How does Napoleon manage to render what was once held "sacred" to the cause of Animalism as unnecessary?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Napoleon is able to manipulate many circumstances to alter what is seen as "sacred" as not needed and, eventually, something that is put aside in his desire to consolidate his power.  The primary vehicle that enables him to do this is his ability to use force as a way to justify and continue his control over the farm.  Napoleon's only real and formidable threat is Snowball.  Once this threat is neutralized in chapter 5, Napoleon demonstrates himself to possess the ability to redefine himself and the narrative by which the animals view the farm and life on it.  In chapter 7, Napoleon uses the publicly forced confessions and executions to ensure that no animal will speak out against him.  In this, Napoleon is able to eliminate the idea that all animals are equal, using Squealer to rewrite the commandments whenever it suits the pigs and ensuring that there is a constant stream of propaganda that continually validates what he does as right and just.  As time progresses, the animals that helped to lead the revolution have died, ensuring that the new generation of animals that begin to inhabit the farm have little idea of those elements deemed "sacred," reflecting another vehicle through which Napoleon can render that which was once held "sacred" as unnecessary.

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