About the book "Animal Farm" by George Orwell. How power corrupts and how absoloute power corrupts absoloutelty.

Essay by mk_73High School, 10th grade September 2005

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Authors often present the idea in their novels that the more powerful a character becomes the more likely they are to be corrupt and if they gain absolute power that they will become absolutely corrupt. A text that illustrates this, is "Animal Farm" by George Orwell, which shows the journey in which the animals of the farm rebel and eventually gain control of Manor Farm. The pig's growth of absolute power is strengthened by their ability to read and write, Napoleon's rise to power, the use of propaganda and their ultimate selfishness. Orwell uses this progression of the pig's power to exemplify to the reader how absolute power creates absolute corruption.

The pigs use their skill of reading and writing as initial advantage over the rest of the animals before and during the rebellion. The pigs learn in secret how to write from an old spelling book owned by Farmer Jones and after old Major had died and the aftermath of the rebellion had dissipated the pigs become leaders due to their ability to read and write.

'The work of teaching and organising the others fell naturally upon the pigs who were generally recognised as being the cleverest' (pg. 10). As the pigs are almost the only ones that can read, they write the seven commandments and this power is later abused when they change the commandments to suit themselves.

As the pigs gain more power they take a step towards becoming corrupt. We can see this in the novel through the disappearance of the milk and apples. 'So the animals trooped down to the hayfield to begin the harvest, and when they came back in the evening it was noticed that the milk had disappeared.' (Pg. 18) It is revealed later in the novel to the...