Discuss why in Aninmal Farm, after the overthrow of Jones, the Pigs start to undermine the revolution and turn it into a dictatorship.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the actions of the Pigs when they enter the roles of power represent Orwell's fundamental mistrust of government.  One of the predominant themes of the novel is that political ambitions can lead individuals in the position of power to abuse the public trust.  Citizens have to be vigilant and exercise their voices of dissent at every possible avenue to guard against political actions that go against the public good.  Through Napoleon's design and Squealer's words, the other animals are misled into believing that what "Comrade Napoleon" does feeds into the overall tenets of Animalism and the revolution.  This feeds Orwell's points that if people do not get turned on to politics, politics will become turned on them.  In this light, one sees how the Pigs undermine the revolution because of the desire of political power and consolidating their own control through government.  The totalitarian vision that results is a product of both the pigs' desire to maintain and keep control and the animals' trusting nature or lack of dissent to ensure that their government works for their benefit and not the benefit for those in the position of power.

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