Explain How Napoleon Became Dictator of Animal Farm and How He Kept His Position for many years
Napoleon was a pig in more than one sense. Words that you associate with pigs are not often pleasant. ‘Pig’ referring to one who is greedy and has more than their fair share; ‘pig headed’ describes one who is exceptionally persistent and thinks they are always right; ‘the pigs’ describe cops, or other figures of authority. Napoleon became dictator of Animal Farm merely due to the reality that he was a pig, and had the most basic of leadership skills. He maintained that power by propaganda and running the farm in a fascist, totalitarian manner. Violence, propaganda and the basic ignorance of the other farm animals were significant functions in keeping Napoleon in power.
Power naturally was up to the pigs not because they had actually earned it, or were the best for the job, but merely as an outcome of their social standing in the animal hierarchy.
“The work of mentor and organizing the others fell naturally upon the pigs, which were usually identified as being the cleverest of the animals’ (P. 9). The pig, Old Major was thought about the earliest and best animal on the farm. The other animals might have thought it natural for any other pig to be like him and follow his vision and principles of Animalism. Whilst Napoleon assumed the function of leader of the revolution, he was just able to preserve this position because the other animals took it for approved that the choices he made were the right ones.
To keep this position of power, Napoleon had to remove all challengers and ensure that the animals kept faith in him and his stability. Utilizing others and their trustworthiness was another of Napoleon’s tricks. Any animal who appreciated Fighter (one of the most well respected and well-known characters on the farm) would have followed and mimicked Boxer and his ‘Napoleon is always right’ mindset, therefore earning Napoleon more supporters (much like the Labor Party carried out in their hiring of Peter Garrett …).
Napoleon and Snowball were expected to be joint leaders of the transformation, but they had different concepts regarding how Animal Farm should be run. Snowball was more thinking about setting up committees, educating all animals and establishing an industry to provide the farm with electricity, heating and other high-ends. Napoleon’s interest was the education of youth, however as per normal, he had an ulterior intention for wanting to raise the young puppies of Animal Farm. ‘As quickly as they were weaned Napoleon took them far from their moms stating that he would make himself accountable for their education.’ (p. 22).
As Hitler made with the Hitler Youth Volkssturm (actually: people’s storm), Napoleon indoctrinated the impressionable youths with the morals and ‘rights and wrongs’ that he himself believed in. The canines, not knowing any much better, were now his entirely dedicated supporters. Napoleon waited up until Snowball had done all the effort and finished the plans for equipment -that was to increase the farms production- prior to Napoleon [pardon the pun] ‘launched the hounds’ and exiled Snowball. Napoleon then started a campaign of lies and propaganda versus Snowball, marking him as a traitor and the source of all problems and mishaps that took place on Animal Farm.
Propaganda also played a big function in Napoleon maintaining his power. As the propaganda chief, Squealer’s task was to twist words and spread lies that provided benefit to the revolution leader, Napoleon. ‘He was a dazzling talker, and when he was arguing some tough point he had a way of avoiding from side to side and blending his tail which was in some way extremely convincing. The others stated of Squealer that he might turn black into white.’ (p. 9). As certainly he did, making the Pigs’ devious actions and their lack of respect for the laws of Animalism seem as if they were doing these things not for their own individual earnings, however for the sake of the farm. ‘… you would not rob us of our repose, would you, associates?
You would not have us too tired to carry out our tasks? Definitely none of you wishes to see Jones back?’ (p. 46). Much like Australia’s circumstance with boat people and stating islands not part of Australia, so the refugees can’t gain access to person rights, the Laws of Animalism changed with the Pigs’ will. Adjustment and twisting of words and laws meant that the Pigs’ were never in the incorrect. ‘Squealer always mentioned it as a ‘readjustment’, never ever as a ‘decrease’.’ (p. 75). Not just was propaganda utilized as a way to keep society quelched, but likewise violence and intimidation through subtle and constant risks ‘Certainly you do not want to see Jones back?’, and worry of the effects if you were found to be betraying the revolution.
Napoleon ran Animal Farm like any other dictator would, as a totalitarian state. It was manipulation, using others and his individual reliability that got Napoleon into his position as dictator of Animal Farm. Violence, propaganda, and the desire of the other farm animals were major factors supporting his reign. Whilst ignorance eventually relied on stupidity, you can not blame the other animals for wanting to turn a blind eye and go with popular opinion, rather than voice their opinions and be eliminated for it. Finally, it was Napoleon’s personal leadership qualities, with the assistance of other enthusiastic pigs that kept him in power.