In the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell, Napoleon rises to power, and becomesthe ruler of the other animals on the farm. Orwell describes the series of methods which Napoleon used to put all ofthe animals under his control. Napoleon’sfirst method of gaining power was by picking the right audience. Napoleon picked the sheep to be his audience.The sheep were picked because Napoleon was easily able to teach the sheep toend discussions with loud chants of “Four legs good, two legs bad.” This isseen when the sheep interrupted crucial moments of Snowball’s brilliant speecheswith the rowdy chant. Additionally, the sheep would silence any potentialrebellion. For example, when Napoleon abolishedthe singing of Beasts of England, “Someof the animals might possibly have protested, but at this moment, the sheepstarted bleating ‘Four legs good, two legs bad,’… and this put an end to thediscussion.
” (p. 88) Another methodthat Napoleon used to rise to power was the collection of brute force. When nine puppies were born to the farm,Napoleon took them, and made them his personal brute force.
Eventually, thedogs “Wagged their tails to him the same way other dogs had been used to do toMr. Jones.” (p. 53) Napoleon used his “fierce-looking like wolves dogs” (p.53) to remove Snowball from Animal Farm. Additionally, when the pigs started to protest Snowball’s expulsion, “Thedogs sitting round Napoleon let out deep menacing growls, and the pigs fellsilent.” (p. 54) Furthermore,Squealer used the dogs.
For example,when Squealer explained Napoleon’s opinion regarding the windmill, the animals acceptedthe explanation without question because, “The three dogs who happened to bewith him growled so threateningly.” (p. 58) Napoleon understood that if fearwas present, the animals would make themselves believe anything. An additionalmethod that Napoleon used to rise to power was his creation of socialclasses.
Napoleon needed to socially separatehimself from the other animals, and he used small and subtle changes toaccomplish this. Napoleon did this bygiving special privileges to all pigs, and greater privileges to himself. First, he gave all pigs apples and milk, butsugar for himself. As time passed, allpigs were allowed to sleep in beds, but Napoleon gave himself his own apartment. As more time passed, all pigs were given a pintof beer daily, but Napoleon gave himself half-a-gallon of beer daily.
Finally, all pigs were allowed to carrywhips, but Napoleon gave himself a whip and a pipe. By giving privileges in small increments, theanimals could not pin down exactly what changed, and they were only “Conscious ofa vague uneasiness.” (p. 63) Thus, the animals accepted the changes.
By doing this, social classes were made whereNapoleon was superior to the pigs, and the pigs were superior to the other animals. In addition toNapoleon using subtle changes to create social classes, he also used subtlechanges to make the animals believe that Snowball was bad. Using small and subtle changes, Napoleon madethe animals accept that Snowball, who once had the status of “Animal Hero,First Class,” was really an enemy. Napoleonused this to his advantage by making Snowball a scapegoat. For example, when the windmill was destroyed,it was clearly due to a poor structure which was designed by Napoleon. Accordingly, the destruction of the windmill shouldhave been blamed on Napoleon.
However, beforeanyone could blame Napoleon, Napoleon quickly shouted out, “Snowball has donethis thing!” Animal Farm teaches valuable lessons onbecoming a ruler. To rise to power, aperson must know the psychology of who they are trying to rule over. The person must know how fear will be tolerated,and how changes will be accepted.