How Power Corrupted the Pigs

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Downloaded 608 times

The satire Animal Farm by George Orwell expresses
the idea of self-government through the animals. The
animals play the role of humans, in this way using
most, if not all, of the human characteristics.
Because the animals decide that they want to run the
farm by themselves, they make up a way of living
called Animalism. The basic principles of Animalism
are two, all animals are to be treated as equals, and
no animals shall acquire any human traits or
characteristics whatsoever. The seven commandments
under which they live are based on these major
principles. As soon as they develop a whole new
system, they throw out all of the humans that run the
farm. Even though they are supposed to be equal, the
pigs begin to take control. By the end of the novel,
the pigs have manipulated the rest of the animals into
doing everything they want. The pigs then become
almost exactly like the humans.

The most important
pigs are Napoleon and Snowball, that is until Napoleon
throws Snowball from the farm. It is throughout this
satire that Orwell illustrates how power corrupts by
showing the pigs actions.

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely is
a concept widely understood after having read Orwell's
satire. It is first shown when the pigs take the milk
and apples, explaining to the rest of the animals that
everyone is equal, but some are just more "equal" than
others. They also argue that the pigs do more
thinking, and therefore need more energy to do so. It
is in the latter part of the book, that the concept of
corruption gradually earns its meaning. When Napoleon
forces Snowball to leave the farm, the power is all
his. Napoleon fixes anything that goes wrong on the
farm simply by blaming Snowball. He insists that
Snowball had always planned everything in order to
harm the farm. Napoleon does not have a limit.

The pigs break all seven commandments, some without
notice, simply because power is addictive, and they
constantly want more of it. It is never enough. These
commandments are to be followed by all the animals
living on the farm at all times. Included in these
commandments is the sixth one which states that no
animal shall kill any other animal. Napoleon breaks
this commandment when he kills the chickens he says
are against him and the farm's ideals. He justifies
this to the rest of the animals saying that no animal
shall kill any other animal without reason to do so.
The fourth commandment states that no animal shall
sleep in a bed. After the pigs move into what used to
be the owners house, they begin to sleep on beds.
"Its O.K.," they say, because a bed is simply the
place you sleep on, the commandment is intended to be
no animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets. The pigs
continue their way of being until the end, when the
rest of the animals finally see what is happening
inside the house. The pigs invite their neighboring
farmers to join them for dinner. In doing so, they
break the first commandment which states that whatever
goes on two feet is an enemy. It is during this
dinner that they break the majority, if not all of the
commandments. The pigs, together with the humans, are
breaking the fifth commandment while drinking alcohol.
It is throughout the book that the pigs break all
seven commandments, in this way proving how power

The satire Animal Farm by George Orwell is a perfect
example of how power corrupts. The pigs become so
corrupt, that they become exactly what they hate the
most. In this book, Orwell shows the reader how it
does not matter what anyone thinks at first, greed
always brings them to doing what they did not want to
at first. The animals are simply a way of showing the
reader how power corrupts even when the nicest and
most caring concepts are what started everything. In
the world today, there are always problems in the
government because the people high in office take more
and more power. The major example is the Russian
revolution. In this book it is proven how power
corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.