From chapter 5 onwards, what might be one of the most important lines that Napoleon speaks?

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

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It is interesting to note that once Napoleon seizes control of life on the farm, once he eliminates any potential threat, he ceases to say much of anything in public.  He does not feel the need to do so.  Orwell constructs this, perhaps deliberately, as a portrait of the difference between seeking power and staking a claim to it.  Yet, I think that his lack of speech, seemingly favoring more in way of swift and brutal action, is put aside in the last chapter.  The speech/ toast Napoleon gives is really significant in demonstrating how Orwell sees the difference between claiming power and seeking to gain it.  Napoleon has become the supreme leader and his speech/ toast in chapter 10 reflects this.  The idea of "eliminating" the need for the animals to refer to one another as "Comrade" is significant.  It is important because it is another instant whereby the past has been revised in the name of the present.  The renaming of the farm to "Manor Farm" is another important element that Napoleon says, indicating and revealing that life under Jones has now become supplanted with life under the leadership of the pigs.  The fruitful relationship between humans and animals to which Napoleon alludes is another example of how important Napoleon's words prove to be, indicating that there is no going back to the ideals of Animalism, having become coopted as pretense for consolidation of power.  In this, Napoleon's words end up proving Orwell's greatest fear of political power as being used as a tool for public oppression and not an enhancement of the power of the body politic.


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