meaning, just look, and it will be found.
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