In Animal Farm, how can the windmill controversy be explained from Napoleon's point of view?
Napoleon's opposition to the windmill is simply explained: he knows that if the windmill is successful, and the animals have their workload decreased, they will be able to relax and think about how the pigs are exploiting them. Napoleon needed the animals to be overworked and exhausted so they will not question his authority; if they are able to have the easier life that was promised, he will be forced by public opinion to start working and stop taking more than his fair share from the public pot.
Napoleon, on the other hand, argued that the great need of the moment was to increase food production, and that if they wasted time on the windmill they would all starve to death.
(Orwell, Animal Farm, msxnet.org)
His direct argument against the windmill is rooted in a logical fallacy, the Appeal to Fear; if the animals want to eat, they need to follow his orders. When Snowball is expelled, Napoleon takes over the idea of the windmill as a propaganda tool and as another method to keep the animals overworked; they keep trying to build it, but keep failing, and as long as they are concentrating on the windmill, they are not thinking about Napoleon and his slow acquisition of complete power.
The windmill is initially Snowball’s idea. Snowball is the more idealistic of the two competing leaders. He truly wants that animals to embrace the principles of Animalism and live in shared equality. Napoleon, on the other hand, is interested in increasing his personal power.
The windmill represents industrial progress. It should help make the animal’s lives easier. Snowball has been able to gain support among the animals with his idea. Napoleon doesn’t want Snowball to have this support, so he runs him off the farm using the dogs he has secretly trained as a police force.
With Snowball gone, Napoleon can now spin the story however he wants to. He knows the windmill is actually a good idea and something he can turn to his own benefit. So he has Squealer explain that the windmill was actually his own idea, thus gaining support for himself. Then he tells the animals that building the windmill will require their work and sacrifice. His ploy works and the animals begin constructing the windmill.