What is significant about the following quote from Chapter 5 of "Animal Farm"?'Napoleon, with the dogs following him, now mounted on to the raised portion of the floor where Major had...

What is significant about the following quote from Chapter 5 of "Animal Farm"?


'Napoleon, with the dogs following him, now mounted on to the raised portion of the floor where Major had previously stood to deliver his speech'.

Expert Answers
timbrady eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the techniques that many dictators use in the rise to power is to associate themselves with a more noble character who came before them, who laid the intellectual underpinnings of a revolution.  The dictator is usually a man of "action," but is rarely capable of the though and idealism of the original "founder."  In "Animal Farm" it is Napoleon (Stalin) who attempts to use the guise of the inspirational leadership of the Old Major (Marx) to fool the animals into believing that he is about the same ideals as the old major.  Since the animals (people) often unquestionably believe what they are told, it works.

Giving his speech from the same location as the Old Major serves as a symbolic "passing of the torch" even though that is clearlly not what is happening.

ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

By standing where Old Major has given his speech that started the revolution, Napoleon is both evoking Old Major's memory and associating himself with Old Major. He is, in essence, trying to take the place of Old Major and make himself just as revered as the old boar was. The difference is that Napoleon has the dogs beside him. Old Major was alone on the floor and his presence alone was enough to demand respect. By using the dogs, Napoleon is coercing the animals to follow him and basically communicating the message that if the animals don't follow and respect him as they did Old Major, he will have the dogs attack them.