How does Napoleon solidify his leadership in Chapter 8 of Animal Farm?

1 Answer | Add Yours

rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Chapter eight begins with the animals still shaken by the executions ordered by Napoleon and carried out by the dogs. One way Napoleon has consolidated his power is quickly evident in the chapter: he has changed the Sixth Commandment to read, "No animal shall kill any other animal without cause." We also learn that Napoleon has assumed many of the trappings of autocratic rule, including a rooster that heralds his entrance, an entourage that included the dogs, and separate living quarters in the farmhouse, which had been declared off limits in the immediate aftermath of the rebellion. He cultivates a cult of personality that includes a sycophantic poem written by Minimus:

Friend of fatherless!/Friend of fatherless!/Fountain of happiness!Lord of the swill-bucket! Oh, how my soul is on fire/When I gaze at thy/Calm and commanding eye/Like the sun in the sky/Comrade Napoleon!

But Napoleon mostly consolidates his power by recasting the Battle of the Windmill, in which the windmill was actually destroyed, as a heroic victory. Frederick and his men are driven from the farm, though obviously at tremendous cost, in lives as well as the windmill. By the end of the chapter, we see how totally Napoleon is in control. After a raucous celebration in the farmhouse, the Fifth Commandment was altered to read: "No animal shall drink alcohol to excess." So as elsewhere in the book, it is through a combination of fear and propaganda that Napoleon consolidates his power in chapter eight.


We’ve answered 317,447 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question