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Exploitation and Intimidation are Often the Result of Unbridled Power

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“Exploitation and Intimidation are Often the Result of Unbridled Power”
Uncontrolled power often leads to corruption and this is made evident in the texts; Animal Farm and The Hunger Games. Animal Farm and The Hunger Games both have similar perspectives about ‘power’. Power is what gives people control over others; so when power is exploited, people are intimidated by the dictator’s actions. George Orwell’s Animal Farm expresses and discusses this statement throughout the story with many sub-plots. Similarly, Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games also discuss this statement and the actions that come when power is unbridled.
The Rebellion is a major part as it is the main plot in both texts. Peeta Mellark, a character in The Hunger Games quoted “Only I keep wishing I could think of a way...to show the Capitol they don't own me. That I'm more than just a piece in their Games.” The Games were created in 74 years ago when the districts rebelled against the Capitol and lost. Therefore, after signing a peace treaty, the Games were formed to remind the people of the mistake that the districts had made when they rebelled against the Capitol. In The Hunger Games, Katniss, the protagonist, tries to prove to the Gamemakers that none of the tributes are just a ‘piece’ in their games. She does this in Chapter 18 when she covers a dead tribute, who was her friend and ally, in flowers to prove her point. As this was broadcasted nation-wide, the people in the dead tribute’s district retaliate against the Peacekeepers who are the guards of Panem.
This relates to the rebellion that occurs in Animal Farm, which happened after Old Major’s speech. “That is my message to you, comrades: Rebellion! I do not know when that Rebellion will come, it might be in a week or in a hundred years, but I know, as surely as I see this straw beneath my feet that sooner or later justice will be done.” This is a quote from Old Major’s speech inciting about The Rebellion. It is similar to Katniss’ act to rebel however; the message is transferred with words rather than actions.
The symbol of the Rebellion is also crucial to it, as in both texts the symbols are present.
‘Beasts of England’ is the song sung by the animals in Animal Farm. This is a song talking about the Rebellion and the future of all animals once they have achieved it. It symbolizes the power the animals will receive once they succeed in the Rebellion. The lyrics of the song have inspired the animals to sing and start the Rebellion. “The singing of this song threw the animals into the wildest excitement. Almost before Major had reached the end, they had begun singing it for themselves. Even the stupidest of them had already picked up the tune and a few of the words.” This statement shows evidence that the song of the Rebellion
This relates to The Hunger Games as Katniss sings the ‘Valley Song’ while the speared tribute, Rue, was dying in her arms. The Valley Song indicates the life that the people want to live but can’t due to their lowly status; it is also classified as the song of the rebellion. It is here, in Chapter 18 where Katniss defies the rules of the Capitol and sings while covering Rue with flowers.
“Deep in the meadow, hidden far away
A cloak of leaves, a moonbeam ray
Forget your woes and let your troubles lay
And when it's morning again, they'll wash away
Here it's safe, here it's warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.”
Intimidation, which is the result of unbridled power, is also shown through Animal Farm and The Hunger Games. “Taking the kids from our districts, forcing them to kill one another while we watch – this is the Capitol’s way of reminding us how totally we are at their mercy. How little chance we would stand of surviving another rebellion. Whatever words they use, the real message is clear. “Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there’s nothing you can do. If you lift a finger, we will destroy every last one of you. Just as we did in District Thirteen.” The Hunger Games were created to remind people who is in control and in this case, it is the Capitol. This quote expresses how President Snow intends to intimidate the people, although the people do not express their intimidation through any form of communication for their fear of being punished “It sends out a very clear message: "Mess with us and we'll do something worse than kill you. We'll kill your children.”
Similarly, the animals know that although the actions that Napoleon takes are wrong, they continue to let him do so as they fear for their lives. In Chapter 7, Napoleon showed his dictatorship by slaughtering animals that confessed to having broking rules due to Snowball’s influence. This resulted in a pile of corpses lying below Napoleon’s feet to symbolize his power over the animals. “When they had finished their confession the dogs promptly tore their throats out, and in a terrible voice Napoleon demanded whether any other animal had anything to confess.” In this statement, it is evident that Napoleon is in control.
