Animal Farm Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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Are there any quotes that show Napoleon as a bad leader?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are many quotes to show Napoleon is a bad leader. He is an egotistical animal. His sole talent is his ability to ruthlessly amass and hold onto power. He is quite willing to sacrifice the well-being of the other animals to his own desires. He is so grossly incompetent that only by intimidating and terrorizing the other animals can he stay in control.

Poor decision-making is a key component of bad leadership, and Napoleon makes poor decisions. For example, while he crows about the smart deal he made for the timber with Frederick, the "Hitler" figure in the book, Napoleon is played for a fool and cheated. He insists on being paid in cash but foolishly accepts counterfeit money:

The banknotes were forgeries! Frederick had got the timber for nothing!

He further underestimates the capacity of the human's ability to destroy the windmill, making inadequate provisions for its defense. When it looks as if the humans will dynamite it, which they easily and successfully do, Napoleon says:

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Thomas Mccord eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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