rm and how he maintained his position over the yearsNapoleon 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’ refers to one who is extremely stubborn and thinks they are always right; the pigs’ refer to police, or other figures of authority. Napoleon became dictator of Animal Farm merely due to the fact that he was a pig, and had the simplest of leadership skills. He maintained that power by propaganda and running the farm in a fascist, totalitarian manner. Violence, propaganda and the general ignorance of the other farm animals were major roles in keeping Napoleon in power.
Power naturally fell to the pigs not because they had earned it, or were the best for the job, but merely as a result of their social standing in the animal hierarchy.
The work of teaching and organizing the others fell naturally upon the pigs, which were generally recognised as being the cleverest of the animals’ (P.9). The pig, Old Major was considered the oldest and wisest animal on the farm. The other animals may have thought it natural for any other pig to be like him and follow his vision and ethics of Animalism. Whilst Napoleon assumed the role of leader of the revolution, he was only able to maintain this position because the other animals took it for granted that the decisions he made were the right ones.
To maintain this position of power, Napoleon had to eliminate all opponents and make sure that the animals kept faith in him and his integrity. Using others and their credibility was another of Napoleon’s tricks. Any animal who admired Boxer (one of the most well respected and famous characters on the farm) would have followed and imitated Boxer and his Napoleon is always right’ attitude, thus earning Napoleon more supporters (much like the Labor Party did in their hiring of Peter Garrett).
Napoleon and Snowball were supposed to be joint leaders of the revolution, but they had different ideas as to how Animal Farm should be run. Snowball was more interested in setting up committees, educating all animals and setting up an industry to supply the farm with electricity, heating and other luxuries. Napoleon’s interest was the education of youth, but as per usual, he had an ulterior motive for wanting to raise the young pups of Animal Farm. As soon as they were weaned Napoleon took them away from their mothers saying that he would make himself responsible for their education..’ (p.22). As Hitler did with the Hitler Youth Volkssturm (literally: people’s storm), Napoleon indoctrinated the impressionable youths with the morals and rights and wrongs’ that he himself believed in. The dogs, not knowing any better, were now his completely devoted supporters. Napoleon waited until Snowball had done all the hard work and completed the plans for machinery -that was to increase the farms production- before Napoleon pardon the pun released the hounds’ and exiled Snowball. Napoleon then began a campaign of lies and propaganda against Snowball, marking him as a traitor and the source of all problems and accidents that happened on Animal Farm.
Propaganda also played a large role in Napoleon maintaining his power. As the propaganda chief, Squealer’s job was to twist words and spread lies that gave advantage to the revolution leader, Napoleon. He was a brilliant talker, and when he was arguing some difficult point he had a way of skipping from side to side and whisking his tail which was somehow very persuasive. The others said of Squealer that he could turn black into white.’ (p.9).As indeed 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 personal profit, but for the sake of the farm. you would not rob us of our repose, would you, comrades? You would not have us too tired to carry out our duties? Surely none of you wishes to see Jones back?’ (p.46). Much like Australia’s situation with boat people and declaring islands not part of Australia, so the refugees can’t gain access to citizen rights, the Laws of Animalism changed with the Pigs’ will. Manipulation and twisting of words and laws meant that the Pigs’ were never in the wrong. Squealer always spoke of it as a readjustment’, never as a reduction’.’ (p.75). Not only was propaganda used as a means to keep society repressed, but also violence and intimidation through subtle and constant threats Surely you do not wish to see Jones back?’, and fear of the repercussions 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 personal credibility that got Napoleon into his position as dictator of Animal Farm. Violence, propaganda, and the willingness of the other farm animals were major factors supporting his reign. Whilst ignorance at some point turned to stupidity, you cannot blame the other animals for wanting to turn a blind eye and go with popular public opinion, rather than voice their opinions and be killed for it. Lastly, it was Napoleon’s personal leadership qualities, with the support of other ambitious pigs that kept him in power.