What parts prove that Napoleon was not as malevolent as he was?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is going to be difficult because Napoleon is really a rough and brutal leader.  Examine the forced confessions and the intensity of force that is evident in chapter 7.  Yet, I think that one could argue that Napoleon simply wanted order and function on the farm.  It is a stretch but I would point to the fact that Napoleon recognizes that the animals could easily descend into a realm of anarchy and madness.  A strong sense of order and focus is needed to maintain a sense of control on the farm.  In this, Napoleon is committed to providing this direction to the farm.  At the same time, I think that Napoleon gets some level of credit in making sure that the future of Animal Farm is constantly competitive and one of progress.  Yet, I think that it is difficult to "spin" much of what Napoleon does because he is a cruel leader and this is unavoidable.  It is Orwell's intent to depict Napoleon as a leader in this manner and while there is a challenge to find some level of acceptance in him, it is equally important to recognize that he is the representation of what Orwell sees as dangerous and malevolent leadership in the modern setting.

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