In Animal Farm, what are Napoleon's feelings toward education? Who does he educate privately and why?

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rareynolds eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter Three tells the story of the workings of the farm after the overthrow of the farmer. The animals are happier than ever, since their food is directly the product of their own labor. Committees are formed to address areas of the farm community that need correction, such as the “Whiter Wool” movement or the “Wild Comrades Re-education Committee. While every animal works according to its abilities, other forms of inequality begin to creep into the farm society. Literacy training is a big success, for example, but many animals are simply unable to remember the whole alphabet. The pigs, of course, are all perfectly literate.

Napoleon refuses to participate in any of the committees, instead preferring to educate new animals. His interest in education can be seen as a another example of the growing factionalism and inequality on the farm. Napoleon’s belief that “the education of the young was more important than anything that could be done for those who were already grown up” is just another way of saying that indoctrination of the new generation is the key to building and consolidating power in the future. When he sequesters the litter of puppies to be “educated,” he is in fact training them to be personally loyal to him. Napoleon’s interest in education is motivated by self interest and ambition, not by a desire to do good.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While Snowball is busy trying to educate all of the animals,

Napoleon took no interest in Snowball's committees. He said that the education of the young was more important than anything that could be done for those who were already grown up.

Meanwhile, Napoleon took charge of nine puppies after they were weaned by Jessie and Bluebell. Napoleon educated them himself, secluding them from the rest of the animals. He would teach the pups the laws according to Napoleon, and they would eventually serve as his bodyguards.

Naturally, Napoleon's reasons were not based on his beliefs alone. He was already contending with Snowball for the leadership of the farm, and it was to his benefit to take a stand opposite of his comrade.