Power and Corruption in George Orwell's Animal Farm

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Words: 594 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Words: 594|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Power and corruption are inseparable concepts that have been prevalent throughout history, and George Orwell's Animal Farm is no exception. Through the use of allegory, Orwell masterfully depicts the corrupting influence of power and its destructive consequences. By examining key quotes from the novel, this essay will explore the theme of corruption in Animal Farm and its implications for society.

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The initial spark of corruption can be seen in the character of Napoleon, who emerges as the leader of the animals after the rebellion against the humans. Orwell illustrates this corruption through the quote, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." This statement highlights Napoleon's abuse of power, as he manipulates the principles of Animalism to justify his privileged status. Furthermore, this quote exposes the hypocrisy that arises when power falls into the wrong hands, leading to the corruption of the original ideals.
Another instance of corruption in Animal Farm is exemplified by the gradual erosion of the Seven Commandments, which were initially established to ensure equality and fairness among the animals. One of the commandments states, "No animal shall kill any other animal." However, as the pigs consolidate their power, they modify this commandment to "No animal shall kill any other animal without cause." This alteration reflects the pigs' self-serving interests, as they now have the authority to determine what constitutes a "cause" for killing. Through this manipulation, Orwell emphasizes how power can corrupt even the most noble principles, leading to a society built on hypocrisy.
The corruption of power is further illustrated by the use of propaganda and manipulation in Animal Farm. Squealer, Napoleon's propagandist, plays a crucial role in distorting the truth and maintaining the pigs' dominance. He uses persuasive rhetoric to convince the other animals that their lives have improved under Napoleon's leadership, despite evidence to the contrary. As Squealer states, "Do you not remember how, just at the moment when Jones and his men had been driven off, Snowball suddenly turned and fled, and many animals followed him?... Surely, comrades, surely there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back?" This quote demonstrates how manipulation and distortion of facts can be used to maintain power and control over a population. It highlights the danger of unchecked authority, as those in power can manipulate the truth to suit their own interests.
The corruption in Animal Farm is not limited to the pigs alone; it extends to the other animals as well. Orwell portrays this through the character of Boxer, the loyal and hardworking horse. Boxer's motto, "I will work harder," represents his unwavering dedication to the cause. However, his blind trust in the pigs' leadership ultimately leads to his downfall. Despite his immense contributions to the farm, Boxer is betrayed by Napoleon, who sells him to a glue factory for personal gain. This betrayal emphasizes the inherent corruption within the system, as even the most loyal and hardworking individuals can be exploited and discarded for the sake of maintaining power.
In Animal Farm, George Orwell skillfully depicts the corrupting influence of power through various instances of manipulation, hypocrisy, and betrayal. The novel serves as a cautionary tale, reminding readers of the dangers of unchecked authority and the potential for corruption in any hierarchical system. By analyzing key quotes from the text, this essay has examined the theme of corruption in Animal Farm and its broader implications for society. Orwell's masterpiece serves as a timeless reminder to remain vigilant against the allure of power and the potential for its corruption.

Orwell, George. Animal Farm. Secker and Warburg, 1945.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Power and Corruption in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. (2024, Jun 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 20, 2024, from
“Power and Corruption in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.” GradesFixer, 14 Jun. 2024,
Power and Corruption in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 Jul. 2024].
Power and Corruption in George Orwell’s Animal Farm [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 14 [cited 2024 Jul 20]. Available from:
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