Power Leads to Corruption: a Thematic Response to Animal Farm by George Orwell

556 Words3 Pages
You wake up and you live a life where you own nothing. Nothing at all. Everything is owned and hoarded by the government. What started out a brilliant idea of sharing has gone to exactly what wanted to be avoided. This is what happened in Russia in the early 1900’s. This is what happened in Animal Farm by George Orwell. John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton said it best, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In Animal Farm, the animals, representing Russia’s people, were upset with the management of the farm. They were eating only enough to stay alive, so they finally had a breakthrough and Rebelled against the humans on the farm, representing the Royal Family in Russia. When the pigs came into power they had seven commandments by which all of the animals need to live. Because the pigs had ultimate power they were easily corrupted. Just trying little things to see if anybody would notice or question. Then they tried something a bit more drastic and these behaviors fed on themselves, and by the end of the novel the creators of the commandments had broken all of them. Just to protect their coveted treasure or expand it. They even made a fellow founder the common enemy. Every time that a commandment was broken the commandment was changed as to not reflect the error. By the end of the novel it had changed from those seven to a single one: All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. This transformation from dictatorship to ‘Animalism’ was then a full circle transformation back to a dictatorship, but with a different leading party. Orwell even chose the pigs to play the leaders in his satire, because they represented the piggish characteristics shown by the leaders of the Russian Revolution: Stalin, Trotsky, and Lenin. Pigs, being omnivores eat anything and everything that is thrown to them, even their young if it gets in the way. As did Napoleon
Open Document