In Animal Farm, how does Napoleon control the food supply?

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clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Napoleon uses several methods of exercising his power over the animals, one powerful method is through food. Food is what motivates most of these animals and is one big reason that motivated them to revolt in the first place. They felt that under the rule of Mr. Jones they were not given nearly enough food.

Napoleon promises more food, but he uses the animals' inability to remember as a means of controlling food distribution. He tells the animals that while it seems like they are receiving less food he is really allowing them more than Mr. Jones ever did. He is also so irresponsible with the food distribution and it is largely skewed in the pigs' favor that during the winter months the animals nearly starve and Napoleon is forced to give meager rations of food to the animals who did all the hard labor to harvest it. Again the animals do not remember and so they go along with the ration system for the good of the farm. Napoleon also uses food to threaten the animals. He even threatens to punish the hens if they do not produce more food (eggs) to be sold for money to help build the windmill.

renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Napoleon sets up a system of rations to control the dwindling food supply. He also designs the food troughs to appear full and abundant, yet in reality, he is filling them with sand and topping it off with meal. Napoleon wants to give the impression that food is plentiful.

Napoleon also uses the food supply to control the other animals. By withholding rations, he maintains power.When the chickens refuse to allow their eggs to be sold, Napoleon cuts off their rations, and declares any that provide them with food will be put to death.

conradwee99 | Student

Napoleon rations the food accordingly as they have little food especially in times of crisis. Although the animals' food are rationed, the pigs' food are not. For examples, the milk and apples from the farm are not distributed to the animals but only to the pigs. Napoleon also sends Squealer to tell the animals that the amount of food had increased although the readers knows otherwise. By doing so, Napoleon made the animal feel that they had been fed more than enough even though they were fed only a little. Napoleon also makes sure that all the food gets controlled by him. For examples, the hens had to surrender their eggs to Napoleon or face punishment and they could not eat the eggs themselves. In conclusion, Napoleon makes sure that all the food is controlled by him and that the pigs get the most amount of food.