Theme Of Power Corruption In Animal Farm, By George Orwell

1775 words - 7 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. Animal Farm does the same thing; these animals feel mistreated by their leader, Mr. Jones so they follow the pigs in order to create a Utopia. In The Giver, by Ray Bradbury, everything appears perfect but there is a glitch that is often hidden in the powers that rule. In The Giver it was the simple truth of life and how they, the powers that ruled, deemed to control it in order to create their own Utopia. These powers, whether the government is one single ruling body, or many, the slow gain of power feeds and justifies any wrong doing. As Napoleon first started out along with the other pigs, they made the seven commandments. Napoleon enforced "The Seven Commandments” which include statements such as, “Whatever goes up on two legs is an enemy,” “No animal shall wear clothes,” “No animal shall drink alcohol,” and “No animal shall kill any other animal.” By the end of the book, Napoleon breaks all of these commandments for his personal gain. Napoleon uses his power to alter the commandments in order to justify his wrong actions. Since Napoleon has absolute power, he knows he can break the rules, bend the truth, and misuse his authority for his personal gain. 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...

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