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I have to choose five defining moments of Napoleon in George Orwell's Animal Farm,...

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ob1kan0b | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted September 1, 2013 at 8:00 PM via web

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I have to choose five defining moments of Napoleon in George Orwell's Animal Farm, find a quote to support each defining moment, and briefly describe the way in which each moment changed his character. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 1, 2013 at 8:34 PM (Answer #1)

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Napoleon is certainly the villain of Animal Farm by George Orwell. Though he seems like any other animal before the rebellion, it does not take long for him to establish his reign of terror; in fact, Orwell's point is that it did not take nearly long enough for the animals of Manor Farm to allow a second and more dangerous dictator take the place of the first. These quotes demonstrate that transformation, though certainly others could be used.

As soon as the rather accidental rebellion takes place, the animals can hardly believe what has happened. They immediately begin purging themselves of everything that has to do with Mr. Jones. 

In a very little while the animals had destroyed everything that reminded them of Mr. Jones. Napoleon then led them back to the store-shed and served out a double ration of corn to everybody, with two biscuits for each dog. 

Until this moment, no animal had given any orders for the rest of the animals; instead, they all seemed to act in a kind of unity and purpose. Napoleon is the first animal to give orders and, ironically, it is for the animals to be given extra food--something he will take away from them soon enough.

Napoleon is also the first animal to make himself more important than the others by claiming a privilege. He not only refuses to let any of the animals have any of the milk, a treat for most of them, but he also refuses to work so he can drink it himself.

"Never mind the milk, comrades!" cried Napoleon, placing himself in front of the buckets. "That will be attended to. The harvest is more important. Comrade Snowball will lead the way. I shall follow in a few minutes. Forward, comrades! The hay is waiting."

This is the beginning of an extremely privileged life for Napoleon as he both shirks his duty and claims benefits for himself, all the while proclaiming that "all animals are equal" and need to do their fare share.

The next quote is important because it allows Napoleon to have an enforcement tool, ensuring that he can do whatever he wants with impunity. 

It happened that Jessie and Bluebell had both whelped soon after the hay harvest, giving birth between them to nine sturdy puppies. As soon as they were weaned, Napoleon took them away from their mothers, saying that he would make himself responsible for their education. He took them up into a loft which could only be reached by a ladder from the harness-room, and there kept them in such seclusion that the rest of the farm soon forgot their existence.

This secret police/enforcement tool will allow Napoleon to become the sole leader of all the animals, ensuring that he is well cared for while the animals suffer at his whim.

This quote is the final moment in Napoleon's takeover; he whistles for his dogs and they chase Snowball away. Now there is no other voice of authority on the farm but his.

But just at this moment Napoleon stood up and, casting a peculiar sidelong look at Snowball, uttered a high-pitched whimper of a kind no one had ever heard him utter before.

Finally, Napoleon becomes the embodiment of man:

[O]ut came Napoleon himself, majestically upright, casting haughty glances from side to side, and with his dogs gambolling round him.

He carried a whip in his trotter.

The transformation from common animal  to sole leader of Manor Farm is complete. Napoleon's character evolves through these quotes, each one moving him closer to this final dictatorial, whip-bearing image.

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ob1kan0b | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted September 1, 2013 at 9:10 PM (Reply #1)

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Thank you very much!!!

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