Leadership and Conspiracy Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon, Father

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Leadership and Conspiracy
Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon, Father of All Animals, Terror of Mankind, Protector of the Sheep-fold, Ducklings' Friend is a fictional character and the main antagonist in George Orwell's Animal Farm.[2] While he is at first a common farm pig, he gets rid of Snowball, another pig who is his rival for power. He then takes advantage of the animals' uprising against their masters to eventually become the tyrannical "President" of Animal Farm, which he turns into a dictatorship.[3][4]
Napoleon in the allegory
Napoleon was based on Joseph Stalin[5] who ruled the Soviet Union for over 35 years. He begins his treachery by taking Bluebell and Jessie's puppies for himself with the intention of turning them into a secret police. Napoleon chooses the date of the meeting concerning the farm's new windmill to turn on his former comrade and seize control of the farm; this mirrors the relationship between Stalin and Leon Trotsky. Trotsky supported Permanent Revolution (just as Snowball advocated overthrowing other farm owners), while Stalin supported Socialism in One Country (similar to Napoleon's idea of teaching the animals to use firearms). When it seems Snowball will win the election for his plans, Napoleon calls in the dogs he has raised loyally to chase Snowball from the farm. This is the first time the dogs have been seen since Napoleon took them in and proceeded to raise them as his secret police.
Later on, after ostracizing Snowball, Napoleon ordered the construction of the windmill, which had been designed by Snowball and which he had opposed vigorously (just as Stalin opposed Trotsky's push for large scale industrialization, then adopted it as a policy when Trotsky was in exile), so as to show the animals that he could be just as inventive as Snowball. Other animals are told it was Napoleon's idea, but Snowball stole it. When the primitive windmill collapses due to Napoleon's poor planning after a storm, a reference to Stalin's backward approach to the Five-Year Plans, he blames Snowball and starts a wave of terror. During this period he orders the execution of several of the animals after coercing their "confessions" of wrongdoing. He also secretly changes the Seven

Commandments' prohibition against killing, drinking, and sleeping in beds, allowing him and his followers to break those commandments while claiming that the amendments were justified (Such as the other animals being killed with cause and drinking only being prohibited to excess). He then commands the building of a second, stronger windmill while severely cutting rations of the animals— except the rations of the pigs and dogs.
He later makes a deal with Frederick (similar to the MolotovRibbentrop Pact shortly before World War II); Frederick tricks Napoleon by paying him for the timber with counterfeit money and then invading the farm, much as Germany broke its pact with the Soviet Union and invaded. During the Battle of the Windmill, the windmill is destroyed, but the animals win, although they pay a high price. Napoleon attempts to cover the losses by stating it was a grand victory for the animals.
While Napoleon exhorts the other animals to fight and die for the good of the farm, he himself is a lonely and horrible cowpig, in contrast to Snowball, who was more concerned with the welfare of his animal friends rather than his power. Nonetheless, Napoleon's corrupt historical revisionism rewrites himself as a hero, claiming responsibility for the animal's victory during the Battle of the Cowshed when in reality it was Snowball who had performed heroic acts in this battle, though his acts are denigrated to bold-faced lies of him collaborating with Jones all along, and openly supporting them during the battle. Snowball was wounded in the back from buckshot, but it is claimed Napoleon inflicted the wounds with his teeth. Napoleon spends most of his time inside, giving his orders through other pigs, like the cunning orator Squealer, who helps spread support for him and changes the commandments. Napoleon declares the Farm a Republic, and a President is elected, Napoleon is the only candidate and elected unanimously.
Ultimately, Napoleon becomes an oppressive dictator and seems to become one of the cruel humans through his adoption of human ways. The pigs start walking on their hind legs and wearing clothes. The commandments are changed to say some animals are more equal than others. At the end of the novel he has decided to abolish the use of "comrade," and declares that the farm shall revert to its original name of Manor Farm, reflecting the farm's change of status going back to the beginning.

The novel ends with Napoleon meeting with Pilkington of Foxwood farm and other farmers, who claim the animals here work longer for less food than on other farms they have seen. The pigs have become so much like humans, both in behavior and appearance, that the animals watching through a window from the outside cannot tell man and pig apart. He and Pilkington fight after they both draw an Ace of Spades at a card game.[6]
In the ending of the 1954 film, Napoleon wears dictator-like clothing and pictures of him are put up signifying a cult of personality. In this version, the story ends with a mob of animals led by Benjamin seemingly killing Napoleon and the other pigs when they destroy the farmhouse's dining room, where he and the other pigs are having a meeting. This rather unsubtle change to a "happy" ending was done to make the story more politically correct, while at the same time abandoning Orwell's overall theme, which is the inevitability of mass uprisings removing one dictator, only to put another in his place. The 1999 film did not feature a specific revolution against Napoleon, but it did feature several animals fleeing his regime to hide in an area outside the farm, returning only after Napoleon's madness resulted in the destruction of the old farm and the death of him and his followers.
1. Jump up ^ "Animal Farm Characters". GradeSaver.com. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
2. Jump up ^ "How Does Napoleon take and maintain control of Animal Farm?". Marked By Teachers. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
3. Jump up ^ "Napoleon (a pig) in Animal Farm". Shmoop. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
4. Jump up ^ "Animal Farm: Napoleon (Character analysis)". Cliff's Notes. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
5. Jump up ^ "SparkNotes: Animal Farm: Napoleon". SparkNotes. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
6. Jump up ^ Orwell, George. Animal Farm, page 141, Signet Classics, 1996. ISBN 978-0-451-52634-2
2. Dictatorship is an autocratic form of government in which the country is ruled by an individual with absolute power: a dictator. Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany, and Kim Jong-il of North Korea are examples of famous dictators in modern times.

