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Napoleon in Animal Farm

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Napoleon in Animal Farm
Who would have ever thought that the once quiet pig would become the tyrant of Animal Farm? Napoleon, a Berkshire boar, changes considerably throughout Animal Farm by George Orwell. Throughout the book, Napoleon changes from apathetic and laidback to more involved and active and finally to tyrannical and authoritative. In the beginning of Animal Farm, Napoleon shows no concern in what the animals do and leaves most of the leadership work and inspirational speeches to Snowball: “Napoleon was…not much of a talker, but [had] a reputation of getting his own way” (25) shows that Napoleon doesn’t want to make a lot of speeches. This is important because it foreshadows that Napoleon is going to become bossier later in the story. Napoleon “took no interest in Snowball’s committees” (41). This proves that Napoleon didn’t bother to care what Snowballs plans were; he instead “took them [the nine puppies] away from their mothers, saying that he would make himself responsible for their education” (41). Napoleon clearly had more important plans for later. During the middle of the book, Napoleon becomes more active and shows more of his true self. He orders the dogs to chase Snowball away and keeps them by his side “the same way as the other dogs have been used to do to Mr. Jones” (58). This act is the first move Napoleon does to show that he wants order and that whoever goes against him will meet the same fate as Snowball. He is also showing the first sign of doing the same things the humans did. Boxer’s second motto of “Napoleon is always right” demonstrates the animals believe in what Napoleon does and have no objection to it. When Napoleon demanded that the hens give up their eggs, the hens protested. He then “ordered the hens’ rations to be stopped, and decreed that any animal giving so much as a grain of corn to a hen should be punished by death” (77). After five days, nine hens had died. Napoleon had indirectly broken the Sixth Commandment: “No animal shall kill any other animal.” At the end of the novel, Napoleon becomes a despot. One day when the animals have a meeting, Napoleon commands his dogs to bring four pigs and three hens that had rebelled against him. After he made them confess their crimes, Napoleon “had their throats torn out” (83). Napoleon is making an example to all the animals, showing them what will happen to them if they show any kind of rebellion. “Actually the Commandment read: ‘No animal shall drink alcohol to excess’” (103). During the night before that Commandment was changed, it can be inferred that Napoleon had drunk far too much and had a hangover and to escape the questioning from the animals, he modified the rule. Finally, at the very end of Animal Farm, there is a significant quote: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” (128). This tells us that Napoleon has completely turned into a human and acts and does the same things humans do. In the end nothing was resolved and the rebellion never changed anything. Life before the rebellion and life at the end of the novel were the same. The shifting characteristics of Napoleon can be seen clearly in the beginning, middle, and end of Animal Farm by George Orwell. He was once a quiet boar, but soon became a domineering one. Though Napoleon had changed, the overall status of the Animal Farm had not.

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