How do the actions, motives, relationships, and dialogue preceding Chapter 6 of George Orwell's Animal Farm affect Old Major, Snowball, and Napoleon?

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Old Major, it seems, has quite a bit of sway with the other animals, since not only is he a prized boar that Mr. Jones has exhibited, but he is 12 years old and considered wise by all of the animals.  When he calls a meeting one night, they all gather and listen to his lengthy speech with full trust and respect.  We actually see no dialogue between him and any others, but even though he dies three nights after his speech, the animals follow his advice. His motivation appears to be gaining freedom and a better way of life for all the animals.

Old Major’s action of putting rebellion in the minds of the animals allows Snowball and Napoleon to gain power by developing Animalism from Old Major’s main points, executing the rebellion, and ultimately taking control of the farm and the animals.  Their relationship to Old Major, being pigs, apparently gives them the right to do this in the eyes of the others.  All of their dialogue with the animals is centered on the rebellion, defending the farm, laboring, or following the seven commandments of Animalism. In fact, they don’t often talk to the animals themselves, instead using their propagandist, Squealer, to do it for them.  There is never any comradery, in spite of the fact that the pigs call the animals “comrades.”    We also rarely see Napoleon and Snowball talking to each other, which makes sense, considering that they are vying for top leader position.

Napoleon leaves Snowball alone in the early chapters, since he will benefit from Snowball’s training of the animals for the Battle of the Cowshed, even allowing Snowball to receive the award of Animal Hero First Class. And what could he say, given that he seemed absent from the entire battle?  Napoleon is also able to benefit from Snowball’s designs for the windmill, since he later takes credit for it without having to lift a trotter.  Napoleon’s sabotaging of Snowball becomes obvious when he has the sheep start bleating their “‘Four legs good, two legs bad’” slogan during any speech that Snowball tries to make.  Although the two pigs are clearly pushing different agendas, Napoleon is the more underhanded one, twisting things to get the animals to side with him, and finally using his dogs to chase Snowball off the farm for good. We will never know for sure, but Snowball does seem motivated to make improvements on the farm, whereas Napoleon’s goal all along is to become dictator and use the animals as laborers for his own luxury.

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Animal Farm

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