Book Reviews

All the things that bothered Napoleon in Animal Farm (George Orwell)

If you haven’t done so already, have a look at our full and complete Animal Farm text zone here:

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In this article, we’ll have a look at all the things that bothered Napoleon (the pig) about what started happening in the farm since the animals took over.

Oppressed by Mr Jones before the rebellion of the animals on Manor Farm, and has experienced starvation where Mr Jones did not ‘bother to feed the animals‘(pg 7)

Inspired by Old Major’s speech to rise against Mr Jones, Napoleon starts planning a rebellion, but not in plain view. He was often “behind the scenes” (pg 17) since he is “not much of a speaker” (pg 16) and he hasn’t contributed in any major way to the planning of the rebellion – he just knew how to take advantage of it.

After the rebellion, Napoleon takes charge of the farm with force.

The name “Napoleon” can only mean one thing–an ambitious militaristic, domineering leader. This can only mean Joseph Stalin. Napoleon’s use of terrorist dogs, his disregard of his people’s sufferings, and his greed for the materialistic trappings of Farmer Jones all prove Orwell’s theory that the greed for power corrupts.

Napoleon, known as the “fierce- looking boar”  (pg 16)  is recognized for his ruthless attacks against the animals after the revolution. His use of the attack dogs (against Snowball) parallels the Stalin’s undercover secret police, who they both use to eliminate those who have the power to contradict them.

At last the day came when Snowball’s plans were completed. At the Meeting on the following Sunday the question of whether or not to begin work on the windmill was to be put to the vote. When the animals had assembled in the big barn, Snowball stood up and, though occasionally interrupted by bleating from the sheep, set forth his reasons for advocating the building of the windmill. Then Napoleon stood up to reply. He said very quietly that the windmill was nonsense and that he advised nobody to vote for it, and promptly sat down again; he had spoken for barely thirty seconds, and seemed almost indifferent as to the effect he produced. At this Snowball sprang to his feet, and shouting down the sheep, who had begun bleating again, broke into a passionate appeal in favour of the windmill. Until now the animals had been about equally divided in their sympathies, but in a moment Snowball’s eloquence had carried them away. In glowing sentences he painted a picture of Animal Farm as it might be when sordid labour was lifted from the animals’ backs. His imagination had now run far beyond chaff-cutters and turnip-slicers. Electricity, he said, could operate threshing machines, ploughs, harrows, rollers, and reapers and binders, besides supplying every stall with its own electric light, hot and cold water, and an electric heater. By the time he had finished speaking, there was no doubt as to which way the vote would go. But just at this moment Napoleon stood up and, casting a peculiar sidelong look at Snowball, uttered a high-pitched whimper of a kind no one had ever heard him utter before.

Orwell effectively demonstrates Napoleon’s hard-lined image which consolidated his power as the dictator of Animal Farm through the scene where Napoleon’s “dogs promptly tore” (page 84) the “throats” (page 84) of those who spoke against him. By illustrating a symbolic scene,  he employs the metaphor of powerful leaders robbing away the right to free speech and force the oppressed to essentially kill any public respect they might have had. This further enhances the idea that many dictators gains and maintain power by utilizing cunning methods.

The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others. With their superior knowledge it was natural that they should assume the leadership. (3.2)

Like Stalin, Napoleon attempts to form totalitarian regime on the farm therefore he abandons the founding principles of Animalism.

He started to raise the nine puppies for future threat, and is now named after “Comrade Napoleon” (pg 55)

Napoleon steals the idea of the windmill building from Snowball which does not succeed and forces the hens to hand their eggs to the pigs.  The windmill is destroyed because there was a storm that night. He tells the animals that it was  Snowball because he wants them to never trust him again and tells them that he will do anything to destroy the Animal Farm.  He tells the animals that they must show Snowball that he cannot destroy them. He shouts  “Long live the windmill!” “Long live Animal Farm!

All of the animals start blaming Snowball for anything bad that happens in the farm, this is Napoleon’s fault because they are now brain-washed that Snowball is out to destroy the farm.

The animals suffer increasingly from hunger after Napoleon comes to power. The animals were “always cold” and “usually hungry as well” (pg 74)

Napoleon adjusted the seven commandments of Animal Farm, and soon started adapting human behaviors that mirrors the traits of Mr Jones.

The new commandment is “All animals are equal , but some animals are more equal than others”. I think that it was true since the beginning because the pigs were always the ones  to get  almost everything. Well, the others didn’t get as much.

Napoleon puts effort in dealing with Fredric and Snowball for the benefit of Animal Farm. Eventually, the pigs and men’s friendship are destroyed when both sides are discovered to have “cheated at cards”

 

 

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