What is the main theme in Animal Farm by George Orwell?

The main theme of Animal Farm by George Orwell is corruption. In particular, it deals with the way in which revolutionary ideals are corrupted when put into practice and the way in which the most corrupt individuals rise to power.

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The main theme in Animal Farm is corruption. This theme is explored in various ways: in the corruption of ideals when when one attempts to put them into practice; in the way personal corruption becomes political; in the rise of the most corrupt individuals to the positions of greatest power; and in the way power corrupts them further when they get there.

The most important and overarching instance of corruption appears in the way Old Major's vision of Animalism becomes something at least as bad as Mr. Jones's regime over the course of the book. The points made by Old Major are perfectly reasonable. The farmer does live parasitically on the work and suffering of the animals and on the eventual deaths of most of them. However, even as he exploits them, he protects them from being exploited by each other.

Orwell shows how the personal corruption of the pigs leads them to step into the power vacuum left by Jones and quickly adapt the circumstances to create existences of power and luxury for...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 874 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on June 23, 2020
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