Plato, a famous Greek philosopher born in 428 BC, once said, “The measure of a man is what he does with power.” This statement shows that man will truly be defined for what he does with the power he receives; whether he would use it for manipulation, cruelty and lofty desires, or whether he would treat everyone fairly, maintain democracy and control himself in such a high position. In William Golding’s Lord of The Flies and George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the power is shown and given to a character, which would use it for his own benefits and does not choose to do what is right for those under his power. Jack, a power-hungry dictator, uses his manipulative and deceiving tactics to reign over a group of schoolboys who get stuck on an island. Napoleon, a pig, uses power along with fear to control the other animals around him and asserts violence to get his role as a leader.
The desire for power and control in both characters stimulates them to use fear and violence as a way of keeping their high position and satisfying their needs. It is clear that the two leaders Napoleon and Jack both used physical harm as a way of getting their message across to their other citizens. Jack displayed this behavior after he gets his own tribe, where he ruled merciless and punishes anyone he is not pleased with. When Roger and Robert were having a brief conversation in Chapter 10, they said, ‘He’s going to beat Wilfred’. ‘What for?’ ‘I don’t know. He didn’t say. He got angry and made us tie Wilfred up. He’s been”- he giggled excitedly- “he’s been tied up for hours, waiting-.”(Golding 176). This shows Jack and his cruel use of power among his own tribe. Napoleon, on the other hand, doesn’t punish his own tribe, but does go to an extent where he vows a death sentence towards anyone who is working or wants Snowball to come back to the farm.
This is shown in the execution of four pigs, “Without any further prompting they confessed that they had been secretly in touch with Snowball ever since his expulsion, that they had collaborated with him in destroying the windmill, and that they had entered into an agreement with him to hand over Animal Farm to Mr. Frederick. They added that Snowball had privately admitted to them that he had been Jones’s secret agent for years past. When they had finished their confession, the dogs promptly tore their throats out, and in a terrible voice Napoleon demanded whether any other animal had anything to confess.” (Orwell 73).
Despite being a pig, Napoleon shows the same qualities as a human dictator and even goes as far as to making innocent pigs confessing to a crime they had never done. Within both leaders, anger becomes the main reason for punishment to the citizens. Both leaders, nonetheless, use their people for their own benefit whether they were given permission or not. In Lord of the Flies, Jack went as far as to stealing Piggy’s glasses without Piggy’s consent in hopes of being able to make a fire at any time he requests.
Regardless of Piggy’s anger and necessity for glasses, Jack steals them and even kills Piggy when Ralph, Piggy, Sam and Eric confronted his tribe for Piggy’s glasses. Along with this situation, in Animal Farm, Napoleon’s desire for power and money drives him towards betraying his best worker who works for him every second he is awake for whiskey money. The animals would work continuously for Napoleon, and this is clear in Orwell’s statement in chapter VI, “All that year the animals worked like slaves” (Orwell 53).
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