In the novel, Napoleon is the dictator of Animal Farm, whereas following the Russian Revolution, Joseph Stalin was the dictator. They were both cruel and oppressive rulers, who exploited their subjects through tyranny and deceit. Under these totalitarian regimes, most people lived in fear and poverty, because the dictators did not prioritize their subjects’ needs.
4. INTERPRETATION 5. SLOW ACCUMULATION OF POWER 6. In Animal Farm, George Orwell demonstrates how power is
accumulated slowly through a step-by-step progression. Napoleon did not suddenly emerge as the dictator, but implemented minor changes along the way to make his rise of power seem more logical to the animals. Shortly after Snowball’s expulsion, he ends the Sunday-morning Meetings, and replaces it with a new system in which “a special committee of pigs meet in private and afterwards communicate their decisions to the others” [p.36]. This symbolizes the rise of an emerging dictatorship, as the freedom of speech and expression once enjoyed by the animals is now completely abolished. Napoleon also "moves into the farmhouse and takes up his residence there" [p.45]. This physical separation from the rest of the animals represents the beginning of the establishment of a social hierarchy [Eissen, n.d.]. Orwell successfully uses these examples to illustrate the power of a small change, but also to provide the reader with a deeper understanding of how people end up believing what they believe, through a slow and gradual process, in which justifications are made at each turn.

7. CHARACTERIZATION 8. Through the characters George Orwell created in Animal
Farm, the readers can gain a deeper understanding of the unfair system under a dictatorship and how different parties in the hierarchy are affected.
Boxer represents the loyal and dedicated supporters of the Soviet Union. Orwell describes the horse as an honest worker, who follows Animalism faithfully without fully understanding its more intricate details. He lives by Napoleon’s orders (“Napoleon is always right”) and works himself to exhaustion (“I must work harder”) [p.41], but in turn is slaughtered by the man he admired. Orwell created Boxer’s character to convey that even the most hardworking people suffer under a brutal regime, and to demonstrate how people are used for their skills and talents. He emphasizes how corrupt Stalin is and illustrates what could happen to those who have blind trust in their dictators. Orwell also displays how dictators do not view loyalty from workers as something significant enough to reward.
Benjamin represents the people who were aware of Stalin’s unjust methods and oppressive policies during the Russian Revolution, but made no resistance to the changes. Guided by the philosophy that life will always be painful, the donkey is suspicious about the effectiveness of Animalism. 'When asked whether he was happier now that Mr. Jones has gone, he would say only "Donkeys live a long time.


None of you has ever seen a dead

donkey."' [p.19]. Even though his skepticism

proves to be correct, he is powerless and

does nothing about it. Orwell created this

character to communicate that even the

most intelligent and well educated people

under a dictatorship feel impotent to

criticize the regime. Benjamin also

symbolizes the people who passively

encourage the rise of the dictator by not




In Animal Farm, the pigs represent the ruling class and Stalin’s communist supporters. Unlike other animals, they live a life of luxury and enjoy the benefits of the dictatorship. They elevate themselves to positions of leadership, and procure privileges to "sleep in a bed" [p.41], and "drink alcohol" [p.73], even though it is against the Commandments. The hardworking animals on the other hand are given nothing in return, which emphasizes the inequality and true hypocrisy of a dictatorship. Orwell portrays the pigs this way to represent how dictators favor people who are similar to them. In the novel, Napoleon chooses the pigs to be part of his “inner circle”, merely because he is also a pig himself. In the human world, this includes sharing the same race, gender or belief, just as Joseph Stalin killed anyone that opposed his political point of view [LitCharts, n.d.].
9. Orwell successfully uses these three parties to convey the message that there will always be an unfair system under a dictatorship. He emphasizes the lives and experiences of the

different animals to show how hierarchy is established by the dictator’s personal preferences in real life.
There are many indicators that Napoleon is becoming a dictator. For one, he stirs up the "people," making them unhappy with the present situation. He creates a scapegoat in the "person" of Snowball; he has someone he can blame for everything that goes wrong and someone to focus the people's hatred on (cf. Goldstein in "1984"). He creates a propaganda machine so that the only information the pigs get is the information that he wants them to hear. He takes some young puppies and raises them to be his army, to strike fear into the animals should they ever decide to get together to oppose him. As part of his propaganda machine, he rewrites "history" in the form of the commandments. By the end of the book they have all been changed, but none of the animals can remember the originals, so they all seem to accept the "reality" of what presently is. (again, cf. "1984" when "Who controls the present controls the past; who controls the past controls the future.") He takes advantage of the dedication of the uneducated (Boxer) who trust that whatever he is doing, he must be doing for the good of all.
In many ways, this book is a texbook for creating a dictatorship. If you would like to do some additional research, check this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda.

I would just add to timbrady's comments by saying that Napoleon becomes richer and richer while the other animals become poorer and poorer. Futhermore, the way Napoleon wields his power slowly becomes resolved around fear - fear that Jones will return, fear that Snowball will return, and finally fear of Napoleon himself after the execution of the pigs and hens.

In Animal Farm, Napoleon become more and more like a dictator

because instead of trying to run the farm and work with the other

animals, he gave into his desire for power and ended up running the

farm and the animals himself. The animals despised Jones because

they felt that while Jones was taking away from the animals, the

animals were receiving no gratitude back for their hard labor and all



supplied. Napoleon obviously showed many traits that would make you assume that his intentions were to establish himself as the new dictator. The misguided way that he treated the animals is a prime example. He stole milk from the cows and gave it to the pigs. He also abducted 9 puppies to train them as his gaurd dogs. His reason for abducting and training these dogs were so that no one could over rule him and so that he would be able to use the dogs to intimidate the other animals for confessions.

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Leadership and Conspiracy Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon, Father