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Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely Animal Farm Essay Introduction

Corruption of Power in Animal Farm Essay

1172 Words5 Pages

The statement, “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”, simply means that the more power one has – the more control one has over people – then the more corrupt it is possible for that person to become. This statement is certainly correct if the person with the power has certain proclivities towards corruption. There are many examples in the book, “Animal Farm”, by George Orwell, of power corrupting those in charge because they had these tendencies. In the story, the most powerful animals are the two pigs, Napoleon and, to a lesser degree, Snowball. During the course of the story these pigs used their power to get more power, and in the process their inclinations towards corruption triumphed. When Old Major, the boar who came…show more content…

Napoleon went further down the road of corruption at the beginning when he and his right-hand pig, Squealer, secretly drank all the milk after the cows’ udders had been relieved.

Napoleon used force to gain control of Animal Farm, and used fear to keep it. When he and Snowball both led the other animals, they had many disagreements. Napoleon saw that Snowball was better at communicating with the animals, so he used the dogs which he had secretly trained to drive Snowball away – permanently. Napoleon used these dogs to keep all the animals ‘in line’ and quash any thought of rebellion with fear.

Napoleon was so eager to keep his power that he used scapegoats for anything that went wrong on the farm. When the windmill that all the animals had been building collapsed, Napoleon did not want faith in him to be lost and replaced with rebellious thoughts. Napoleon relieved himself of any blame for the bad construction plans of the windmill by naming Snowball, who unbeknownst to the other animals had been killed, as the person responsible for its collapse. He told them that Snowball was a traitor and that anyone found to be in league with him would be punished.

Napoleon made excellent use of his second-in-command Squealer’s abilities at speaking eloquently and convincingly to make propaganda. Squealer would make the other animals think that they were better off

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Theme of Power Corruption in Animal Farm, by George Orwell Essay

1787 Words8 Pages

Power can have the persuasive action in undoing the moral ethics of one’s character. This can be seen throughout history, such as World War II and proven by the actions of Napoleon in the allegory, Animal Farm, by George Orwell. As Lord Acton said “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In history what was viewed as a villain or wrong doer is never the same as the perception. A leader does not begin wanting to do wrong, they start with the best intentions, but power is a tricky thing, showcased in Animal Farm as Utopian ideals but with failed practices.

Most new societies that have a Utopian idea most likely stem from a traumatic event where humanity believed it had no other choice but to go to the extreme.…show more content…

This was not the beginning of the Rule of Napoleon; it was supposed to be “All animals are equal;” however, it was changed to “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” Napoleon’s ultimate demise was shown through some small actions in the beginning. Power twisted Napoleon’s conscience and his morals created a monster from which many feared.

Corrupting power has been showcased through many stories like Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Throughout Macbeth, the desire for absolute power is the main drive for the two main characters, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. They are consumed with a great craving for ultimate rule, and are willing to achieve it by whatever means necessary. Power had corrupted the thoughts, actions and behaviors of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. As a result of their greed, selfishness and longing for supremacy, they were unable to escape the tragic fate at the end of the play that was a result of their own doing.

Power can change people into the thing or character that said they never would be. Absolute power changes people and creates something new and often times a monster. As Paul Krishner wrote in The Dual Purpose Of Animal Farm “…the commandments are chipped away and the pig-managers increasingly resemble farmers…”3 this demoralizes the majority oppressing them. Spencer Brown quotes Wanda Hale in "Mealymouthed Critics Ignore Animal Farm's Anticommunist Flavor,” Animal Farm is a

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