Essay Writing Animal Farm Power Corrupts But Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
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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“ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY” This quote is said by Lord Acton meaning that someone who has total control is very likely to abuse their position. When the animals take over the farm the pigs become the animals’ leaders, as they are the smartest of the animals. Major starts out telling the animals about his dream and convincing them that’s how the farm should be like. The pigs encourage that all animals are equal and have 7 commandments to keep the farm in order.
After the animals start to agree with Napoleon more and more, Boxer says “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right” (Orwell 56) that is how Napoleon gained his motto as “Napoleon is always right”. The animals became intimidated by the pigs and were too afraid to ever question their decisions. None of the other animals were smart enough to think differently. When Napoleon realizes how much power he has, he starts to take advantage of it. Napoleon starts to tweak the commandments to his advantage. Napoleon creates a rule saying, “The milk and windfall apples should be reserved for the pigs alone” (Orwell 36).
Napoleon has only made this rule to benefit himself and his kind. When Squealer says, “Surely there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back? ” he is trying to scare the other animals into thinking Napoleons doing the right thing. The pigs should not be treated any better than the other animals. This is what started Napoleons corrupt set of values. Napoleon continues to make corrupt changes to the commandments and rules as he gains more and more authority. When “Napoleon accepted, through Whymper, a contract for 400 eggs a week” (Orwell 76) it was really unfair to the hens and he should have no control over that.
Napoleon did not give any sympathy to the hens even after they revolted. Napoleon started to traumatize the hens for declining to give their eggs. Napoleon brought the situation way out of proportion and brutally starved some of the hens to death to get the eggs on time. Napoleon has no right to put the hens through hell just to because he says so. Napoleon started off as a true leader keeping the farm under control but once his control got so immense he turned corrupt. Napoleon made and changed rules to benefit himself.
Napoleon became very selfish and unfair to all the other animals. No other animal ever had the guts or smarts to question Napoleons power and decisions; which worsened the situation and made Napoleon become more corrupt. Napoleon had a stern set of rules but if he happened to break a rule his fellow pigs would use a euphemism by adding a few words to the rule to soften the true meaning. If everyone could quickly turn to page 109, last paragraph. The other animals were not very smart so they were fooled into thinking they had just remembered the commandments wrong in the first place.
Napoleon had such corrupt morals that he thought any rule he broke he could simply alter it so he was no longer breaking the rules. Napoleon ends up changing the entire commandments after he had gained all the power and money he wanted. In the end, the most corrupt thing Napoleon did is when he changed all the commandments to “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others” (134). This brought the farm back to exactly how it had started. This very corrupt decision made the animals think they could not question his unfair decisions simply because some animals are more equal than others.
This took away all the freedom and equality that had kept the farm together. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” this is exactly what happened to animal farm. Napoleon had started out so against humans and made rules against having any similarities with them. After Napoleon had become more and more corrupt he turned into exactly what he was against… humans. Napoleon let his corrupt decisions get the best of him and alter his mind thinking he was above the rest. The animals were left with no power or leadership and all they had was a selfish, lying, corrupt dictator who acted just as a human.
Author: Brandon Johnson
Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely animal farm
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