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Napoleon changes throughout the book as he gains power.  In the beginning, he is just another pig, although he does have remarkable qualities.  Napoleon is described as “pre-eminent among the pigs.”

Napoleon was a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker,...

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but with a reputation for getting his own way. (ch 1)

Thus Orwell already sets up Napoleon as a pig to watch.  Napoleon is bigger, and already a bit of a bully.  Napoleon is not “vivacious” like Squealer.  This foreshadows the fact that Squealer will be Napoleon’s mouthpiece.

It does not take long for Napoleon to start positioning himself for power.  After the animals revolt, Napoleon begins to take on a leadership role.

Napoleon then led them back to the store-shed and served out a double ration of corn to everybody, with two biscuits for each dog. (ch 2)

Napoleon is being clever.  He is already catering toward the dogs, whom he will need later as a private security force.  He is also leading the animals to think that he is their provider and protector.  This is a bold move.

The changes in Napoleon pave the way for the pigs to turn into human-like creatures.  Napoleon, along with Snowball, is the first to push in the door of the farmhouse and enter.  Throughout the story Napoleon changes by acting more and more human.  He sleeps in a bed, drinks alcohol, wears a hat, and even begins to walk on two legs. "Near the end of the novel, he stands on two legs, just like the men he had previously denounced, and announces that Animal Farm's name will revert back to Manor Farm." (enotes character analysis, Napoleon)

With each step, he becomes more and more powerful until he acts just as abusive and controlling as the humans.

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How does Napoleon change as he exerts more control in Animal Farm?

As the animal revolution begins, Napoleon works mostly behind the scenes, sharing leadership with Snowball and not directly affecting the farm's operation. His only  major contribution is to distract the animals from the final use of the cow's milk. However, as the following quote shows, he is more concerned with creating a power-base for himself than with the farm's success:

It happened that Jessie and Bluebell had both whelped soon after the hay harvest, giving birth between them to nine sturdy puppies. As soon as they were weaned, Napoleon...  kept them in such seclusion that the rest of the farm soon forgot their existence.
(Orwell, Animal Farm,

By acquiring a personal army, Napoleon is able to expel Snowball and take the leadership role for himself. The other pigs quickly see the merit in going along with Napoleon, since he is able to provide them better food than the other animals. He moves from being a single facet of the revolution -- in which all the animals are supposedly equal -- to a dictator, executing animals for dissension and changing the Laws of Animalism to suit his own desires.

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