Napoleon (Animal Farm)
Napoleon is a fictional character and the main antagonist in George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

's Animal Farm
Animal Farm
Animal Farm is an allegorical novella by George Orwell published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II...

. While he is at first a common farm pig, he gets rid of Snowball
Snowball (Animal Farm)
Snowball is a fictional pig in the book Animal Farm written by George Orwell. He is based on Leon Trotsky.- Snowball's ideas :Snowball believes in a continued revolution: he argues that in order to defend Animal Farm and strengthen the reality of Old Major's dream of a life without humans, the...

, another pig which shares the power. He then takes advantage of the animals' uprising against their masters to eventually become the tyrannical "President of Animal Farm," which he turns into a dictatorship
A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings:...


Napoleon in the allegory

Napoleon was based on Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

, who ruled the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 for over 30 years. However, his name
A name is a word or term used for identification. Names can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given context. A personal name identifies a specific unique and identifiable individual person, and may or may not include a middle name...

 comes from that of the French general Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

, whom Orwell considered to be a repressive powerseeker and dictator. In the first French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 versions of the book, he was renamed César (Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

), but got his original name Napoléon later. He was a Berkshire
Berkshire (pig)
Berkshire pigs are a rare breed of pig originating from Berkshire in England.Herds of the breed are still maintained in England by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust at Aldenham Country Park, Hertfordshire, and by the South of England Rare Breeds Centre in Kent. The Berkshire is listed as 'vulnerable',...


From the start, he is made out to be a villain
A villain is an "evil" character in a story, whether a historical narrative or, especially, a work of fiction. The villain usually is the antagonist, the character who tends to have a negative effect on other characters...

. Napoleon fights along with fellow pig Snowball
Snowball (Animal Farm)
Snowball is a fictional pig in the book Animal Farm written by George Orwell. He is based on Leon Trotsky.- Snowball's ideas :Snowball believes in a continued revolution: he argues that in order to defend Animal Farm and strengthen the reality of Old Major's dream of a life without humans, the...

 to free the farm from human control, but afterwards is shown engaging in suspicious activity, such as drinking the milk the animals had gathered, and taking Bluebell and Jessie's puppies for himself. Napoleon chooses the date of the meeting concerning the farm's new windmill to turn on his former comrade and seize control of the farm; this mirrors the relationship between Stalin and Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

. Trotsky supported Permanent Revolution
Permanent Revolution
Permanent revolution is a term within Marxist theory, established in usage by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels by at least 1850 but which has since become most closely associated with Leon Trotsky. The use of the term by different theorists is not identical...

 (just as Snowball advocated overthrowing other farm owners), while Stalin supported Socialism in One Country
Socialism in One Country
Socialism in One Country was a theory put forth by Joseph Stalin in 1924, elaborated by Nikolai Bukharin in 1925 and finally adopted as state policy by Stalin...

 (similar to Napoleon's idea of teaching the animals to use firearms). When it seems Snowball will win the election for his plans, Napoleon calls in the grown dogs, who chase Snowball from the farm.

Later on, after ostracizing Snowball, Napoleon ordered the construction of the windmill
A windmill is a machine which converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades. Originally windmills were developed for milling grain for food production. In the course of history the windmill was adapted to many other industrial uses. An important...

, which had been designed by Snowball and which he had opposed vigorously (just as Stalin opposed Trotsky's push for large scale industrialization, then adopted it as a policy when Trotsky was in exile), so as to show the animals that he could be just as inventive as Snowball. Other animals are told it was his idea, but Snowball stole it. When the primitive windmill collapses due to Napoleon's poor planning after a storm, a reference to Stalin's backward approach to the Five-Year Plans, he blames Snowball and starts a wave of terror
State terrorism
State terrorism may refer to acts of terrorism conducted by a state against a foreign state or people. It can also refer to acts of violence by a state against its own people.-Definition:...

. During this period he orders the execution of several of the animals after coercing their "confessions" of wrongdoing. He also secretly changes the Seven Commandments' prohibition against killing, drinking, and sleeping in beds, allowing him and his followers to break those commandments while claiming that the amendments were justified (Such as the other animals being killed with cause and drinking only being prohibited to excess). He then commands the building of a second, stronger windmill while severely cutting rations of the animals— except the rations of the pigs and dogs.

