Those in power will inevitably become corrupt. To what extent do you agree? George Rowel’s novel, Animal Farm shows the overlaying theme of the corruption of power. Power, more often than not, causes the bearer to become corrupt, which causes them to lose most sense, besides that, which will get them more power. In the beginning of the novel we are introduced to Old Major. He holds power on Manor Farm. Old Major uses his power to introduce Minimalism and the Seven Commandments. He dies before we can see if his power corrupts would him.
Napoleon who takes control of the farm next lives throughout the book therefore we see the corruption of his high status of power. One other animal that we see have the status of power is Boxer. He doesn’t have the same type of power as the other two animals nor would he use it in the same way if he had. Boxer is one example of someone who has power but doesn’t let it corrupt him. Power can only corrupt you If you let It. Power contains many factors In the lead up to corruption. Animal Farm shows the how depending on your nature and what you do and treat your power; It will change whether for the good or the bad.
Old Major is the power head at the beginning of the novel. He is well respected among the other animals to which they are “happy to lose an hour’s sleep in order to hear what he had to say”. At the time Old Major is one of the smartest if not the smartest animal on the farm therefore he is able to use his power to easily convince the other animals of the idea of minimalism and starting a rebellion. He thought that all animals needed to unite under one ruler ship – Minimalism – and that they needed to usurp the humans because man is the problem for all animals. In his speech he sees the propaganda In order to persuade them.
He outlines that their lives are “miserable, laborious and short”. Propaganda would only work if there was a level of power. Old Major uses his level of power and Intellect to get the animals to do what he says and to follow his Ideas whether they are right or wrong. Old Major’s power didn’t live long enough for his power to corrupt him, however he did use his power to get rid of those whose power had corrupted them – Mr. Jones. For a short period after his death – until Napoleon, the next power head, steps up – his power is still ensured which leads the rebellion and the first strands of life on the newly named Animal Farm.
Not long after the death of Old Major, Napoleon steps up as the unofficial leader because at that stage It Is thought to have equality with all animals. The idea that ‘all animals are equal but some are more equal than others’, Isn’t about Just yet. Napoleon was always a respected person. He has a “reputation for getting his own way’, which provided him with a small level of power. There Is a saying that reads, ‘knowledge Is power and power Is knowledge’. We see It many times In Animal Farm, miming from Napoleon’s character.
One example of this is when, after the dogs give this because they don’t feel that anything is wrong because the face that they are being shown isn’t the honest one. When it is too late, it is discovered that the puppies were taught about the ways of Napoleon and therefore grew up and turned corrupt, which happened to Napoleon after his status of power had gotten to be too much that it turned him corrupt. “Napoleon is always right”, is a saying that is continuous after animal equality is broken. This is built on fear, lies and injustice. On the outside
Napoleon cares about the revolution and keeping Mr. Jones off the farm. However, looks can be deceiving. He cares more about maintaining his power and making sure his power is rising higher and higher that he doesn’t care what he uses and says to get there. Napoleon uses the other animals’ fear of Jones to get them to do what he wants. Napoleon lets his power corrupt him and doesn’t seem to notice or care about the consequences of his actions which is an attribute of a terrible leader and person that holds power. Napoleon was a harsh, unjust and corrupt holder of power.
But not all people who old power are corrupt or are even that obvious that they hold power. An example of this is Boxer. He holds a level of power not to the extent of Napoleon or even Old Major however it is still there. Power isn’t Just about having control over people it is, power can also be having an influence on a group of people – or in this case animals – or having people look up to you as an inspiration. Boxer has this type of power. He has a big influence on the other animals especially the smaller ones that feel they are looked down upon.
Where Napoleon sends other animals to kill a fellow, Boxer is overwhelmed with distress at the prospect of killing someone even if that someone is a human. “Nothing could have been achieved without Boxer. ” Boxer isn’t one of those people who crave power, in fact shied away from it at most. He sat quietly and did his work no matter the conditions or complications he worked until he literally couldn’t stand anymore. Boxer is one to prove that not everyone in power will become corrupt. It Just depends on your morals and what type of person you are and the things you believe in. Not everyone in power will inevitably become corrupt.