Animal farm is a novel about animals that develop their own society and the abuses of power that result. The story takes place at an imaginary farm in England, Manor Farm. The novel begins as the owner of the farm, Mr. Jones, is falling into a drunken sleep. The animals then gather in the barn where a boar, Old Major, delivers a speech to his fellow animals about a dream he has that one day all animals will be free from the tyranny of man and in perfect comradeship. Two pigs, Napoleon and Snowball plot to drive Mr. Jones off the farm. They along with the other barnyard animals succeed but the bigger conflict is revealed, when Snowball and Napoleon struggle over the power distribution.
Over the years, Napoleon and Snowball engage in many disputes regarding the management of a successful farm. Snowball establishes committees to educate the other farm animals while Napoleon takes no interest, he thought training the young should take priority over an adult animal’s education. He secures a group of nine puppies and takes them under his wing. As years went on Napoleon and snowball continued to butt heads. Their most explosive argument occurred over Snowball’s idea to construct a windmill. When the time arose for a vote to approve the windmill’s construction, Napoleon gave a strange whimper and the nine dogs he trained came out of hiding. The ferocious attack dogs chased Snowball off the farm. With Snowball gone, Napoleon attained what he had always desired complete control of Animal Farm.
Under Napoleon’s leadership he and the remaining pigs became more and more like humans. At the end of the novel, Napoleon is playing cards with a group of humans in Mr. Jones’ former house. As the common animals gazed through the window they could no longer differentiate between pig and man.
The theme of Animal Farm is that excessive power and greed lead to absolute corruption. The life lesson expressed is that your own personal gain should not put the rest of the group at risk but they should work in unison. Orwell demonstrates in his novel that when we lose sight of our original objective we can be consumed by the greed and power and abuse the rights and freedoms of others during the process. Napoleon is a perfect example of the result of an obsession with power.
In the beginning the animals are ruled by a terrible drunken human leader. The animals all want a place of freedom and equality. Following the dream of Old major, the animals overthrow Mr. Jones. Snowball and Napoleon share the reins of power on the farm. Napoleon and Snowball never agreed on any common goals. The lack of homogenous leadership set Napoleon on course to become the sole leader. His desire for complete control became obsessive and he would do anything to achieve it. Snowball was chased off by the dogs raised for the purpose of intimidating any uprising by the common animals. “Napoleon, with the dogs following…. He announced that from now on Sunday morning...