Animal Farm Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

Animal Farm book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In Chapter Six, how does Napoleon react to the destruction of the windmill? Whom does he blame and why?

Expert Answers info

Thomas Mccord eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write2,306 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In Chapter Six, the animals awake to find that the windmill has been destroyed. Initially, Napoleon's reaction is one of shock: he paces "to and fro" in silence, for example, and his tail is "rigid" and "twitchy."

Suddenly, Napoleon declares that it was Snowball who destroyed the windmill. To emphasize his anger at Snowball's betrayal, he roars Snowball's name in a "voice of thunder." He then goes on to pass the sentence of death upon Snowball, "the traitor," and offers half a bushel of apples to any animal who catches him alive.

In reality, the reader knows that it was not Snowball who destroyed the windmill; it was the weather. But, for Napoleon, this is an opportunity to further blacken Snowball's reputation and to convince the animals that Snowball is the enemy. Moreover, by offering a reward for his capture, Napoleon guarantees the loyalty of the animals on the farm since the reward is too good to refuse.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

When the windmill falls apart in this chapter, Napoleon blames Snowball.  Napoleon blames him because Snowball has been designated as the enemy who is the cause of all the bad stuff.  Napoleon needs a scapegoat like that because he cannot admit anything is his fault.

In this story, Napoleon has set up a system where he is like a god of sorts -- it's called a cult of personality.  If he ever admits he's done something wrong, it will ruin his image and reduce his power.  So when something bad happens, he blames it on Snowball and portrays himself as defending Animal Farm against Snowball and all the other enemies.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

jizzyjizzyjiz | Student

Napoleon blames Snowball because there are pig footprints coming away from the wreckage.  Napoleon needed to create a common and absent enemy so that he would have someone to blame when things go wrong.  Napoleon actually destroyed the windmill himself.