A good leader is supposed to help their followers when they are in need, lead them to a better place and guide them into reaching their goals and accomplishing tasks. However, some leaders are only in their position because they want power to manipulate their followers to benefit themselves and to get what they want. In the novel “Animal Farm”, the author George Orwell shows the consequences when a leader (Napoleon and his assistant Squealer) has absolute power and only cares for himself, and how many of his followers (the rest of the animals on the farm) suffered under his control.
At the beginning of the story, Napoleon and the pigs started off with good intentions and it seems like they are doing a fairly good job at leading the farm and the animal by giving persuasive speeches to get the animals to rebel against Jones. When the rebellion first started, the pigs always tell the animals how they should work together as a group.
They gained their trust by patiently teaching them the alphabet, as well as how to read and write. Snowball always tries to use new methods to improve the animal’s life.
For example, when the seven commandments was established, Squealer and Snowball helped to paint it on the wall. Snowball even read it outloud for all the animals because he knows that a lot of them can’t understand the writing (pg. 43). In addition to this, he also tried to get the animals more involved on the farm by creating different committees, such as the Egg Production Committee for the hens, Clean Tails League for the cows, and even reading and writing classes (pg.
49). Though these Committees weren’t very successful, but it shows how the pigs are trying to unite all the animals together and help them get used to their new life.
On the other hand, Napoleon has a very different style of leadership compared to Snowball. And as the story continues, him and Squealer began to reveal their true selves. Throughout the story, you can see the manipulation of Napoleon on the animals, he started establishing himself as a leader by lying to the animals and tricking them into thinking whatever the pigs tell them is right, and they should not oppose against them. He also uses his assistance Squealer, which is an excellent speaker and propagandist, to speak for him and mislead the animals. For example, when all the animals were confused about where all the milk and apples went, Squealer said, …You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege?
Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health He then continues to lie to the animals that it has been proved by Science that milk and apples contain necessary substances for pigs, as they are brainworkers (pg. 52). This shows how the pigs are making up excuses to cover up for themselves and fooling the animals. Adding onto this, the pigs also began to make up rules that are only beneficial to themselves.
For example, throughout the entire spring and summer, all the animals worked sixty hours per week, like slaves. And in August, Napoleon announced that there would be work on Sunday afternoons too. He stated. This work is strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half (pg. 73). He used the word “voluntary” to give them the idea of freedom, then threatening them with the reduction of their rations if they don’t volunteer. This shows how Napoleon and the pigs don’t really care about the animals at all, and that they’re manipulating them by giving them threats.
Furthermore, while the pigs first only started using their power for food and small benefits, their desire grew, so they began to change and break rules. For example, Napoleon announced that Animal Farm is now allowed to be engaged in trading with their neighboring farms. This resulted in confusing some of the animals, as they were told to never engage in dealings with humans, and to never make use of money. But Squealer then lies to them about the decision and asks, “Are you certain that this is not something that you have dreamed, comrades? Have you any record of such a resolution? Is it written down anywhere? (pg. 77)
The animals were soon convinced as there was no proof that it was written down. Another example would be when the pigs suddenly started to live in the farm house. But as the animals began to doubt about the resolution against this, Squealer again, convinced them by saying it’s necessary for the brainworkers of the farm to have a peaceful and quiet place to work in (pg. 79). It is later revealed that the pigs has changed the Fourth Commandment from “No animal shall sleep in a bed” to “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets” (pg. 79). This again shows how Napoleon and the pigs just keeps on making up excuses about why the pigs are allowed to have benefits (though it’s stated in the Seven Commandments that all animals are equal) and how the rest of the farm are treated unfairly.
In conclusion, Napoleon and the pigs do not qualify as good leaders. Though they started off with good intentions, but as the story goes on, their true selves began to reveal. They have failed to guide the animals into reaching their initial goal. Instead, they started manipulating them into fulfilling their own desires, which made the animals suffered under their controls.
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