What effect does Napoleon's takeover have on the other animals in Animal Farm?

Quick answer:

The effect of stopping the animals' education is that Napoleon emphasizes the social divisions on the farm. He makes it clear that the pigs are in charge and that the other animals are there to work.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

When Napoleon takes over control of Animal Farm by driving off Snowball, the effect is that he twists the ideals of the animals' revolution to add to his own personal power. He violently purges the farm of imagined enemies by using the dogs. He profits from trade with humans on other farms. He and the other pigs begin to engage in human-like activities, dressing in men's clothes, walking around on two legs, drinking alcohol, and gambling. He also demands more of the other animals, who are expected to sacrifice their labor (on the windmill, in particular) for what is portrayed as the common good. Even old Boxer is sent to the knacker to be killed, a bitter irony considering that Old Major warned him that Mr. Jones would one day send him to this fate. In short, the pigs become more and more corrupt, and this makes life for the other animals as bad or worse as it was under Mr. Jones.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What is the effect of the end of education by Napoleon for other animals in Animal Farm?

It is worth noting that Napoleon does not explicitly ban the education of the other animals at any point in the story. Instead, the reader is left to infer that this is the case, notably after the expulsion of Snowball. Remember that education was Snowball’s idea. He wanted all of the animals to have a decent level of education, including a decent level of literacy. However, once he is expelled by Napoleon in chapter 5, Squealer announces an end to the Sunday meetings and that the windmill will be built, so the reader is left to imagine that Snowball’s educational committees have gone, too.

In chapter 9, however, Napoleon announces that a schoolroom will be built to facilitate the education of the piglets. This involves a considerable amount of labor, as well as money to buy the building materials.

By choosing to educate the piglets and not continue the education of the other animals, Napoleon is sending a strong message. In effect, he is strengthening the divide between the pigs and the other animals through the creation of a hierarchy. It is now clear the pigs are the true rulers, hence the need for them to be educated, while the other animals are simply there to provide labor.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Last Updated on