The Corruptness of Power Depicted in George Orwell's Animal Farm

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“History consists of a series of swindles where the masses are first lead into revolt by the promise of Utopia, and then, when they have done their job, enslaved all over again by their new masters”- George Orwell. Only one man has the insight and the genius to depict this. Only he understood that in the end, humans cannot defeat human nature, because it is inherit in themselves. In Animal Farm, the farm animals, fueled by Old Major’s speech, rebel against Farmer Jones. They set up a commune under the control of the pigs soon afterwards. But the pigs abuse their power and the animals end up being no better off than they were under Farmer Jones. Animal Farm, a parody of the Russian Revolution, is Orwell’s attempt to inform others about a purveying truth regarding human nature- that power is, by its very nature, corrupting. This is why “history consists of a series of swindles where the masses are first lead into revolt… and enslaved all over again”.

Old Major, representing both Marx and Lenin, is the catalyst for the revolution. He is a political thinker, creating the idea of Animalism. He describes the cruelty of man and how “man is the only creature that consumes without producing”. An image of Utopia is then presented, where all animals are equal. Soon after his death, the revolution occurs easily because of the ineptness of Mr. Jones and the support of the animals. Afterwards, the farm is run efficiently and the animals have a high quality of life because only they enjoy the fruits of their labor. They are led into revolt by the promise of Utopia.

Soon afterwards, the pigs start to become selfish. They change the commandments to suit their selfish needs. Snowball and Napoleon become rivals. After Snowball is chased away by Napoleon’s dogs, Napoleon becomes supreme leader and life becomes more difficult and frightening. The animals are confused by his hypocritical actions but his right-hand pig, Squealer, convinces them to accept the decisions. The windmill that promised a better life did not deliver a better life for the animals, instead only enriching the gluttonous life of the pigs. Napoleon rules through a combination of fear and propaganda. He represents the opportunistic, cunning dictators in history. The sheep and Boxer represent the gullible working class, easily persuaded by propaganda. They need to follow a leader. Through them, Orwell expresses the dangers of an uneducated population.
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