Book Essay: Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies
In 1887 Lord Acton wrote in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." It has often been noted that this is the primary theme in both Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies. In addition, these books share two sub-themes related to this primary theme. One sub-theme is that people will often abuse power when it's not earned. The other is that when given the opportunity people will often degrade others to ensure their own security. Both books rely heavily on symbolism, as well as the actions of their characters, to express these ideas. Consequently, both these novels show us what a frightening place the world can become if people ignore the principles of civilization as we know it.
In both books, for different reasons, the characters create their own governments, and some of them soon begin to usurp and abuse power.
For example, in Animal Farm seven commandments were written on the wall, a few of them were: "No animal shall sleep in a bed, No animal shall kill another animal, No animal shall drink alcohol." When one of the pigs, named Napoleon, took over he gradually changed the commandments. For instance, he changed the commandment "No animal shall kill another animal." to, "No animal shall kill another animal without cause." In Lord of the Flies there are several examples of characters abusing power. One of the characters, named Ralph, had originally started a democratic form of government. Two of the boys, Roger and Jack, eventually started there own form of government and took over. Jack fell in love with his new found power and became dictator to the boys. He even started a hunt to kill Ralph simply because he felt...