Napoleon had already been marked as a prominent pig because he had a reputation of getting things his own way. By being active in the debates, he received much attention and notice from the animals. He also garnered support from those who agreed with his views but were unable to express themselves. Thus, he became a representative of these animals. Napoleon also used many tools of propaganda to gain power. The sheep perhaps were his most important tools of propaganda throughout the novel.
They were, for sure, a deciding factor in Napoleon’s rise to power. Snowball, the other pig who shared the position of leadership with him did not agree with him on many counts. However, he was a good speaker and could easily gain the animals support with his speeches alone. So, Napoleon trained the sheep to break into their favorite slogan of ‘ four legs good, two legs bad’ at vital parts of Snowball’s speeches making hard to convey his points to them. Because of this, Snowball would not gain much support which was exactly what Napoleon wanted.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
All Napoleon had to do was to put down the idea to gain support as the animals would have not been convinced by Snowball if they could not have listened to him. Napoleon gained complete power through the exiling of Snowball. When, despite Napoleon’s efforts, Snowball managed to get most of the animals support on the matter of the windmill, Napoleon knew Snowball was a threat to his position. If Napoleon did not do something, Snowball would soon become the unquestionable leader of Animal Farm. So, he got rid of this danger.
Using the dogs he had trained in secret, he banished Snowball from the farm. Without Snowball in the picture, Napoleon became the undisputed leader. He then banned the debates and told the animals they would follow orders instead. This was so that the animals would not be able to have a say in the running of the farm and would not be able to disagree on any matters. He later sent Squealer to justify his actions. Squealer minces the truth with lies to confuse the animals and think Napoleon was right in exiling Snowball. Do not imagine leadership is a pleasure” and “it is a deep and heavy responsibility” are some of the truths he uses. These make Napoleon seem sacrificial and will gain the animals’ sympathy. He also uses the animals’ fear of Jones coming back to convince them that Napoleon is right. He creates power through many methods. Making the animals file past Old Major’s skull is a reinforcement of his leadership and a way of allying himself with the beloved father of animalism. It makes the animals respect the new leader as much as the old leader.
He uses the word ‘sacrifice’ and ‘own contribution’ to make the animals feel that what they are doing is for a greater cause which makes them willing to “sacrifice’ for the ‘greater need’. Napoleon uses Squealer to explain away anything and everything. Squealer uses powerful vocabulary which confuses the simple-minded animals. When the animals protest, squealer’s eloquence, combined with the threat of violence [the dogs] makes the animals stop their questioning. The sheep are then used to smooth the awkwardness by bleating their slogan.
It then becomes impossible for the animals object again. Throughout the novel, it becomes customary for the dogs to be seen in this double act with the sheep. Napoleon also makes the animals work so hard that they are too tired to think about their situation and realize napoleon’s intentions. They also have no time to consider rebellion. He does this by making the animals build the very windmill that he thought useless in the start. To explain his first opinion, he tells the animals that it was originally his idea. Napoleon exploit’s the animals inferiority complex.
When he changes the seven commandments to justify his actions, the animals are doubtful as their memories tell them that the seven commandments were different. However Squealer tells them that they are wrong and it is just a figment of their imagination. The animals think that if napoleon says so then he must be right and so let him get away with it. Napoleon is an opportunitist. When he realizes that he can turn a situation, whether good or bad, to his advantage, he does so. For example, when the windmill topples, he tells that that Snowball is the cause and turns the animals against him.
From then on he makes Snowball a scapegoat. Whenever something goes wrong, it is because of Snowball. This makes the animals feel that they are lucky to have Napoleon instead. It is also an easy way out as it keeps the animals from finding out where the blame really lies. This secures Napoleon’s leadership position as the he will not be blamed for anything wrong and creates the illusion that Napoleon’s ruling is perfect, making him indispensable. In the case of the timber, he uses Snowball to back up his decision. Since the animals are against him, the party he is not selling to will have Snowball residing there.
This causes the animals to support his decision. He maintains power through various means. By rarely appearing in public he makes it seem that he has more important matters than the animals’ welfare and that they should be lucky when he does appear; that they should revere him. This makes him indispensable. Through the killings, he eliminates anyone who is a likely threat to his leadership such as the four porkers. The others who are killed have angered him somehow[ the hens who led their rebellion] and they serve as a warning not to disobey him. the hens who led their rebellion] At the same time, he further erodes Snowball’s image by making the animals confess that he was planning to kill napoleon. By using statistics, another form of lies, he convinces the naive animals that the farm has prospered and flourished under him, again making him indispensable. There are other ways through which he maintains his power. He is given tittles like ‘ Protector of the sheepfold’ to make the animals realize his birthday is commemorated which makes him godlike as the animals must celebrate the day he was born to thank god for his birth.
The poem about his greatness is inscribed on the wall with a portrait of him next to it both opposite the seven commandments. This makes him as powerful as the principles of animalism, the very foundations of their present life. He is guarded by dogs and has a food taster so that he cannot be assassinated. He spreads rumors about the wretched state of the animals on other farms to make the animals feel privileged to belong to animal farm. He shows of his ‘brilliance’ by letting the animals see the banknotes gained from the timber.
This is to show the animals what is to be gained under napoleon’s rule. He makes everything seem like a victory to cover up his mistakes and keep the animals from blaming him. One example would be the blowing up of the windmill. It makes the animals feel that although there was a ‘slight’ loss they still won. He uses euphemisms to disguise what he does. This can be seen when he uses ‘readjustments instead of reductions’ to make lessening of food seem not that much less. There are more celebrations which make the animals forget their hunger and complain less.
Animal farm is also proclaimed a republic to with Napoleon as its president to make it seem like he is just presiding over the animals not controlling them. He allows Moses to remain when he returns as he spreads false hope which makes the animals continue laboring, hoping that if life is bad now, maybe one day, Moses’ stories might come true and life would be better. When Boxer, a highly respected figure among the animals is taken away to be killed, the animals are told that he received the best medical care but still died.
Devoted Boxer’s death is then manipulated to Napoleon’s advantage. Napoleon claims that Boxer’s last words were Napoleon is always right. Since this was one of Boxer’s maxims, it is a convincing lie. The animals would make this maxim their own as a mark of respect to Boxer. This would greatly serve Napoleon. Napoleon used brilliance, cunning, treachery, propaganda and a host of other skills to gain, create and maintain power. He succeeded. Animal farm remained under his tyranny throughout the novel.