Discuss what you believe to be the most important theme in Animal Farm.

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

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I would think that one of the most important themes in Orwell's work is how political orders can so easily abuse power.  The issue of the corruptible nature of political authority is one of the most dominant themes in the novel.  The fact that Jones is corrupt and is followed by Napoloeon and the leadership of the Pigs helps to confirm that political power carries with its an element of corruptibility within it.  The individuals that assume power, no matter how committed they are to political idealism, always run the risk of becoming corrupted by the political office of power they occupy.  Orwell writes his allegory about Soviet style leadership, but the implications are far more profound.  The idea that anyone or group of individuals can become politically corrupt is what makes the novel applicable to any situation.  The fact that political power benefits from a populace that does not ask questions and blindly follows, or pledges its undying loyalty in needing to "work harder," or remains ignorant of elements that could help to change their own lives all benefit those in the position of power.  Accordingly, the most dominant theme in my mind is the fact that there is a political element of corruption that exists within all political systems.  Individuals have to be aware of it and vigilant to protect against it, something that no animal demonstrates in the novel, making it easier to control them.


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