“Power power can corrupt leaders through the loss

“Power tends to corrupt and
absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Dalberg Acton). This quote clearly
epitomizes what the book Animal Farm
by George Orwell is about. Animal farm
is a satire through which Orwell indirectly attacks the Russian Revolution and its
leaders’ inability to properly practice communism during the Stalinist era.

Orwell uses animals to depict the brutal dictatorship and the inequality of the
Soviet Union. Animal Farm is
essentially about how a farm seized by animals is unfairly governed. Orwell’s eloquent
employment of a satire in Animal Farm
aides him in his criticism of the governing bodies of the Russian Revolution by
exposing how power can corrupt leaders through the loss of morals, and greed.

To begin with, Orwell’s application of a satire bolsters his
exposition of how power can adversely alter one’s morals. “All animals are
equal, but some animals are more equal than others” (92). The aforementioned
excerpt from Animal Farm displays
the most prominent evidence of the pigs losing their morals. This quote written
by Squealer on the barn wall is the last standing commandment, and reveals how
much the pigs have converged with the humans’ ideology and thereby backtracking
on their original idea that animals are all to be equals. At first, the pigs wanted
to create a society where “all animals are equal” (18), and a society where the
animals are as separated from human traits as much as possible. “No animal
shall wear clothes” (17) or live in the farmhouse. These are the morals that
all the animals should live by, but the pigs lose their morals as they gain
more power. The pigs erase all the commandments as their power grows, and alter
the only one left to fit their needs as they became more human like. They
forget all about what their revolution stands for, and, instead, start
fraternizing with the enemy. The pigs go from being the oppressed workers on
the farm to being the architects of the socialistic farm and to finally being
the oppressing dictators on the farm. Orwell’s use of a satire helped him get
this theme across to the reader about the pigs’ transformation into dictators.

His use of irony in his satire emphasized his point even more. The pigs contradicted each one of their commandments by the end of the novel, and it made it more
obvious for the reader to understand that as their power grew, they lost all of
their morals. By exposing the vices of the pigs, the satire plays well to
depict the degradation of the morals which strikes a similarity with the
leadership of the Russian revolution.

            Furthermore, Orwell’s message of how
power can corrupt leaders through greed is aided by the use of a satire. “At
this there was a terrible baying sound outside, and nine enormous dogs wearing
brass-studded collars came bounding into the barn. They dashed straight for
Snowball, who only sprang from his place just in time to escape their snapping
jaws” (37). This quote is the epitome of the greed in Animal Farm. In this scene, Napoleon uses his trained demon dogs to
run Snowball off the farm. He ruthlessly suppressed his competition and made
his dictatorship stronger. Napoleon is ravenous for more power, and is willing
to abolish Snowball just to get more control. Snowball could have positively
affected the betterment of the farm, but Napoleon was more interested in personal
gain than helping his farm prosper. Originally, Napoleon was interested in the
betterment of the farm, but as the story progressed, he became more
egotistical. Napoleon was not only greedy about power, but he also wanted more
apples and milk for himself instead of sharing the wealth with all the animals.

“The importance of keeping the pigs in good health was all too obvious. So it
was agreed without further argument that the milk and the windfall apples (and
also the main crop of apples when they ripened) should be reserved for the pigs
alone” (25). This quote shows how, through manipulation, the pigs are able to
convince the other animals that they should get most of the food in order to
keep them in good health, and in turn keep the farm running for a longer time.

Though this is what they tell the other animals, the pigs just want more food
even though they do the least amount of work. This is noteworthy as the pigs
were the ones, at first, who believed that all animals were equal. “Somehow it
seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals
themselves any richer—except, of course, the pigs and the dogs” (88).

As they gained more power, the pigs lost sight of their socialistic views, and
how all the animals are equal. The power corrupted them, and the pigs began to
become greedier. Most of the fruits of the animals’ labor were enjoyed by the
pigs while less and less was handed over to the animals. The pigs viewed
themselves as the privileged ones, and thus pampered themselves with luxuries,
food, and comfort while letting their fellow animals suffer. This story line of
Animal Farm bolstersOrwell’s
criticism of the leaders of the Russian Revolution by creating a
straightforward scenario and making each animal characterize one human trait
from the leaders of the Russian Revolution. One can clearly see that the pigs
got greedier as their power expanded. Orwell’s use of a satire helped the
reader thoroughly comprehend how power can negatively affect one’s morals.

            To conclude, Orwell’s use of a
satire in Animal Farm assisted him in
his criticism of the leaders of the Russian Revolution by exposing how power
can corrupt leaders through loss of morals, and greed. The satire was
advantageous in conveying the themes of the story by using irony and
personification of the animals. By taking such simple creatures, like animals,
and giving them undue power and human characteristics; Orwell was able to make
a direct connection to the Russian Revolution through a satirical lens. One may
start off with good intentions, but the intoxication of power can take over unless
it is kept in check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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