Explain what Orwell does to enhance his portrait  of Napoleon as a dictator in chapter 8 of Animal Farm.

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

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The fact that Orwell opens chapter 8 with the remnants of the public executions from chapter 7 goes very far in reaffirming his depiction of Napoleon as a dictator who rules through violence and intimidation.  Clover struggles to make sense of what she witnessed, in much the same way that we, as the readers, are struggling with how brutal Napoleon can be as a  ruler.  Adding to this is how Orwell constructs Napoleon to be seen less and less in public, adding to his portrait of being the dictator who is literally seen as "above" his people.  Minimus' song/ poem about Napoloen is one in which his own role is as beloved ruler, unquestioned in his certainty and a depiction in which a dictator is understood.  Finally, consider the names that the other animals use in referencing Napoleon as an example of how Orwell is able to further enhance Napoleon as a dictator, as opposed to a leader with democratic sensibilities and credibility.  Terms like "Our Leader," "Father of All Animals,” and “Terror of Mankind" are all names that bring with them the instant image of dictator, something that Orwell uses to enhance his characterization.


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