Given what is presented in Animal Farm, what is Orwell's attitude toward Napoleon?

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

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I think that it becomes fairly clear that Orwell does not really hold much in way of admiration towards Napoleon.  Orwell makes it clear that Napoleon's love of power and desire to consolidate it at all costs makes him a fundamental threat to the goals and ideals of the revolution.  Orwell shows this in how Napoleon wishes to take the pups immediately to rear as his own security force or how he does not really seem to care much for the ideals of the revolution as much as he does for his own power.  The public executions that he oversees as well as his running off of Snowball help to enhance this.  Orwell uses these moments to make clear that Napoleon's primary concern is for his own power and his own control.  Napoleon does not show much regard for much else.  In the later chapters, Orwell indicates that Napoleon has sired most of the pigs on the farm and has ended up establishing the control that he coveted from the start.  The final scene in which he renames the farm and cheats with the humans in the card game while he stands on his two legs helps to confirm that Orwell's view towards Napoleon is one of disdain, reflecting an abandonment of the revolution's goals.  It becomes this idea that power is corruptible that is one of the lasting images of how Orwell views Napoleon and his attitudes towards him.

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