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Explain how the conflict between Napoleon and Snowball reflects the struggle between...

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tjone22 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM via web

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Explain how the conflict between Napoleon and Snowball reflects the struggle between the desire of gaining power and the clinging to utopic values.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 27, 2012 at 12:29 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that Orwell is able to capitalize on a major element of political leadership.  At some level, all political leadership boils down to the conflict that exists between Napoleon and Snowball.  Snowball represents the idea of the revolution in its theoretical and utopic conditions.  This is seen in his embrace of the committee idea of how work is to be divided up on the farm as well as how he constantly is willing to talk about the revolution at any given time.  He sees the animal takeover of the farm as the petri dish for the experiment of Animalism.  Napoleon holds no such idealism.  His is the embodiment of power for power's sake.  He is not interested in the revolutionary ideals.  Rather, he is driven by the need to consolidate and drive his own power.  His taking of the pups early on as a secret policing force to maintain his own control is representative this.  Through both leaders, Orwell is able to draw out the conflict or struggle between utopic values and the desire to gain power.  In Orwell's mind, the latter wins because the former cannot sustain itself in the face of brutal reality.  

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