How are power and corruption shown in Animal Farm?
In Animal Farm, power is expressed through physical intimidation and psychological manipulation, and corruption is expressed through the pigs' resemblance to humans and alteration of ideology as they gain power. The ability of power to corrupt is a major theme in the book.
Power is expressed a number of ways in Animal Farm. Sometimes it is physical intimidation, such as when Napoleon's dogs ran off Snowball. Sometimes it's psychological manipulation, such as when Napoleon suggests that Jones comes back at night. Sometimes it's fact revision; since the pigs know how to read and write, they control what is written, and they can re-shape previous ideas or slogans to fit their needs. Then they psychologically bully the other animals into accepting the changes.
Corruption is likewise expressed in different ways during the story. At first, the animals' "revolution" seems driven by sound principles and a unified vision. Slowly, though, the pigs corrupt revolutionary ideals as they seize power. They become more and more like the previous human landlords. The iconic slogan from Animal Farm succinctly expresses this corruption. The...
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In Animal Farm, power and corruption were woven throughout the entire text to display that one can end up being, in the end, the very thing that one despised in the beginning. Orwell's use of literary devices, character development, and dialogue display how power and corruption were used in the novel. Power is first shown by humans, namely Mr. Jones, the brutal and careless owner of the farm. The animals, who are at his mercy, often go unfed, unwatered, and neglected. The cruel treatment of the animals by Mr. Jones causes the animals to join forces, revolt, and take over the Jones' farm by force! The animals' revolt creates a shift in power, as the animals are in control of the farm in Mr. Jones' absence. The animals develop a hierarchy among themselves but vow that animals are far superior to humans, thus the mantra "Four legs good, two legs bad," which is repeated mindlessly by the sheep and others. The use of dialogue shows the steady progression of corruption shown by the pigs.
Since there is no power without some corruption, the animals' hierarchy with Napoleon the pig at the helm, shifts from a "fair" representation of the animals being one united front to Napoleon, Squealer, and Snowball ruling the roost. Instead of all the animals being "equal," in the end, "some animals were deemed more equal than others." Napoleon began conspiring with human beings from neighboring farms and therefore (literally) seemed to morph into a human being-the very force that the animals despised in the beginning. Napoleon was witnessed wearing clothes, drinking alcohol, writing checks, and also walking on two legs. While two legs were deemed as "bad," the pigs' corruption and abuse of power coupled with dim-witted animals, changed the mantra to "Four legs good, two legs better." Literary devices such as satire and allegory bring everything full circle in the novel.
Power and corruption were evident in Animal Farm through character development, dialogue, and literary devices.