Compare and contrast Old Major and Napoleon in Animal Farm.

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The chief difference between Old Major and Napoleon is that Old Major truly believed in the ideal of the animal revolution he envisioned, whereas Napoleon cynically used the revolution to gain power for himself alone.

Old Major is based on Marx, and he truly believed that the animals could have...

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The chief difference between Old Major and Napoleon is that Old Major truly believed in the ideal of the animal revolution he envisioned, whereas Napoleon cynically used the revolution to gain power for himself alone.

Old Major is based on Marx, and he truly believed that the animals could have better and easier lives if they would take over Mr. Jones's farm and run it themselves. He believed in using the profits for the good of all the animals. He believed in the animals working together in solidarity to build an idyllic future in which all would share the rewards of a just society. He cared about his fellow animals.

Napoleon is based on Stalin. All he wanted was to amass as much power as possible for himself. He cynically used the ideals of the animals to exploit them and to get them to work extra hard so that he and his small group of cronies could live lavishly and in comfort. He would tell any lie, twist any truth, and ruthlessly use violence through his dogs to maintain and increase his power. He could not have cared less about ideals of Animalism or equality. He was heartless, and the other animals meant nothing to him.

Another difference between the Old Major and Napoleon is that while Old Major was a dreamer and visionary, he never actively worked to start a rebellion and died before he saw Animal Farm come into being. Napoleon, however, was no dreamer, but rather an active and energetic manipulator of the revolution's potential for his own personal gain.

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I think that one of the primary point of comparison between both Old Major and Napoleon is their power to lead the animals.  They are both strong leaders who are able to wrangle the obedience of the animals on the farm.  Both of them essentially inspire or compel the animals to embrace what could be as opposed to what is.  One of the primary differences between them resides in the difference between establishing or initiating a revolution and maintaining it.  Old Major was able to capture the essence of inspiring change, and there is a nostalgic romanticism that goes along with that.  Napoleon is much more pragmatic.  Whereas Old Major spoke of empowering the animals, Napoleon seeks to control them.  Old Major speaks of liberating notions on the farm while Napoleon speaks of a vision where his authority lies at the center.  Napoleon is more concerned with ensuring Animalism benefits his control and his apparatus of power, something with which Old Major never had to contend as he died before he had to.

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