Power Corrupts in Animal Farm

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As Lord Acton once said “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” (1887). As we look back into history we find that leaders tend to change after taking power. All they need is one little spark to light up something bad. One little change here, one little change there is all it takes. Napoleon, in George Orwell’s Animal Farm changes one rule after another to fit him and Squealers needs, thus corrupting them in the end. Napoleon and Squealer show that power corrupts leaders through their actions and attitudes toward the society and the animals that work to do the best they can to improve the Farm.

George Orwell had gotten the idea of Animal Farm by watching someone whip a cart horse. When he saw this it made him think of the working class, the people that have been treated horribly by Capitalist Governments with long hours and low wages. Animal Farm was written to be an example of how Totalitarianism destroys human dignity. It wasn’t just about Stalin, but about all dictators.

In Animal Farm, animals were used to represent people in history. Old Major was a boar who believed in a society run by animals without the help of humans. He spreads the idea to the rest of the farm animals and they quickly accept. This meant that the animals would have to revolt against the farm owner Mr. Jones and his wife for this to work. Old Major dies of old age a couple days later. Old Major represents Karl Marx. Old Major’s speech parallels with Marx’s philosophy on a perfect socialistic society. With the animals on the farm they are basically working for Jones. Marx believed that a minority of people holding the power was a main flaw of capitalism. The animals of the farm revolted after Old Major’s death just as the Bolsheviks revolted...

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...d from the trust of the other animals on the farm. Corruption only leads to the death of innocence.

Works Cited

“Animal Farm: Power Corrupts.” Rev. of Animal Farm. Shmoop. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. .

Lamont, George J. “Animal Farm - Comparison of Characters to the Russian Revolution.” Rev. of Animal Farm. Barney N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. .

May, Charles E. Masterplots II: British Common Wealth Fiction Series. Pasadena, California: Salem, 1987. 1-3. British Common Wealth Fiction Series. Literary Reference Online. Web. 27 Nov. 2011.

Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: Sigent, 1996. Print.

Spartacus Educational. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2011. .
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