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To what extent does George Orwell ensure that the reader views Napoleon as the true villain of Animal Farm?

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Introduction

To what extent does George Orwell ensure that the reader views Napoleon as the true villain of 'Animal Farm'? 'Animal Farm' is known for being a critique of the Russian Revolution, from which Soviet Union emerged. The story of the development of Soviet communism and Joseph Stalin's rise to power is retold in the form of a farm, where Napoleon represents Stalin in how he is able to become the leader in a time when no one is expecting such thing to happen. We can work this out by Napoleon's actions and attitude. Stalin was responsible for murdering millions of Russian citizens, either for being disrespectful to Soviet authorities, disobeying laws or simply questioning Stalin's policies. Napoleon murdered many innocent animals who weren't productive enough or did anything that would upset him. Boxer, a hard-working animal, was sent to be slaughtered when he was ill due to his age. Before this, he had already murdered innocent animals that had confessed to crimes they hadn't committed. ...read more.

Middle

Others weren't treated as badly, but were also mistreated by Napoleon, like the dogs for example. The dogs were Napoleon's guards, his secret police, causing substantial fear amongst the animals too. However, this wasn't their fault, as they were brainwashed by Napoleon, who took advantage of their foolishness to strengthen his position in the Animal Farm. Lying was also common from Napoleon. Snowball, a noble and modest pig, representing Trotsky, a brilliant individual, was the main victim of all the lies Napoleon came up with. Firstly, he convinced the rest of the animals that the windmill's plans were his and not Snowball's by stealing them and announcing them as his. The plans, actually, were Snowball's creation. He them expelled Snowball from the farm and convinced all the animals that everything that went wrong in the farm was Snowball's fault. A curious point is that Napoleon was against the building of a new windmill when Snowball came up with the idea. He only decided to steam them when the idea was having great success amongst the animals. ...read more.

Conclusion

Napoleon knew this and therefore took advantage of the animals' confusion to threaten them with an eventual return of Jones to distort reality. Napoleon is portrayed as a clear opportunist who shows no interest in the Animal Farm itself. Instead, he cared for the strength of his power it. This is shown in different occasions. Napoleon took credit for the Battle of the Cowshed after Snowball exiled, and when this was questioned, he had Squealer explain to the other animals that they remembered the battle incorrectly. Another time when this happened was when he assumed the training of a few puppies. Instead of educating then for the sake of their own self-actualisation, he educated them for his own good, as they were raised to become his own private army. Napoleon never put the animals' interest first, which he should have done, especially in some occasions, as their leader. From all these events it is obvious that it was Orwell's objective to depict Napoleon as the true villain in this novel. Napoleon can be described as a tyrant, hypocrite and corrupt opportunist; all of which together make him a villain. ...read more.

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