Tuesday, June 24, 2008


George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm takes place on a farm in England. Napoleon is the main character in this book and his character is a symbol for greed. Napoleon is a large Berkshire boar who receives great power when he arranges for the expulsion of Snowball. Napoleon changes in a negative way as the plot progresses. At first, Napoleon wants to better his life and the lives of all the other animals, but that soon changes. Power tends to corrupt some people, such as Napoleon who uses his power to change rules, control others, and shows favoritism. Napoleon uses power to change rules. The animals design The Seven Commandments of Animalism as rules which apply to all equally. Napoleon arranges to change The Seven Commandments to justify his wrong doing. After series of changes, only one commandment remains: “All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.” By having the power to make changes, he can make everything suit himself. At first there was the idea of a Utopia, heaven on Earth, but Napoleon changes that too. The Utopia changes to a dictatorship under Napoleon’s influence. Napoleon has the power to control others. He first gains the animals’ trust to become their leader and then plots to physically control them. He secretly trains guard dogs and makes them his secret police. Napoleon’s main concern is no longer all of the animals. Dogs kill three pigs for making confessions. These killings instill a mass fear among the other animals. Squealer assists Napoleon by speaking convincingly on his behalf and making him seem more “king-like”. Squealer aids Napoleon in his quest for absolute control or power. The animals are most afraid at the sight of Napoleon carrying a whip. Napoleon shows favoritism. His main concern is not all of the animals. Napoleon wants only to improve the worth of his and the other pigs’ lives. There is a caste system with two groups: the workers and the rulers. In this new system, the pigs are in the ruling class, and the other animals are the workers. The rulers were the pigs because they are better; therefore the workers are the other farm animals. Napoleon uses the barley crop to make whisky for himself and the pigs. The pigs wear clothes, learn to read, sleep in beds, eat on fancy dishes, wear ribbons on Sunday, and had to do less work. Power corrupts Napoleon. Utopia gradually changes from a socialist system to a dictatorship when Napoleon takes over Animal Farm. When he gets the power he is not willing to let any of it go. Napoleon makes changes to satisfy and justify his actions. The existence of fear and Squealer’s persuasive ways help Napoleon get control of Animal Farm. Napoleon’s main concern is no longer all of the animals. Napoleon uses his power establish systems that separate the animals into two groups. Napoleon symbolizes greed and there is most likely a Napoleon in every community.

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