Does Napoleon die in Animal Farm?

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Short Answer: Napoleon does not die in Animal Farm.

Napoleon is the ruling tyrant of Animal Farm who gradually adopts negative human traits, manipulates the animals, and breaks each of the Seven Commandments, which were based on old Major's principles before the revolution. After driving Snowball off the farm, Napoleon immediately usurps power with the help of his nine ferocious dogs and employs Squealer to spread propaganda that favors his political agenda. Napoleon quickly develops into a ruthless tyrant by adopting human habits, overworking the animals, and creating an aristocracy of privileged pigs. While Napoleon enjoys a life of luxury inside Mr. Jones's farmhouse (while the other animals toil all day), he has several near-death experiences. Napoleon is shot at during the Battle of the Windmill and suffers from a severe hangover after drinking a case of whiskey. At the end of the story, Napoleon is dressed like a human and gets into a fight with Mr. Pilkington over a card game. However, Napoleon does not die during the altercation, and he is still alive at the end of the story.

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This is a great question.  We should answer this question in a few different ways. 

On a physical level, Napoleon does not die on the farm.  He is alive and well at the end of the story.  However, he does cause others to die. For example, he was the architect of a massacre. 

On a more literary level, we can say that the old Napoleon did die.  The Napoleon that earnestly wanted a revolution died.  Once the revolution took place, he betrayed the principles of it.  At first it was small - the taking of apples and milk, but by the end of the story, he introduced a rule of terror. 

If we focus on the final scene of he book, we can also say that Napoleon died.  He is no longer a pig.  He turns into a man.  From this perspective, Napoleon, the pig, is gone forevermore.  He is now a man. 

 

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