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Describe How Napoleon Became Dictator of Animal Farm and How He Maintained His Position over the Years

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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’ 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

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