How does Napoleon use persuasive language and propaganda to seize and maintain power?

Published: 2021-07-01 03:55:03
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George Orwell’s novel, Animal Farm, is an allegory that compares the animals and “animalism” to communism in Russia during the 20th century. Stalin is portrayed as Napoleon, and Snowball as Trotsky, in a battle to gain complete authority over their society. The farm animals portray the ignorant and oppressed Russian people of the era. Throughout the duration of Animal Farm, there is a continuous use of propaganda and persuasive techniques in order to manipulate what the animals believe to be real. Napoleons aim throughout the novel is to convince the animals that they are “comrades” and that they are fighting for the same cause.
In order to mislead these animals into believing his dishonest views on how they should run their society, Napoleon adapts every opportunity he has to his advantage. Squealer, perhaps, is one of his strongest persuasive methods of luring the animals in with his twisted words and propaganda. From the beginning, Napoleon is already marked as being a prominent pig because of his respected position within the farm and his “reputation for getting his own way. ” It is clear to see that both Snowball and Napoleon regard themselves as being capable leaders, however, neither wants the other to overpower them.
Napoleon starts to act as a representative for those animals who are unable to express themselves in the debates, and he tries to convince the other animals that Snowball’s views should be disregarded. As a natural, vivacious and articulate spokesman, Snowball is a popular debater and quickly earns the attention of many of the animals. This comes as a major obstacle for Napoleon and his rise to power. It was obvious to see that before long, Snowball would become the unquestionable leader of Animal Farm and would certainly threaten Napoleons position.
When, despite Napoleons efforts, Snowball managed to get most of the animals’ support on the matter of the windmill, Napoleon knew that he had to intervene. He finally decided to get rid of this danger. Using the dogs he had brainwashed into obeying his orders, he chased Snowball away from the farm. As a result of Snowball being exiled from the farm, Napoleon finally seized complete power and became the farm’s undisputed leader. The dogs then served as bodyguards for Napoleon and were used as threats to the animals if they ever stepped out of line.
This forced the animals to work obediently and efficiently under mortal threat from Napoleons tyranny. To maintain and accumulate power, Napoleon had to ensure that there was no opportunity for the animals to challenge his authority. In order to do this, he abolished the debates to deprive the other animals of their say on how to run the farm. After Snowball is exiled, Napoleon sends Squealer to justify his actions; Squealer uses eloquence and propaganda to manipulate the truth and make it seem that Snowballs exile was necessary.
Squealer then goes on to explain that Napoleons leadership is a “heavy responsibility,” to gain sympathy from the animals and make them believe that Napoleon has made sacrifices. Because of the other animals’ ignorance, it becomes effortless for Napoleon and Squealer to engineer the animals’ memories into believing an edited history. Certain circumstances include the adjustments made to the Seven Commandments to suit Napoleons requirements, so as to reassure that whatever Napoleon may be undertaking, was not against their laws and beliefs.
A key element in how Napoleon maintains power is by making the animals falsely believe that Snowball is the perpetrator of all their misfortunes. It becomes apparent that whenever an undesirable event occurs, Snowball is to blame, such as the comprehensive destruction of the windmill. The use of Snowball as a scapegoat alters even the beliefs of Snowballs remaining followers and strengthens Napoleons reign over the animals. It leads many of the animals to believe that they are fortunate enough to have Napoleon as their leader and not Snowball.
This creates the illusion that Napoleon is the perfect ruler and his leadership is indispensable. In addition to how Snowball is exploited as a scapegoat and is claimed to be the cause of many unfortunate events, Napoleon covers up his own short-comings by deceiving the animals into believing even calamities were deliberately planned by Snowball. Napoleon accumulates authority by many methods and tactics. By forcing the animals to file past Old Majors skull, his leadership is reinforced and it is a method of allying him with the beloved father of animalism.
Squealers eloquence and strong vocabulary confuses many of the simple minded animals into believing even the most self-evident lies. After a very short period of time, many of the animals don’t even question Napoleons schemes and assume, as Boxer does, that “Napoleon is always right. ” Napoleon also establishes a poem defining his excellence as a substitute for “Beasts of England” inscribed into the wall opposite the Seven Commandments. A portrait of him is likewise hung opposite the Commandments which lead the animals to believe that Napoleon is just as powerful as the principles of animalism, the very foundation of their present life.
Napoleon completes his transformation from a victim of the previous society into a powerful dictator. This is brought about by what the pigs believe to be the abolition of animalism from their society on the farm. Napoleon secures power in this final transformation as Mr Jones did before him. Instead of being the producers, they have instead become the consumers and are no longer willing to produce themselves. This shows a rise to dominance but also inequality. Orwell illustrates the inequality of hierarchical society by depicting the pigs as dictators in a communist regime, and the remaining animals as the oppressed.
It is clear how Napoleon and the other pigs regard their society when they think of themselves as “more equal than others. ” Orwell depicts Animal Farm as a dystopia caused by communism and greed. At first what already was a misery under Mr Jones’ leadership became purgatory under Napoleons reign. Napoleon uses a variety of intelligence, stealth, duplicity, propaganda and a host of other techniques to acquire, accumulate and maintain authority. He succeeded. Animal farm remained under his tyranny throughout the novel.

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