Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely English Essay

1067 words - 5 pages

Power is authority and strength, which is any form of the ability to act or control. When too
much power is given, a dictatorship government can be created, meaning that all decisions are made by
one authority. Having power and being a leader should make someone help their followers reach goals
and accomplish tasks that they wouldn’t be able to do without their guidance. However, many leaders
don’t want to help their followers. They just simply use them to advance their own goals and desires.
These corrupt leaders are the focus of George Orwell in Animal Farm and as Lord Acton said, “Power
corrupts; Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. In Animal Farm, it demonstrates the effect that a corrupt
leader and their power has on the people they control and shows leadership in it’s worst form,
emphasizing the corruption of those with power.
The original laws of Animalism were created from Old Major’s values to create equality and
fairness. However, when Napoleon became leader, he decided that he couldn’t have laws that revoked
his power as dictator and slowly started changing the rules until they fitted his needs. Power twisted his
conscience and morals, creating a monster that many feared. At the beginning, one of the rules Napoleon
set up was “All animals are equal”, but later changed it to “All animals are equal, but some animals are
more equal than others.” The correction of the original law points to one of the specific forms of
corruption in Animal Farm. The original law was made to reference all animals without having any
dissimilarity. The changed phrase, however, differentiates “some” from that “all” to recognize that
“some” are more privileged than others. The pigs clearly visualize themselves as this privileged “some.”
The rest of the “all” are there to serve the privileged ones and provide the leaders with anything they
asked for. Napoleon was not a power hungry leader, he was also an unfair leader, which thought of only
himself. He never cared about the good of the other animals or what they wanted. Napoleon felt that one
could do whatever he wanted, since no one would have the courage to question him. Being calm, care-
free and lazy caused him to be paranoid about everything and hurting everyone that would question him.
Most of the animal’s mistakes would be simple, such as urinating in a drinking pool and the
consequences would be death.
Mr. Jones would be another example of one of the leaders that was corrupt from the beginning.
He had all the power over the entire farm before the rebellion. Before he dies, Old major says, lets face
it, our lives are miserable, laborious and short.” (Orwell, pg. 3) It clearly proves that Mr. Jones did not
take proper care of his animals, but rather have them live short, horrible lives so he can sell them for as
much money as soon as possible. Since he did have extra money and all the power over the farm he
could’ve made the animals better and bearable, but instead he spends the money on himself and his...

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