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Power, the ability to direct or influence behavior of others or the course of events, causes corruption among leaders to the point of selfishness. George Orwell’s Animal Farm takes place in a farm called Animal farm during the Russian Revolution era. Selfish behavior of the leaders, and prejudice of the animals is portrayed many times throughout the novel. Animal Farm is a farm in England run by a man named Mr. Jones and his wife. The animals take over the farm and run it by themselves.
The farm runs as a peaceful democracy, until Napoleon takes control of the farm by force. Napoleon continues to control the farm and spreads his propaganda to brainwash the animals, while disobeying the teachings of Old Major. In Animal Farm, by George Orwell, the present role of dictating pigs on animal farm, such as Napoleon and Squealer, do not meet Old Major’s expectations of leadership, due to selfish behavior and lack of control of leading the animals on Animal Farm.
As old Major states in his speech, the common enemy between all animals is man, which Napoleon does not obey while being president of Animal Farm. Old Major describes that man is the enemy for all animals, and that no animal shall have relations with man ever. Old Major states in his speech “among us animals let there be perfect unity, perfect comradeship” (10). Once Napoleon has power over the farm, his selfish behavior and motives begin to show. Like how Mr. Jones fed the animals to the bare minimum, Napoleon shows similar behavior when he made the hens starve for rebelling.
Instances like these shows how there is no more unity or comradeship between the animals. Another idea Old Major states in his speech is that there is no happiness in the current state of Animal Farm. Old Major states in his speech that “No animal…knows the meaning of happiness or leisure” (7). When the farm was under Mr. Jones’s control, once the animals turned a year old, they had to work their lives out. Under Napoleons administration, conditions were much the same. The animals work dawn till dusk and get the bare minimum of food. According to Old Major, the animals will work their lives out and once they lose that ability they will be killed. Another reason Old Major states that man is the enemy is because they take without giving back. He states, “get rid of man, and…produce of our labour would be our own” (9). Old Major explains that the hen’s eggs are not able to hatch, and the cows are not able to feed their own milk to their calves. If Napoleon follows Old Major’s guidelines, then the animals will be able to live peacefully. Napoleon ignores his teachings and follows the path of Mr. Jones. He uses the production of the animals to trade with Mr. Whymper ,and further the wealth of himself.
Another idea Old Major mentions in his speech is that they animals should hate man, but Napoleon wears away from this idea and communicates with man. Once Napoleon realizes the farm will not last without money he begins to communicate with the outside world. For example, in chapter eight, “Napoleon…sold pile of timber to Frederick” (99). He sells the timber to Mr. Frederick but realizes that the money was counterfeit. Napoleon realizes that communication with man is dangerous but continuous it anyways. The relations between animal farm and its neighbors changed drastically, “friendly feeling…between Animal Farm and its neighbours” (138). The relationship between all the farms has become stable. The pigs of Animal Farm dressed as the humans, and the tension is gone. Napoleon hosted a dinner with Mr. Pilkington where he states, “live…in normal business relations with their neighbours” (139). Napoleon would like to be in a co-operative enterprise with Mr. Pilkington. Old Major would frown upon these relations, but Napoleon continues them. Precedents Old Major left behind such as addressing one another as comrade, were to not be in use. Traditions such as marching every Sunday morning were to be abandoned.
The leading pigs of Animal Farm crave the desire of having power and control over all of the other animals. Many of the animals in the novel accept their position and do not argue or fight about their current position. The animals realize what power has done to their leader[s] and how much it affects their lives. They realize that power has made their leader[s] selfish causing hostility towards the citizens of animal farm. The cruel control of Napoleon throughout Animal Farm allows Napoleon to prevail.
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