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Animal Farm Essay: Corrupts Of Power

By xxsweetiexx Feb 24, 2013 658 Words
English H 1
15 October 2012
Animal Farm Essay
One who has power can lose the sense of right and wrong so that morals do not matter. Absolute power corrupts those who possess it. This can be seen throughout history, such as during World War II, and proven by the actions of Napoleon in the allegory Animal Farm by George Orwell. A good quote to show one of the many themes of this book is “It is not power that corrupts, but fear. The fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it, and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it”-Aung San Suu Kyi.
In this book Napoleon and Snowball represent actual historical figures of Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky. They had started as allies at the beginning of the Russian Revolution, like how Napoleon and Snowball were friends when Old Major was alive. After the Russian Revolution Stalin was able to intimidate Trotsky into exile and had him assassinated. This was like when Napoleon drove Snowball away with his vicious dogs. George Orwell also showed allegory in this book by having Napoleon make the animals look at Old Major’s skull when they have Sunday meetings, just like Stalin had Lenin in a glass coffin so everyone can see his dead corpse.

Too much power corrupts those who possess it just as Joseph Stalin did horrible things against Russia when he gained power. The main character Napoleon did many things to Animal Farm to corrupt it.  In the novel Napoleon was corrupted by his power. Napoleon abused and deceived the other animals and finally became what he had rebelled against. Napoleon terrorized animals by killing many of them. He killed four pigs for communicating with Snowball and he killed three hens for confessing that Snowball came to them in their dreams.

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 Napoleon also affected the animals by making decisions for them. When  Napoleon decided that there was no longer a need to sing the Beasts of England, a favorite song. He then banned it because the rebellion was over even though the song was a symbol of their freedom. He also decided how much food each animal received. In addition, Napoleon changed the seven commandments to benefit him but not the other animals. The fourth commandment about an animal not sleeping in a bed was changed after the pigs started sleeping in beds. With the dogs’ aid and threat of Mr. Jones return, Squealer is able to convince the animals that the rule had always referred to sheets. Napoleon directs Squealer to tell the other animals of Snowball’s devious, scheming actions during the rebellion. The animals believe that Snowball shot one of his own kind. However, this is not true at all. In fact, Snowball was the courageous and most noble animal in this war. Although the other animals knew this from witnessing his actions during the war, they believed the false information because Squealer persuaded them. Therefore, the public was turned against Snowball due to lies made up by Napoleon.

The power allowed Napoleon to influence others and twist information in order to get what he wants. This then gives ultimate power and control. Napoleon’s absolute power leads to corruption, which maintains his control. With Napoleon’s power and the threat of his dogs he was not able to be stopped. An example of this has not only happened with Stalin but also with Adolf Hitler. Hitler was able to persuade his people to advance his personal ideas, beliefs, and plans for the “perfect” future. His power was used to kill millions of other people and torture them, in order to satisfy his wants.

In conclusion, absolute power most definitely leads to corruption. This has been shown throughout the course of history and shown as a theme in Animal Farm. Power creates corruption, in which leaders will manipulate the truth, other people, and morals for their own benefit.

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