Animal Farm Power Corrupts

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” (Orwell, 134). In the novel Animal Farm, by George Orwell, Napoleon and Snowball had a strong friendship and relationship. They during this time were creating the theory of Animalism. They came up with this from Old Major’s speech, and later they complied these ideas into seven commandments. Once Old Major dies Napoleon and Snowball become rivalries and have a rebellion against each other.

In Animal Farm argumentative essay Napoleon is a pig who is competing with Snowball for control over Animal Farm.

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He is aggressive towards how he approaches things and is power hungry, which was all he cared about. He never shown any interest in strength of Animal Farm, but the strength of him ruling over it. The only activity that he took on with joy, was training a litter of puppies. He does not train them for their good or to help the rest of the animals, but to help himself. They become his private army that he executes on others. Napoleon is more treacherous than his counter-part, Snowball. After getting rid of Snowball off the farm he increases his personal power and privileges, while having a tight control on the rest of the animals. This pig is based off of the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, but Napoleon represents the political rulers that were throughout human history, but mainly in the twentieth century. Stalin forced development of agricultural land, this resulted in millions dying. His Red Army helped defeat Nazi Germany during World War II.

Snowball is the other pig that is challenging Napoleon for the place of ruler over Animal Farm. He is a character of Leon Trotsky in the Spanish Civil War. Snowball’s character throws himself heart and soul into attempting to spread Animalism worldwide and improve the farm’s organization and set-up, just like Leon Trotsky would do. Snowball accepts the power of the pigs over the rest of the animals. His single-minded enthusiasm for big projects like the windmill might not have ended up badly if he had not been chased from Animal Farm. His ideas are not always practical, but they are always grand and far-reaching. By doing the windmill he was just trying to help and improve the farm by generating electricity. He comes up with other ways to improve the animals’ lives and education. “Orwell states that we cannot eliminate government corruption by electing honorable individuals to roles of power, that it is power itself that corrupts.”

Old Major was the prize-winning boar that was ruler over the Farm. One night he gathers everyone in the barn to tell them about a what is wrong with their world, and teaches them the “Beasts of England.” Three days later Old Major dies, leaving Snowball and Napoleon to having a competition over who is ruler of the Farm. He shows that his life has been long, full, and free from the terrors that he vividly sketched for his audience. Orwell had a great respect for Karl Marx, who was the German political economist. As well as, Vladimir Ilych Lenin, who was the Russian revolutionary leader. Major represented both Marx and Lenin, serves as the ideals that the animals continue to support even after their pig leaders betrayed them. The Karl Marx in him shows that his ideologies and writings eventually led to the Communist Revolution. Old Major is extremely positive, Orwell includes a few small sarcasms to allow the reader to question the pig’s purposes. One example is how the animals have been treated by the humans.

Napoleon’s role does the most harm to everyone on the farm. He is careless, and does not want to help out with anything. He wants everyone to do everything for him. Snowball wants to help others, where Napoleon shows that he is cruel and wants all the food for himself. The other two characters, Snowball and Old Major, are willing to do anything, no matter what it takes to make the farm better for everyone not just themselves. Napoleon demands everything unsteady loyalty and trust from his fellow animals. Napoleon leaks out that he has trained nine dogs and runs Snowball of the farm for him to rule for himself. This was because they were deciding if they should build the windmill or not. The day that everyone decides to take a vote on the windmill and the animals are for it, Napoleon has his attack dogs run Snowball of the land. “By the time he had finished speaking, there was no doubt as to which way the vote would go.

Nine enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars came bounding into the barn right towards Snowball” (Orwell, 52-53). Napoleon’s actions towards Snowball were cruel because he did not get his way so he just ran him off and had him disappear. Another cruel and selfish thing that Napoleon did was anytime that Snowball was speaking or saying a speech the sheep would bleat, while Napoleon told them to do. This is selfish as he was trying to distract Snowball or make him forget on what he is trying to say. “Napoleon was especially successful with the sheep.

The sheep had been bleating “Four legs good, two legs bad” and interrupted the meeting with this. It was notice especially during Snowball’s speeches” (Orwell, 47-48). Snowball and Napoleon in the beginning came up with the seven commandments, then by the end he had disobeyed every single commandment. In conclusion, Napoleon’s choice was not good because he was trying to sabotage Snowball, that way he could have all the power, fame, and rule the farm for himself.  

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Animal Farm Power Corrupts. (2021, Apr 19). Retrieved from