Animal Farm

What happens when they take the windmill situation to vote? What type of leader is Napoleon? In what ways does he oppose the final commandment of Animal Farm?


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Snowball completes his blueprint for the windmill. The animals hold a meeting at which Snowball wins over the majority with his descriptions of the leisurely life that the windmill will allow. Suddenly, Napoleon signals “nine enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars,” which barge into the barn and chase Snowball out. Snowball manages to escape through a hedge.

In 1929, Stalin expelled Trotsky from the Soviet Union. In a similar move, Napoleon ousts Snowball from Animal Farm. Snowball’s rabble-rousing cannot protect him against Napoleon’s dogs, just as Trotsky’s oration skills were no match for the power that Stalin was slowly and steadily cultivating. The revelation of the attack dogs is the first sign of the new violence between animals on Animal Farm. It is a kind of coup.

Under Napoleon, as under Stalin, propaganda takes on a much-expanded and more powerful role. Specifically, Squealer comes to represent Stalin’s revisionist propaganda machine. No sooner than Snowball is gone, Squealer is already questioning Snowball’s bravery in the Battle of the Cowshed. Notably, Squealer claims that the windmill was Napoleon’s idea all along. Whether this is true or not, it certainly seems like revisionist history.