Absolute Power in George Orwell’s Animal Farm
George Orwell’s Animal Farm suggests, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It simply means the more power and control one has over the other, but then more corruption is possible for that person. There are many examples in the book of power corrupting those in charge. From the essay on Animal Farm, you can learn that in the article the animals in power are the two pigs.. Napoleon is the pig with the most power and Snowball is the second with less power. Throughout the book, the pigs use their power to get more power.
In the book Old Major, who is a respected animal on the farm. He had given a speech which got all of the animals emotions into rebellion. His power of trust and respect persuaded the other animals into the vision of his dream. Old major at the time had all of the power, but history proved that dictatorship does not work. It will lead them to corruption in a communism style governments. He started to lead the animals into action, which led to a rebellion and problems later on. The power had corrupted society and absolute power that was eventually obtained becomes corrupt within. When Old Major dies, Napoleon, Squealer, and Snowball take his place. The first year everything on the farm went great. They were teaching some animals to read and write which helped some of them and the crops that they had grown were perfect at harvest time. Soon after, the farm leaders weren’t so close anymore. Napoleon and Snowball were always in a disagreement. Snowball had made plans to help the farm by building a windmill, but Napoleon decided that he was the one with more power and disagreed with Snowball’s plans. Snowball didn’t want to give up, but one day Napoleon sent his dogs after Snowball and they chased him out of the farm and ended up killing him. After Snowball’s death, Napoleon took over “The Animal Farm. As soon as that happened the farm had food shortages, deaths, and hard laborers. Napoleon used all of his knowledge to take over the farm. He had all the pigs and dogs on his side. Napoleon now had absolute power over all of the animals. Later on, Napoleon’s power had corrupted the whole idea of The Seven Commandments and Animalism. When everything fell into Napoleon’s hands he switched the “All animals are equal to “All animals are equal but some more than others(134). Being equal means everyone is treated the same, not those animals are equal and these animals are more equal. This brought the farm back to exactly how it had started. This exact corrupt decision made the animals think they could not question his unfair decisions simply because some animals are more equal than others. That took away all of their equality and freedom that kept the farm together.
How it works
Napoleon and the other pigs take control and have absolute power over the animals. A few examples are one the animals start to agree with Napoleon more as the days go on, Boxer says, “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right(56). That is how Napoleon gained his motto as “Napoleon is always right. Napoleon continues to make corrupt changes to the commandments and rules as he gains more and more authority. “Napoleon accepted, through Whymper, a contract for four hundred eggs per week(76). It was unfair to the hens and he should have no control over that. Another example would be all of the animals were afraid to question the pigs and their decisions. When Napoleon realizes he has the most power he starts to take an advantage of it. Napoleon starts to tweak the commandments to his own advantage. He creates a rule saying, “The milk and windfall apples should be reserved for the pigs alone(36). Napoleon had only made this rule to benefit himself and his own kind. Squealer says, “surely there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back?(36). Squealer is trying to freak out the other animals into thinking that Napoleon is actually doing the right thing. The pigs should be treated the exact same way as all the other animals. This is actually how Napoleon’s corrupt set of values started. No other animal had the guts to question Napoleon’s power and decisions, which worsened the current situations and made Napoleon become corrupt. Napoleon had made a stern set of rules, but if he happened to break a rule, his fellow pigs would use an euphemism by adding a couple words to the rule to simply explain the true meaning. Then when the other animals thought the pigs were breaking the rules, they were fooled because Napoleon had changed the commandments before they went to read them. Napoleon had so many corrupted morals that he thought any rules he had broke he could simply change them so he was no longer breaking the rules.