Animal Farm, by George Orwell, is one of the books that convey a lot of information concerning power. It is a complex book that intends to make the reader understand the theme that power corrupts trough use of different characters. Among the main characters used in the book to portray that people can be corrupted by power to be abusive include Napoleon, Mr. Jones, and Squealer. This essay provides a detailed discussion of each of these characters on how power corrupted them to be abusive.
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To begin with Napoleon, his desire for power makes him forget about his personal nature and only prefigures what he would be and how he could rule the farm being a leader. Once he emerges the animal leader after the rebellion takes control of the farm and does anything possible to get him attached to his power. He coordinates with squealer who is also a leader in the farm to do anything from the farm without caring about the rest and covers up their activities that are dishonest. An example of such dishonest activities is tatted in page 14 where Squealer collaborates with Napoleon and lies to the other animals that the pigs needed the apples and the milk for their health. They explain to the animals that if the pigs were to miss these item they would get sick and Mr. Jones would get back to the farm. This explanation manipulates the other animals and they conclude that both the apples and the milk should be reserved for the pigs. Other examples of how Napoleon was corrupted by power to be abusive is where he causes the deaths of the hens by making them sacrifice their lives while they laid eggs, he also intimidates and controls the other animals using his military force which is a team of dogs that he owns. More so Napoleon uses his power to murder other animals. No one on the farm was happy of his leadership. All these scenarios are clear proof that Napoleon was corrupted by power to be abusive.
Squealer is another character who is significantly used in the book to illustrate how power corrupts individuals to be abusive. From the story, it comes a point where the other animals start hating him because he was always the right man to Napoleon who was very abusive. Being very close to Napoleon who is the boss, he would give the orders to the animals as he is given by Napoleon which in most cases was oppressive. It is from the oppressive order given by Squealer that Russian revolution occurs due to the multiplying cases of war, strikes, and rebellion against the ruling government.
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The other character is Mr. Jones. When he was in charge of the farm he could not feed the other animals on time and due to his power, nobody would question him. His power of being in charge of the farm makes the animals suffer more and more. At one point the animals suffer casualty and the men that he brings in the Pinchfield and Foxwood for help are also injured and look defeated and frightened. It is at this point that he flees his property out of the farm, never to be seen again. Another case where Mr. Jones becomes abusive due to his power is when he becomes too alcoholic and turns to be very harsh ruling over the animals. His abusive nature makes the animals’ rebel and drives him, his wife and his workers out of the farm. The animals remove Mr. Jones from power and to them; this marks the end of extreme labor and hunger. This is another indication of how power corrupted Mr. Jones to be abusive. Through the use of these three characters and others such as snowball and Stalin George Orwell explores the abuses of power in this book.
- Orwell, George. Animal Farm: George Orwell. Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1946.