1. In reading Animal Farm, Lord Acton's famous pronouncement "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" may come to mind. 2. Although Napoleon is considered the absolute...
1. In reading Animal Farm, Lord Acton's famous pronouncement "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" may come to mind.
2. Although Napoleon is considered the absolute leader of Animal Farm, it is Squealer who is most adept at conveying the "party line" to the animals.
How can I explain those questions to my colleagues?
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Here is some evidence to support the above statements:
1. As Napoleon grows more powerful, he also gradually grows more corrupt (substantiating Lord Acton's famous claim). After Napoleon's vicious dogs run off Snowball, he begins to assert his singular power that he strengthens through clever manoeuvring and intimidation of the animals as well as propaganda. Squealer is especially clever in convincing the other animals that things have not been the way they were and are not what they think they are. For example, when Pilkington and Frederick trick Napoleon and attack Animal Farm and destroy the windmill, Squealer has a gun fire, declaring victory.
"What victory?" said Boxer, who is bleeding and has split his hoof.
"What victory, comrade? Have we not driven the enemy off our soil--the sacred soil of Animal Farm?"
When Boxer asks about the destroyed windmill, Squealer replies that they will rebuild the windmill. Then, he tells Boxer that he must realize that thanks to Comrade Napoleon they have won back every inch. "Then we have won back what we had before," said Boxer. "That is our victory," said Squealer. Then, they hear guns firing in celebration and "it did seem to them after all that they had won a great victory."
Further, Napoleon replaces the Beasts of England with a song about himself; later, he moves into Jones's house and has other animals killed as scapegoats and for intimidation.
2. Squealer frames Napoleon's words and actions to make them more palatable to the inhabitants of Animal Farm. When Napoleon starts drinking whiskey, Muriel points out that the Fifth Commandment states "No animal shall drink alcohol," and Squealer explains that the Commandment reads: "No animal shall drink alcohol to excess." In further treachery, Boxer is taken to the glue factory when he is injured to the point that he longer can be of service; however, after the animals learn where he is being taken, they shout to him, but Boxer is never seen again. Three days later, however, Squealer announces to the others,
"It was the most affecting sight I have ever seen!" said Squealer, lifting his trotter and wiping away a tear. "I was at his bedside at the very last."
It has come to his knowledge, he said, that a foolish and wicked rumor had been circulated a the time of Boxer's removal.
Squealer explains that their leader Napoleon would not punish Boxer in such a way. In fact, Napoleon had paid for his burial. Later, when Napoleon is seen walking on two legs, Squealer has the sheep burst into loud bleating,
"Four legs good, two legs better! Four legs good, two legs better! Four legs good, two legs better!"