He later makes a deal with Frederick (similar to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

 shortly before World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

); Frederick tricks Napoleon by paying him for the timber
Timber may refer to:* Timber, a term common in the United Kingdom and Australia for wood materials * Timber, Oregon, an unincorporated community in the U.S...

 with counterfeit
To counterfeit means to illegally imitate something. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product...

 money and then invading the farm, much as Germany broke its pact with the Soviet Union and invaded. During the Battle of the Windmill, the windmill is destroyed, but the animals win, although they pay a high price. Napoleon attempts to cover the losses by stating it was a grand victory for the animals.

While Napoleon exhorts the other animals to fight and die for the good of the farm, he himself is a coward and a lazy one at that, in contrast to Snowball, who was more concerned with the welfare of his animal friends rather than his power. Nonetheless, Napoleon's corrupt historical revisionism
Historical revisionism
In historiography, historical revisionism is the reinterpretation of orthodox views on evidence, motivations, and decision-making processes surrounding a historical event...

 rewrites himself as a hero
A hero , in Greek mythology and folklore, was originally a demigod, their cult being one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion...

, claiming responsibility
Moral responsibility
Moral responsibility usually refers to the idea that a person has moral obligations in certain situations. Disobeying moral obligations, then, becomes grounds for justified punishment. Deciding what justifies punishment, if anything, is a principle concern of ethics.People who have moral...

 for the animal's victory during the Battle of the Cowshed when in reality it was Snowball who had performed heroic acts in this battle, though his acts are denigrated to bold-faced lies of him collaborating with Jones all along, and openly supporting them during the battle. Snowball was wounded in the back from buckshot, but it is claimed Napoleon inflicted the wounds with his teeth.
Napoleon spends most of his time inside, giving his orders through other pigs, like the cunning orator Squealer
Squealer (Animal Farm)
Squealer is a fictional pig from George Orwell's Animal Farm. He is described in the book to be an effective and very convincing orator.- Allegory :...

, who helps spread support for him and changes the commandments. Napoleon declares the Farm a Republic, and a President is elected, Napoleon is the only candiate and elected unanimously.

Ultimately, Napoleon becomes an oppressive dictator and seems to become one of the cruel humans through his adoption of human ways. The pigs start walking on their hind legs and wearing clothes. The commandments are changed to say some animals are more equal then others. At the end of the novel he has decided to abolish the use of "comrade," and declares that the farm shall revert to its original name of Manor Farm, reflecting the farm's change of status going back to the beginning.

The novel ends with Napoleon meeting with Pilkington of Foxwood farm and other farmers, who claim the animals here work longer for less food then other farms they have seen. The pigs have become so much like humans, both in behavior and appearance, that the animals watching through a window from the outside cannot tell man and pig apart. He and Pilkington fight after they both draw an Ace of Spades at a card game.

In the ending of the 1954 film
Animal Farm (1954 film)
Animal Farm is a 1954 British animated film by Halas and Batchelor, based on the book of the same name by George Orwell. It was the first British animated feature released worldwide, though Handling Ships was the first British animated feature ever made...

, Napoleon wears dictator-like clothing and pictures of him are put up. In this version, the story ends with a mob of animals led by Benjamin seemingly killing Napoleon and the other pigs when they destroy the farmhouse's dining room, where he and the other pigs are having a meeting. This rather unsubtle change to a "happy" ending was done to make the story more politically correct as well as make the anti-Communist message in the original story more clear. The 1999 film
Animal Farm (1999 film)
Animal Farm was a made for TV film version of the 1945 George Orwell novel of the same name. The film tells the story of how the animals of a farm successfully revolt against its human owner, only to slide into a more brutal tyranny among themselves. It was released in 1999 by Hallmark Films...

did not feature a specific revolution against Napoleon, but it did feature several animals fleeing his regime to hide in an area outside the farm, returning only after Napoleon's madness resulted in the destruction of the old farm and the death of him and his followers.
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