Both Napoleon and President Snow also achieve intimidation with the use of guards. In The Hunger Games, Peacekeepers are the guards of each district and can give out severe punishments for even minor crimes. In contrast, the Peacekeepers are also treated very lowly given this quote “Most of the Peacekeepers turn a blind eye to the few of us who hunt because they’re as hungry as we are for fresh meat as anyone. In fact, they’re among our best customers.” It is now evident that the Peacekeepers do not follow the Capitol’s orders accordingly and thus, they never seem to get the respect that they deserve.
In Animal Farm, Napoleon’s guards are the Jesse and Bluebell’s nine pups that he had raised to become vicious savages. The pups were mentioned that they had been taken away from their mother and raised in secret and made their first reappearance at meeting on Sunday. “At this there was a terrible baying sound outside, and nine enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars came bounding into the barn. Though not yet fully-grown they were huge dog, and as fierce-looking wolves. They kept close to Napoleon. It was noticed that they wagged their tails to him the same way as the other dogs had been used to do to Mr. Jones.” This description proves that the nine dogs are Napoleon’s guards and they distribute out the punishment, which is most likely death, to those who disagree with Napoleon. In the last sentence, it just goes to show more that the dogs are loyal and devoted to him.
Propagandists are the link between the one with the power and the rest of society. In Animal Farm, it is clear that Squealer is the propagandist in this text as he is always dispatched to confirm Napoleon’s new rules and regulations and to make sure that there is none of the other animals are attempting to overthrow Napoleon. His role is stated, “The best known among them was a small fat pig named Squealer, with very round cheeks, twinkling eyes, nimble movements and a shrill voice. He was a brilliant talker, and when he was arguing some difficult point he had a way of skipping from side to side and whisking his tail which was somehow very persuasive. The others said of Squealer that he could turn black into white.” His methods of persuasion are different to those of the propagandist in The Hunger Games. Although his words were not always very convincing, it was his tone and his skipping that persuaded others to believe in him. His most common phrase being, “Surely none of you wishes to see Jones back?” These words are the exact words that he uses to pinpoint animals to a state where they could not disagree with him as none of them wish to see Jones back.
Effie Trinket was the propagandist in The Hunger Games. However, many could say that the Games presenter Caesar Flickerman or the commentator Claudius Templesmith could also be the propagandist. This is based purely on their personalities as all three of them try to get their message across with the use of their bubbly personalities. The words that they speak do not sound very convincing however, with the laws laid down and the people fearing for their lives every day, the propagandist is not needed much.
Similarly, Napoleon and Katniss both achieve power in the end. However, Napoleon exploits his portion of power, and while wanting more he expels Snowball in order to achieve more power. Therefore, he exploits his power believing that with Snowball expelled, he can take over the whole farm. Napoleon also claims, through Squealer, that he does everything for the good of the animals, which is not true. “Comrades!' he cried. You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples.” This a sentence from Squealer’s explanation on pg23 about how the pigs are doing this for the good of the animals, when really they are consuming better food than others for no particular reason.
This differs in Katniss’ case as she uses her power for the good of the nation and shares her power with others to allow the best choice to be made. Although she does not gain power at the end of the first book, she becomes the ‘Mockingjay’, which is the symbol of the rebellion, thus gaining power.
In conclusion, it is correct that exploitation and intimidation are the result of uncontrolled power. However, without propagandists, guards and the Rebellion, the one who gains and exploits his power would never have occurred. Therefore, with power comes great responsibility and in the wrong hands, power is exploited and can be proven to be dangerous to the dictator, the victims and everyone else associated with the power. Both Animal Farm and The Hunger Games how those in total command do not always end up in control for long.

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