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Keep in mind that different people will have different ways of expressing the theme of any particular work. In my opinion, the theme to Animal Farm is that power can be a corrupting influence on those who wield it.
Following the animal revolution, the pigs initially take power and then spend the rest of the story strengthening that power. At first, they seem to be concerned about the welfare of the animals, but once Napoleon realizes that he can run off Snowball and have all the power to himself, everything goes downhill quickly.
Eventually, the pigs become such despotic rulers that the animals are no better off than they were under Farmer Jones. They break the rules of Animalism, they execute some animals, the have dealings with humans on neighboring farms, and they work the animals nearly to death. The animals are not strong enough or smart enough to fight back effectively. Napoleon has been corrupted by the power that he possesses.
Major Themes of the Novel
Satire is loosely defined as art that ridicules a specific topic in orderto provoke readers into changing their opinion of it. By attacking whatthey see as human folly, satirists usually imply their own opinions onhow the thing being attacked can be remedied. Perhaps the most famouswork of British satire is Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726), wherethe inhabitants of the different lands Gulliver visits embody what Swiftsaw as the prominent vices and corruptions of his time. As a child,Orwell discovered and devoured Swift’s novel, which became one of hisfavorite books. Like Gulliver’s Travels, Animal Farm is a satirical novelin which Orwell, like Swift, attacks what he saw as some of the prominentfollies of his time. These various satirical targets comprise the majorthemes of Orwell’s novel.
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