Animal Farm

Trace the defamation of snowballs character from the planning of the windmill to the end of the book? Give specific examples to support your answer =.



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In Chapter Sox, violent winds ravage the farm and destroy the windmill. Napoleon quickly blames the destruction on Snowball. He sentences Snowball to death and offers half a bushel of apples and the title of “Animal Hero, Second Class” to any animal that detains him. There is a track of pig footprints leading to the hedge, which Napoleon attributes to Snowball. Then Napoleon rouses the animals to action, saying, “Forward, comrades! Long live the windmill! Long live Animal Farm!” (83). In the novel, we never find out whether Napoleon's orders are carried out, or if Snowball is even still alive at the time of his sentencing. None-the-less, his disappearance provides the pigs with the perfect scapegoat for any problems that arise.

In Chapter Seven the pigs take their accusations and defamation of Snowball's character one step further. The pigs begin circulating rumors among the animals that Snowball is sneaking into the farm at night and causing mischief. From then on, the animals attribute any misfortune to Snowball’s interference. Napoleon arranges a public investigation of Snowball’s activities. He surveys the farm and claims to smell Snowball’s scent everywhere. The animals are terrified. That evening, Squealer tells the animals that Snowball now belongs to Mr. Frederick, with whom he is plotting to overtake Animal Farm. He claims that Snowball was collaborating with Mr. Jones from the very beginning and claims to have supporting evidence. Squealer also claims that Snowball intended to get the animals killed in the Battle of the Cowshed. When Boxer and a few of the others stick up for Snowball, Squealer warns the animals that Snowball’s secret agents are lurking among them. 

Four days later, Napoleon calls an assembly. He wears the medals of “Animal Hero, First Class” and “Animal Hero, Second Class,” which he has awarded himself. Napoleon’s dogs drag out of the crowd the four pigs that had opposed the cessation of Sunday meetings. The dogs try to drag Boxer out as well, but he deflects them. The pigs confess that they collaborated with Snowball in destroying the windmill and were planning to help Mr. Frederick overtake Animal Farm. They also confess to knowing of Snowball’s partnership with Mr. Jones for years. Then the dogs tear out the four pigs’ throats. Napoleon asks whether any other animal wishes to confess. Three hens, which had led the hen rebellion, confess that Snowball incited them to revolt in a dream vision. After this, several other animals confess to crimes both great (murder) and small (stealing). Napoleon has them all murdered.

The accusations come full circle in Chapter Eight when Napoleon calls a meeting to announce that he has sold the timber to Frederick, not Pilkington. He denounces Foxwood and makes the pigeons change their slogan to “Death to Pilkington.” Napoleon claims that Frederick had never planned to invade Animal Farm and that he was not as cruel as rumored. Moreover, Snowball has never been at Foxwood or been Frederick’s collaborator; in reality, he has been Pilkington’s longtime collaborator.