Animal Farm: an Analysis of Napolean and Squealer’s Authority

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Updated: Aug 25, 2023
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Introduction: Thesis Statement for Animal Farm

George Orwell was an English novelist, essayist, and journalist who incorporated political issues into his work. One of his well-known novels, Animal Farm, is an allegory based on the Russian Revolution that uses the political issue of corruption of power. Corruption of power is when a leader misuses his or her power to benefit themselves. In the story, the animals of Animal Farm rebel against their master, Mr. Jones, and create a system of Animalism to ensure that they all live equally amongst each other.

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However, the pigs, who were the smartest of all animals, took control of the farm, making the farm a tyranny. George Orwell´s Animal Farm shows the corruption of power through Napoleon and Squealer´s authority on the farm.

Violation of Commandments

The first portrayal of the corruption of power in Animal Farm is when the pigs violate the fourth commandment, stating that ¨no animal shall sleep in a bed. They fail to follow this commandment by sleeping on beds in the farmhouse that they move into. Chapter 6 states, ¨It was absolutely necessary, he said, that the pigs, who were the big brains of the farm, should have a quiet place to work in. It was also more suited to the dignity of the leader to live in a house than in a mere sty¨ (Orwell 66). In this evidence, Squealer believes that the pigs deserve to stay in the farmhouse because their role as the ¨big brains of the farm¨ requires an environment where they can get business done. With the power that they hold, they change the commandment to no animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.¨ This shows how the corruption of power is found in Animal Farm because as the pigs´ intelligence gave them a reason to rule the farm, they use their power to break and change the commandments to benefit their needs.

Manipulation of Resources and Mindsets

The second portrayal of the corruption of power in Animal Farm is when Squealer manipulates the animals´ minds into thinking that milk and apples should be only given to the pigs. In Chapter 3, Squealer says, ¨Our sole subject in taking these things is to preserve our health… We pigs are brain workers¨ (Orwell 36). In this quote, Squealers explains that milk and apples contribute to a pig´s health, and the pigs are needed because of their intelligence to run the farm. He then says, ¨Do you know what would happen if we fail our duty? Jones would come back!¨ (Orwell 36). Squealer mentions Mr. Jones since he knows that the animals hated living under the control of Mr. Jones, as they worked a lot and often starved. Overall, this portrayal shows the corruption of power in Animal Farm because Squealer manipulates the animals´ minds and scares them so that he and Napolean would have more food for themselves.

The Tragedy of Boxer: A Stark Betrayal

The last portrayal of the corruption of power in Animal Farm is shown in the tragedy of Boxer, who was known as the most hard-working and dedicated animal on Animal Farm. In chapter 9, Boxer collapses due to his lung, and Squealer says that he will be taken to the hospital in Willingdon. However, that was a lie. Benjamin reads a sign saying, ¨Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughter and Glue Boiler, Willingdon. Dealer in Hides and Bone-Meal. Kennel´s supplied¨, which meant that Boxer was, instead, taken away to be made into glue. The pigs thought that the animals wouldn´t be able to suspect the truth because they don´t know how to read, and so if they couldn´t read what the van said, then they wouldn´t know where Boxer was actually sent away. With that, if Boxer was supposedly sent to a hospital, it would end up costing a lot of money, which is why the pigs would rather sell him away. Boxer´s betrayal by the pigs shows the corruption of power as they thought that the animals were blind to believe in their lie and never suspected that Boxer was sold to make a profit.

In the novel Animal Farm, the pigs’ deceitful misuse of their leadership is used to show a political issue of corruption of power. To prove this, the pigs use their power to violate and change the fourth commandment because of their need for a better working environment in which they get to sleep in beds. Squealer tricks the animals into thinking that the milk and apples should be given to him and Napolean. Also, Squealer lies about Boxer being taken away to the hospital, but instead, is sold to make a profit. In the end, the pigs use their power to get special privileges or advantages that the other animals do not get.


  1. Orwell, G. (1945). Animal Farm. Secker and Warburg.
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Animal Farm: An Analysis of Napolean and Squealer's Authority. (2023, Aug 25). Retrieved from