Napoleon the Dictator: Was Napoleon a Hero Or Tyrant

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 The novel Animal farm, by George Orwell is a page turning novel about an ambitious farm hoping to achieve equality, happiness, and being free. Napoleon, a main character who is feared on the farm, is shown as a very tyrannical dictator through many of his actions. Napoleon’s tyranny is evident in stealing the cows milk, his short, but brutal meeting, and being elected as president for the farm. So was napoleon a hero or tyrant ?

To begin with, Napoleon first uses his power as a pig by shooing away the animals away from the milk by saying there were more important tasks at hand. ‘What is going to happen to all that milk?’ said someone. ‘Jones used sometimes to mix some of it in our mash,’ said one of the hens. ‘Never mind the milk, comrades!’ cried Napoleon, placing himself in front of the buckets. ‘That will be attended to. The harvest is more important. Comrade Snowball will lead the way. I shall follow in a few minutes. Forward, comrades! The hay is waiting.’ So the animals trooped down to the hayfield to begin the harvest, and when they came back in the evening it was noticed that the milk had disappeared.” As you can see Napoleon keeps the other animals minds off of the milk and more on other tasks. So while the other animals are helping with the harvest, Napoleon is drinking down some refreshing milk because all the pigs do is supervise the other animals. This is an example of Napoleon seeing what he can get away with. This helps connect with other parts of the novel by later in the book Napoleon uses more of power through his dogs by proposing 400 eggs a week. At first the chickens rebelled by flying up to the top of the barn, after their rations are cut off and 8 of them die. The chickens and all the other animals pass the proposal of 400 eggs a week. Another example is when the animal’s rations are reduced and food becomes scarce for the animals. Well except for the pigs and dogs. “Meanwhile life was hard. The winter was as cold as the last one had been, and food was even shorter. Once again all rations were reduced, except those of the pigs and the dogs. A too rigid equality in rations, Squealer explained, would have been contrary to the principles of Animalism.”  This helps support my first point by showing that the pigs were drinking milk, selling eggs, and had money to spend. If the farm was truly in poverty then the pigs and dogs rations would also be reduced. But this is Napoleon seeing how much he can push to keep the animals alive and working but nothing more. In conclusion, Napoleon used his pig power/tyranny to see how much benefits he could get while keeping the animals in their working class.

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In my last paragraph I touched a little bit about the short, but brutal meeting. Except I will now go in depth about how brutal the meeting really was. In addition, Napoleon uses more of his tyranny forcing the animals to pass his 400 eggs a week proposal. He does this by cutting the hen’s rations when rebelling and using his dogs to strike fear into all of the animals. “One Sunday morning Squealer announced that the hens, who had just come in to lay again, must surrender their eggs. Napoleon had accepted, through Whymper, a contract for four hundred eggs a week. The price of these would pay for enough grain and meal to keep the farm going till summer came on and conditions were easier. When the hens heard this, they raised a terrible outcry. They had been warned earlier that this sacrifice might be necessary, but had not believed that it would really happen. They were just getting their clutches ready for the spring sitting, and they protested that to take the eggs away now was murder. For the first time since the expulsion of Jones, there was something resembling a rebellion. Led by three young Black Minorca pullets, the hens made a determined effort to thwart Napoleon’s wishes. Their method was to fly up to the rafters and there lay their eggs, which smashed to pieces on the floor. Napoleon acted swiftly and ruthlessly. He ordered the hens’ rations to be stopped, and decreed that any animal giving so much as a grain of corn to a hen should be punished by death. The dogs saw to it that these orders were carried out. For five days the hens held out, then they capitulated and went back to their nesting boxes. Nine hens had died in the meantime. Their bodies were buried in the orchard, and it was given out that they had died of coccidiosis. Whymper heard nothing of this affair, and the eggs were duly delivered, a grocer’s van driving up to the farm once a week to take them away.” This shows the true ruthlessness of Napoleon which helps support an attribute of being a tyrant dictator. As well as Napoleon showed no remorse to the 9 dead hens. Which helps show how much of a tyrant Napoleon really is. Also Napoleon is significant in this story because this is what helps continue the whole story. If Napoleon died, the animals would most likely have their way of not having a tyrant leader. An example to support my first point is whenever Napoleon came out of Mr. Jones ‘ house, he would always have an army of dogs with him to help protect himself, but more to strike fear into the other animals. As well as killing other animals in front of their eyes. This shows that Napoleon wants the other animals to live in a state of constant fear, as well that he will do anything to stay in power. As well as keep his tyranny ways in order to have as many benefits as possible, as well as have all eyes on him.

Finally, my last point is when there is team Snowball vs team Napoleon and the animals are split 50/50. “At the Meetings Snowball often won over the majority by his brilliant speeches, but Napoleon was better at canvassing support for himself in between meetings.”  But later in the book Napoleon creates rumors about Snowball, as well as chases him off of the farm with his dogs to make sure he is elected. This shows that Napoleon will be as ruthless as to create rumors about Snowball to once again strike fear into the other animals & will go as far as making sure the animal isn’t there to defend himself. I can support this by another example when he spreads a rumor saying that Snowball is appearing at night and sabotaging the farm “Suddenly, early in the spring, an alarming thing was discovered. Snowball was secretly frequenting the farm by night! The animals were so disturbed that they could hardly sleep in their stalls. Every night, it was said, he came creeping in under cover of darkness and performed all kinds of mischief. He stole the corn, he upset the milk−pails, he broke the eggs, he trampled the seedbeds, he gnawed the bark off the fruit trees. Whenever anything went wrong it became usual to attribute it to Snowball.” (Orwell, Pg. 23) With this, Napoleon wants to continually keep the animals in fear, so that there are signs of the animals creating a rebel, and along with this tarnishing the name of Snowball. In conclusion Napoleon wants to keep the animals in fear so that there are no signs of a rebel from them, and while doing this tarnishing the name of Snowball if he were ever to return to the manor farm.


In conclusion I have examined the various ways that Napoleon is a tyrant by showing his ruthlessness from stealing the cows milk, his fear inducing meeting, as well as how power hungry he really is. With no doubt in my mind he shows being power hungry, ruthless, and fear inducing. In conclusion this is why I believe Napoleon exemplifies a tyrannical dictator. 

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