Napoleon uses violence in Animal Farmfor various means and ends. One reason for the use of violence is the consolidation of power; however, he also uses violence to instill fear in the other animals, manipulate their behavior, and ultimately eradicate the chance of potential opposition to his leadership.
Napoleon uses violence in Animal Farm for various means and ends. One reason for the use of violence is the consolidation of power; however, he also uses violence to instill fear in the other animals, manipulate their behavior, and ultimately eradicate the chance of potential opposition to his leadership.
Overt violence is used to instill fear in the animals, increase conformity, and solidify Napoleon's position. In the book, Napoleon raises and trains nine farm puppies to act as his private bodyguards and army. In chapter 7, Napoleon assembles all the animals and forces four pigs who questioned him to confess that they have secretly been taking orders from Snowball. Immediately following their confession, the dogs rip the pigs' throats out. This and the subsequent killings of other animals who claim to have committed various crimes is proof of the brutality of Napoleon's leadership. It is used to send a clear message to the terrified animals about the future fate of any animal who opposes or threatens his position in any way, thus reducing the chance of any future rebellions.
Persistent violence is also used to manipulate the other animals and influence their behavior. Violence and the threat of violence coerces the animals into working harder, for example. The killing of the four pigs and other animals in chapter 7 leads Boxer to declare that they have failed in some way and that the animals must work harder. Violence is therefore used to manipulate the intellectually inferior animals into doing the pigs' and Napoleon's bidding, to exhort the other animals to work harder, and even to die for the good of the farm.
Interestingly, toward the end of the book, whips become symbolic of the threat of violence. Although the whips were supposedly destroyed in the revolution, in chapter 10 the animals are dismayed to see Napoleon walking upright with a whip in his trotter. The whips were reviled by the animals and evoke pain and terror, as whips were used by Mr. Jones and his men as methods of punishment and torture. While the whips are symbolic of Napoleon's domination and now human-like power, their very existence compels the animals to unquestioningly accept the pigs' new behavior and increasingly human traits.