Power and Corruption in Animal Farm
"No question now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which" (Orwell 97). In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the struggle between pigs’ path to power over the other barnyard animals is symbolic of the Russian Revolution. After the animals overthrow the human leader, they attempt to establish a government based on commandments agreed upon by all animals. Ironically in the end, the animals are led by a power, which is exactly what they did not want. Unable to intelligently think for themselves, the animals are easily misguided into thinking that the pigs, who become the new leaders, are acting on their behalf. All the while the pigs begin to act more selfishly and make decisions based on their own desires rather than what is in the best interest of all animals. Allegorically through the pigs’ abuse of Animalism, their manipulation of language, and their use of fear tactics, Orwell exemplifies the theme power corrupts those who possess it.
The corruption of power manifests itself in the pigs’ abuse of Animalism. The pigs make decisions based on their wants and what best suits their needs. They keep the apples and milk for themselves so that they remain healthy and in charge. Napoleon believes that the pig’s needs are above all other animals. The pigs use their power to convince the other animals to perform all the labor. Clearly, Orwell demonstrates the hypocrisy displayed by the pigs in putting their own well-being over the other animals, especially since all animals initially agreed that no one should preside over the others as is the case in a dictatorship. Furthermore, the pigs are greedy to the extent that they are concerned with having the best food and living circumstances for themselves (Gardner 5). By the end of the novel, the pigs sleep in beds, drink whiskey,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document