What happens when one being has too much power and control over others? What could possibly go wrong? Well, in the allegorical novella, Animal Farm, the author, George Orwell shows us that everything can go wrong. The book Animal Farm is about farm animals that are treated poorly by an apathetic farmer named Mr. Jones. All the animals are fed up with this treatment so they plot against Mr. Jones and successfully overthrow him, resulting in the animals taking over the farm. All the animals strive for a life free of greed, starvation, and violence but towards the end, we discover that this is unfathomable. This is because of the usage of education, force, and propaganda by Napoleon which were all without a doubt, deciding factors in his rise to power over everyone else and stable control of Animal Farm throughout the story.
To begin with, Napoleon first uses education as a way to gain power later in the story. He and the other pigs are the first to learn how to read and write on the farm. They then proceed to educate others but they do not get very far. Napoleon, believing that the animals’ education should be the number one priority, decides to isolate Jessie and Bluebells newborn puppies from the rest of the farm and used education to justify his actions. “Napoleon took them away from their mothers, saying that he would make himself responsible for their education. He took them up into a loft which could only be reached by a ladder from the harness-room, and there kept them in such seclusion that the rest of the farm soon forgot their existence” (P.41) Napoleon isolated the puppies from their mother, therefore they do not have a figure to look up to except Napoleon. So all they know is that they are supposed to be loyal to Napoleon and that Napoleon is always right since he was their only influence. Since all of the animals forgot about their existence, there was nothing stopping Napoleon from turning the puppies into his personal bodyguards. Later on, Napoleon would use these puppies as a secret army to seize control of Animal Farm. What Napoleon did shows us that he had been plotting to reap power from the very beginning. And once Napoleon is in power, he begins disobeying the seven established commandments. He does this because he thinks that he is above everyone else and he has absolute power. However, in the final chapter, the pigs start walking on two legs and hoisting whips. The animals were stunned by this unpleasant change but the sheep start to bleat, “Four legs good, two legs better!” Frightened, the animals decide to review the seven commandments. “For once Benjamin consented to break his rule, and he read out to her what was written on the wall. There was nothing there except a single Commandment. It ran: ‘All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others'” (P.123) This was the last commandment that Napoleon changed and this revealed to us that the pigs truly have absolute control over the farm. Napoleon had taken advantage of all the other animals’ lack of intelligence and manipulates them. When Napoleon disobeys the seven commandments of animal farm, he always gets away with it by changing the commandment that he broke. The animals could not read or remember the original commandments so Napoleon’s assistant, Squealer takes advantage of their inferior intelligence and convinces them that the commandment was like that already. The animals, lacking intellect, accept these changes and acquiesce, allowing Napoleon to assume greater power and control since they can not overthrow him as they don’t have a suitable reason to.
Furthermore, Napoleon also uses force in various situations to gain and maintain power in Animal Farm. Early in the story, when all the animals were gathered inside the barn to vote between the ideas of Napoleon and Snowball. Napoleon, who was losing his leverage, decided that he had had enough and so he brought in his trained dogs to chase Snowball away. With Snowball gone, Napoleon assumes absolute control since there is no one to contest him. “At this there was a terrible baying sound outside, and nine enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars came bounding into the barn. They dashed straight for Snowball, who only sprang from his place just in time to escape their snapping jaws. In a moment he was out of the door and they were after him.” (P.57) Napoleon was first able to educate these dogs into being loyal to him only for the purpose of using them as a secret army. So, Napoleon being the selfish pig he is, wanted things to go his way and when it did not, he resulted to using force. By eliminating his only other opponent, Napoleon gains total control over Animal Farm. Furthermore, he abolishes Sunday meetings because he does not want anyone contesting his intentions. Later, all the other animals then begin to question life on the farm under Napoleon’s rule so he decides to set up a trial as an excuse to execute those seen as a threat. “Napoleon now called upon them to confess their crimes. They were the same four pigs as had protested when Napoleon abolished the Sunday Meetings, Without any further prompting they confessed that they had been secretly in touch with Snowball ever since his expulsion, that they had collaborated with him in destroying the windmill, and that they had entered into an agreement with him to hand over Animal Farm to Mr.Frederick.” (P.82) Napoleon does all of this as an excuse to exile those seen as a threat to HIM, he does not want a second revolution to spark against him so he silences the other animals to maintain his power. Basically, Napoleon is able to remain in power because he can use his dangerous dogs to instill fear into the animals so they do not speak up against him.
Lastly, on top of using education and force to maintain his power, Napoleon deceives all the other animals with propaganda.
A while after Mr.Jones was warded off, the animals noticed that the milk and apples were beginning to go missing,
“Comrades!” he cried. “You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? 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. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for YOUR sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples.” (P.42) Napoleon
One example of how Napoleon uses propaganda is when the windmill is destroyed. All of the animals were working hard to build the windmill for the farm. When the animals discovered that the windmill was destroyed, Napoleon is quick to blame Snowball. “‘Comrades,'” he said quietly, ‘do you know who is responsible for this? Do you know the enemy who has come in the night and overthrown our windmill? SNOWBALL!’ he suddenly roared in sheer malignity, thinking to set back our plans and avenge himself for his ignominious expulsion, this traitor has crept here under cover of night and destroyed our work of nearly a year. Comrades, here and now I pronounce the death sentence upon Snowball. ‘Animal Hero, Second Class,’ and half a bushel of apples to any animal who brings him to justice. A full bushel to anyone who captures him alive!'” (P.72) Napoleon does this because he is too stubborn to admit that he had messed up. He wanted to make himself seem perfect to all the other animals so they would all look up to him, he just wanted to make his own reputation look better. Napoleon knows that Snowball will never come back to the farm since he chased him away so he uses him as a scapegoat since he can not defend himself against Napoleon’s accusations. As a result, Snowballs legacy is tarnished and he is viewed as a common enemy of all the animals.
-didnt want to admit he was wrong
-easier to blame it on snowball
Soon found out that
so they were able to gain an advantage right away.
used that to their advantage to ensure that all the other animals remained ignorant. They learned to read and write \
-made own reputation look better