Corruption of Power in texts The Godfather, The Crucible, Akira, Animal Farm

Essay by nz2sa June 2009

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The corruption of power, or the power of corruption is a common theme found in texts of many different types of media and in many societies and cultures around the world.

In the texts I have selected, I have come to the conclusion that, all characters in the pursuit of power are corrupt.

In the texts I have selected, which include, “The Crucible,” “The Godfather,” “Animal Farm” and “Akira,” the portrayal of corruption is closely linked to that of power.

How is corruption of power shown/represented in the texts?Lord Acton, a key influence on this essay, once said, “All too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control.”This quote could hold no more relevance to any other text than that of “The Godfather.” In “The Godfather” the story revolves around that of Michael Coleone, and his rise to power as the head of a ‘the family,’ a gang that deals in various underground activities.

Michael’s character undergoes a dramatic development as the film goes on. At the beginning of the film we can see that Michael appears to be a moral and upright character. He is a war hero, and is not involved in anyway with the ‘family business.’ However as the film progresses, and Michael stats gaining power in the family, he becomes more amoral, firstly killing Sollozzo, a gangster who attempted to take Michael’s father, Vito Corleone’s, life. At this sudden and dramatic change in character Michael justifies his revenge saying, “It’s not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business.” The term, “just business” is used throughout the film to justify corrupt behaviour, immediately associating the character as materialistic and amoral. The film hence suggests that Michael, perhaps like all of us, always had the potential to be materialistic, (and therefore amoral,)but did not previously hold a position...