Why do piglets go to school while the other animals stay uneducated, and how does Snowball's political view/vision of the future differ from Napoleon's?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

By Chapter 9, the pigs' population has increased as Napoleon has sired 31 new piglets. Napoleon builds a schoolroom to educate the piglets as a new sign of the pigs' superiority and totalitarianism. Essentially, we can easily assume that the piglets will be educated to learn of the rightness of communism, the rightness of Napoleon as a leader, and the superiority of the pigs over the other animals. The pigs and piglets being trained to believe in their superiority is especially shown in the following passage:

[The piglets] took their exercise in the garden, and were discouraged from playing with other young animals. About this time, too, it was laid down as a rule that when a pig and any other animal met on the path, the other animal must stand aside: and also that all pigs, of whatever degree, were to have the privilege of wearing green ribbons on their tails on Sundays. (Ch. 9)

Napoleon educating the piglets parallels Stalin training the young to be members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, the government body that directed all government activities, as well as training his government agents and secret police to act in complete superiority over the peasants. Napoleon would not want the other farm animals to be educated because he wants to establish the pigs as being superior to the other animals, just like Stalin wanted to establish the members of the Central Committee as superior over the rest of the citizens. The moment individuals become educated is the moment they have the ability to think for themselves, which is not what Napoleon would want. Instead, like Stalin, if Napoleon only educates a select few, he has greater ability to brainwash and establish superiority.

One significant difference between Snowball's and Napoleon's political beliefs concerns education, as can be seen in Chapter 3. After the pigs teach themselves to read, Snowball is the only pig that attempts to teach the other animals to read according to their own limited abilities. One reason why Snowball does this is because he believes in and is pushing for total equality. Napoleon, on the other hand, still believes in domination, and in contrast, only educates nine puppies. The reason why Napoleon focuses on educating the young is because the young can be more easily influenced, more easily brainwashed into believing Napoleon's ways are right, thereby making it easier to establish himself as a totalitarian dictator. We later see that the puppies he trained parallel the vicious, murderous secret police that Stalin established.

dori1648 | Student

Napoleon wants to place the piglets in a special school because he saw pigs as superior to the other animals and he wanted to raise them to have the same views as him. This is the parallel to what Stalin did to teach Russian kids how to be a proper communist and what is required of them by the government. Napoleon doesn't educate the other animals to make them incapable of realizing the changes to the commandments and how they are being taken advantage of. It also prevents them from being capable of uprising against him. Snowball strives for equality and, if he was chosen as leader, he would have treated all animals the same. In the battle of the cowshed, Snowball showed how he was a good leader by being courageous and battling alongside the people. Snowball is the parallel to Trotsky in the Russian Revolution, and Trotsky also wanted equality between the Russian people. Napoleon, on the other hand, was greedy, manipulative and used force to control the people, as shown through his pet dogs. He also established the belief that pigs are superior, which didn't allow equality in the farm.

rachellopez | Student

Animal Farm is an allegory; Everything in the story is a symbol for something greater. Napoleon is said to represent Stalin with a sort of dictatorship, while Snowball is supposed to represent Leon Trotsky, using intelligence instead of force.

Napoleon wanted to educate the pigs so they would be superior and more powerful than the other animals. If the other animals were equally intelligent, they could become smarter and more independent, giving them the ability to take over.

Snowball differs from Napoleon politically because he wanted the animals to be able to think for themselves. He wanted all the animals on the farm to be equal and to be able to read. Napoleon leaned towards a dictatorship, where the pigs were more superior than everyone else and could have full control. He took drastic measures to make sure those who sided with Snowball were stopped.