How could I frame the argument that Napoleon from Animal Farm is a bad leader?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It seems to me that the basic element here would be that you would have to assume a stance of pro- democracy in asserting that Napoleon is a bad leader.  As far as a fascist dictator goes, Napoleon fits that role quite nicely.  Napoleon is a bad leader, or can be deemed as a bad leader, because he silences voices of dissent.  Napoleon does not enhance discussion and discourse from the body politic.  He threatens it and bullies it into silent submission.  Consider what he does to Squealer in chapter 5 and what he does to the other animals who "confess their crimes" in chapter 7.  Napoleon has to be seen as a bad leader, or a leader who violates the will of his people, as a result of the ease with which he uses violence in order to consolidate his power.  I think that this becomes another reason or area with which Napoleon can be seen as a bad ruler.  He uses violence so easily, and against his own people/ animals, that he cannot be seen as a good ruler in such a light.  Napoleon is more concerned with his own power than that of the farm.  He is driven to identify himself as the bane of all on the farm and in doing so, does not acknowledge the needs of the animals.  He sees himself as the beginning and end to everything on the farm, and because of this has to be seen as a bad ruler, or at least one who is non- democratic.

shumzza | Student

Napoleon is a bad leader because:

-he said that snowball destroyed the windmill, but how can a small pig blow the windmill over - it's a bit stupid really.

-he said that he doesn't want to build a windmill, but after he chased snowball away, why did he agree to having a windmill.

-he is a bad leader as he didn't even follow Old Major's speech and what he hoped for Animal Farm to be like.

-what he did to Squealer in chp 5

-he uses violence really easily against his friends and family only to gain power.

-i think one of the commandment said that no animal should drink alcohol, but Napoleon does - clearly not caring about the commandment.

-another commandment that i think was in the 7, was that no animal should stand on two legs but Napoleon stands on two legs. He totally ignores the commandments and lives a life like Mr Jones did. Mr Jones was uncaring, always went to go and meet humans, drank alcohol and doesn't even feed the animals because he ain't bothered. Napoleon does the same thing, he eats all the food, leaving a few bits of food for the rest of the animal - how selfish is that!

Hope this helps, only studied about it a month ago - that was not my taste!!