Napoleon, is eventually blamed for all the problems and misfortunes which occur later in the story. Dictators find scapegoats to displace responsibility, and to direct the anger and hatred of the people living under their oppression to a different source. In Animal Farm, Napoleon uses
Snowball as a scapegoat, not only for the reasons stated above, but also because he is completely conscious that his rule is tyrannical, harsh, and not much different from Mr. Jones, and so to avoid protests from the animals, he blames all the misfortunes on Snowball, and labels him as something terrible. This uplifts himself to the state of being all wise and the original creator of all the ideas, and brainwashes the animals so they believe Snowball was a copycat who gained glory by sitting on Napoleon's great shoulders. It also allows for the animals to embrace Napoleon as the leader who wants to defeat Snowball, their “real enemy”.
Napoleon uses Snowball as a scapegoat to displace responsibility. When the windmill is destroyed, instead of taking responsibility for the poor construction, Napoleon says:
‘Do you know the enemy who has come in the night and overthrown our windmill? SNOWBALL!’ (69).
This is a perfect example of how outrageous Napoleon can be. He outright blames Snowball for a misfortune which happened due to his poor planning and supervision. This displacement of responsibility is amplified when stories are made up to deliberately damage Snowball’s image.
‘He stole the corn, he upset the milkpails, he broke the eggs, he trampled the seedbeds……
Whenever anything went wrong it became usual to attribute it to Snowball.’
Now instead of just blaming Snowball for real life tragedies that occur, the pigs and Napoleon create fake
misfortunes for the sake of throwing them on Snowball. All these examples reflect Napoleon’s reluctance in taking responsibility and his audacity in pushing everything on Snowball without losing any sleep.
In terms of brainwashing, Squealer convinces every animal to believe Snowball was a traitor, and that he worked as a spy for Mr. Jones.
‘Do you know what the real reason was?
Snowball was in a league with Jones from the very start!’
This is again, another attack on
Snowball’s image, which flips the image of Snowball in the animals’ minds from a good one, to a horrible one. Squealer explains Snowball’s plans for the windmill, were actually stolen from
Napoleon. ‘.....and the plan which Snowball had drawn on the floor of the incubator shed had actually been stolen from among Napoleon’s papers’
(57). Both of these examples serve the purpose of uplifting Napoleon to a