Is Napoleon The Corrupt Leader

According to the Oxford Dictionary, power is the ability to be dominant over other individuals as well as having enormous influence on them. It grants one superiority and may be obtained, maintained, and lost. In George Orwell’s novel, Animal Farm, the animals on a small English farm manage to revolt and take over. The animals believe their lives are going to be changed for the better, however, Napoleon emerges as a corrupt leader with no interest in the strength of the farm, only in the strength of his power over it. Napoleon maintains power over the animals by using fear to keep himself in a position of authority, by forcing his opponent into exile, and using propaganda to gain respect.

The first tactic Napoleon uses is the animals fear of Jones returning and the use of propaganda to keep his control over the animals. The pigs are constantly being treated with privilege, however, Squealer is making it his duty to remind the animals that for them to be successful, they needed to be at their full health. Squealer uses this point in one of his speeches, “Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health… milk and apples contains substances necessary to the well-being of pigs,” (Document C). He is continuously beating indoctrinate information, and he is successful because he uses threats to overpower the ignorant animals. Since, Napoleon has the admiration from the animals, he praises, “One false step, and our enemies would be upon us… you don’t want Jones to come back” (C). The animals are so afraid of their former owner returning they are blinded of what really happening. He uses his superiority to present propaganda without it being questioned.

Napoleon uses Squealer as a mouthpiece to villainize Snowball and praise Napoleon. (Document D). Squealer abuses the animals’ ignorance and tells elaborate tales of the misdoings of Snowball. One bold-faced lie he fed the animals is, “He (Snowball) stole the corn, he upset the mile pails, he broke the eggs…” He claims that Snowball has been a traiter all along and is now sneaking onto the farm to sabotage it. “Snowball was in league with Jones from the very start!” (D). Napoleon uses the supposed threat that Snowball poses to add to his own power by fabricating a sense of emergency. He makes the animals hate their former comrade and feel lucky to have Napoleon as their leader through the devious use of Squealers influential speeches.

Napoleon uses propaganda to externalize power and gain the respect of his fellow comrades. The animals are normalizing being not as equal as others. Napoleon even receives a title that the animals must use when addressing him, “Napoleon is referred to in formal style as “our leader” comrade Napoleon.” ( Document E). Leader, is imposing that he is the dictator, however the whole tactic of equality has been disintegrated. Napoleon is also receiving praise for things he cannot control, “Under guidance of leader Napoleon, I have laid six eggs” (E). These praises are the result of propaganda and the proselytize information that Napoleon has pressed into the animals. Since the animals are constantly crediting him for their successes, he is maintaining power, and he has the uttermost respect, than anyone else on the farm.

As Napoleon’s leadership turns from absolute power to absolute corruption he uses many despicable methods to ensure no one questions his authority. Although some may say manipulation is Napoleon’s strongest tactic to preserve domination fear has proven to be the most superior strategy. The most prominent use of this tactic is when Napoleon, through his spokesman Squealer, fills the animals with fear at the idea of Jones coming back. They are so afraid of their former tyrant returning they will do anything Napoleon says. Above all, it is important to remember that dictatorships are unexpected and even the most educated, successful, and refined countries should never dismiss the idea of a dictatorial uprising.

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Is Napoleon The Corrupt Leader. (2021, Jun 02). Retrieved December 10, 2023 , from

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