Discuss the sequence of events leading to Napoleon's seizing complete control of the farm.

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

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Napoleon recognizes early on that control of the farm is going to involve different tactics.  In this, he shows himself to be a politically calculating leader of the highest order.  On one hand, he recognizes that he has to move Snowball out of the political picture in order to ensure that he has complete control.  He is able to do this by consistently opposing Snowball, no matter what the issue.  In doing his best to marginalize Snowball, Napoleon understands the need to be politically adroit in a new situation with the farm being in the control of the animals, specifically the pigs.  Napoleon uses Squealer to disseminate information that will make him look better to them and continue to marginalize Snowball and his ideas.  Part of this involves the use of the sheep to bleat slogans that Snowball and Napoleon approve in their desire to consolidate his power. Underscoring all of this is Napoleon's seizure of the puppies and raising them into being a secret police force that will ensure Napoleon's control through brute force.  The fact that Napoleon takes the pups away from their mother early on in the narrative reflects that he understands that the complete seizure of the farm is going to reside in the element of brute force, something confirmed when the dogs run Snowball off of the farm once and for all and leave Napoleon as the unquestioned force of authority on the farm.

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