How do humans affect the leadership of Napoleon?  

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the first two chapters of Animal Farm, humans inspire Napoleon to become a leader in the revolution. Moved by Major's speech in Chapter One, Napoleon realises that humans exploit animals for their own benefit and he, along with the other pigs, develops the theory of Animalism and prepares for the revolution which follows.

But Napoleon's desire to make positive changes on the farm does not last. Through his association with humans, Napoleon becomes increasingly self-interested and tyrannical. In Chapter Six, for example, he hires Mr Whymper, a solicitor, to work as an intermediary between himself and other humans so that he can maximise his profits on the farm. Later, in Chapter Nine, Napoleon colludes with Alfred Simmonds, a horse slaughterer, to sell Boxer, while claiming to the other animals that he is a vet. 

In addition, humans have a profound effect on Napoleon's sense of identity. He appears to view humans as the ultimate leaders and transforms himself accordingly. In Chapter Six, for instance, Napoleon and the pigs leave the barn and begin sleeping in the farmhouse. We see further evidence of this in the closing chapter of the book. Napoleon is wearing clothes, carrying a whip and walking on two legs. 

In an ironic twist, then, Napoleon has become the very human that he sought to eradicate, and Animal Farm is ultimately the story of his grotesque transformation.