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Examine the presentation of the character Napoleon in Animal Farm

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Introduction

Examine the presentation of the character Napoleon in Animal Farm The novel Animal Farm, by the political writer George Orwell, is a story parallel to the events of the Russian Revolution. It features the brutal rise to power of one history's most notorious dictators - Josef Stalin, who is portrayed by the tyrannical pig Napoleon. After the animals of Manor Farm expel their human master, Napoleon eventually manages to seize total control over every aspect of the animals' lives. It is Napoleon's character that I am analysing in this essay. Napoleon is portrayed right from the start of the novel as a rather sinister character. He is described as "a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar ... with a reputation for getting his own way". This suggests that he will try to achieve his ends by foul means if fair means do not work. Napoleon is depicted as greedy even at the start of Animal Farm's independence from Jones. When the animals are discussing who should get to drink the buckets of milk, Napoleon "places himself in front of the buckets" and asks them to begin the harvest. ...read more.

Middle

The fact that Napoleon was "canvassing support for himself" between meetings shows his cunning and also his level of power at the gatherings. He was also shrewdly trying to put Snowball down by contradicting him, and thereby making the animals doubt Snowball's rhetoric. Napoleon took the nine puppies of Jessie and Bluebell into his care in the pretext of making "himself responsible for their education". However, he was in fact training them to be his soldiers in order to expel Snowball and seize control of the farm. This shows that his strike for power was pre-meditated which further emphasises his devious character. The expulsion of Snowball reveals his desire to have total control over the farm. By announcing that the "Sunday morning Meetings would come to an end", Napoleon made sure that there would be no room for people to speak out against him. This is enforced when the dogs "let out deep, menacing growls" when four porkers tried to oppose him. This completely unmasks his love of power. ...read more.

Conclusion

Third, he lives in a separate room from the other pigs and only eats from the Crown Derby dinner service. Fourth, he orders the gun to be fired on his birthday. Next, he orders a poem about himself to be inscribed on a wall and surmounted with a painting of his profile. Furthermore, he has a pig called Pinkeye to taste all his food to ensure it is not poisoned. Then, he names the windmill 'Napoleon Mill' and finally, he orders all the animals to file past him as he lies on a heap of straw next to a pile of money. This shows that Napoleon is vain and egotistic. His powerful image as a dictator is used as a powerful means of controlling his subjects. Napoleon is overall portrayed as having a cunning, vain and greedy character. Old Major's words clearly encouraged Napoleon not to fight against tyranny, but to establish himself as a tyrant. His greatest crime is his complete transformation into a 'human', although Napoleon is harsher than Jones ever was. By replacing the name 'Animal Farm' with 'Manor Farm', he shows his total disregard for Old Major's ideals. ...read more.

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