With their superior knowledge, it was [only] natural that they should assume [their] leadership(Orwell 27/28). With the irony of their words, it is self-set that they mete out the role or position without the public’s understanding of their words and deeper meanings. When the farmer of the farm is ruled out by his own animals, two pigs [Squealer and Napoleon] decide for everyone that they should take up the role as the new headmen. However, when their power becomes too overpowering, it starts to corrupt their foundations. Violence breaks out and new publicity comes in and leaving what’s left of the animals to grow hungry and cold. In Animal Farm, Orwell explores the idea that power corrupts through Squealer and Napoleon without the others understanding the meanings behind their words and actions.
Squealers’ speeches emphasize the idea that power corrupts. To begin with, Squealer uses the animals’ fears to get them to panic, which in turn makes them believe everything he says. To explain it further, Squealer and Napoleon become the leaders of the animal farm after the animals kicked Mr. Jones, the farmer, out. Squealer and Napoleon became in charge. During one of Squealer’s speeches, he convinced the animals that Mr. Jones might come back if they did not do what he said. For example, Squealer cried comrades![no one should] imagining, [or] hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege?… Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proven by science) comrades contain substances absolutely necessary to the wellbeing of a pig…It is for [the animals] sake that [they] drink that milk and eat those apples.
Do [they]know what would happen if [the] pigs failed [their] duty? Jones would come back! Surely, comrades,…there is no one among[the group]who wants to see Jones come back? (Orwell 35/36). As a result of this speech, Squealer got his way of making the animals do what he wanted because he utilized their fear of Mr. Jones coming back. He manipulated them by using this fear. Specifically, he made them worry that if they ate and drank specific foods this would make Mr. Jones return, which none of the animals wanted. Despite the fact that all of the animals should be eating whatever they wanted and it didn’t matter what food or drink it was. In addition, Squealer uses manipulation and personal confusion to get his way of power. On the farm, they abolished another pig but the other animals on the farm didn’t know he was abolished. For they thought he just left. After finding out this information they start to accuse the pig for any of the animal’s personal mistakes or problems.
Some of the farm animals started to accuse Napoleon and Squealer, but they didn’t take it very well. Squealer argued are [they] certain that this is not something that [they themselves] have [not] dreamed, comrades? Have any recovery of such a resolution? Is it written down anywhere? (Orwell 64) Squealer uses statements and questions that the other animals can not answer and this creates confusion among the animals. He doesn’t explain what is going on but instead uses a form of reverse psychology to make himself appear more powerful and knowledgeable than the other animals. Consequently, all the animals are clueless to Squealer’s manipulation and his power over them.
As the novel progresses, Napoleon becomes more powerful and violent, which causes dictatorship on the farm. To further explain, Napoleon uses violence and abuses their set rules to assert his authority over them and become powerful. Napoleon kicked out a pig who shared partial power. When the pig was still around they came up with a set of commandments, but once he left, Napoleon abused some of these rules and if anyone saw or worked with the pig that was kicked out there would be new consequences. Napoleon suspected trouble and called upon them to confess their crimes…Without any further prompting, they confessed… that they had collaborated with him in destroying the windmill, and that they had entered into an agreement with him to hand over the Animal Farm to Mr. Fredrick…
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 83/84). Napoleon is abusing the rules, enforcing power he really didn’t have, and acting as if he doesn’t care. For example, on page 25 of Animal Farm, it states the seven commandments they live by and one of them states No animal shall kill any other animal(Orwell 25). Not only does Napoleon abuse his role, he also abuses his power over the farm and farm animals. Napoleon’s new authority is causing dictatorship on the farm. For example, Napoleon and another pig were co-leaders on the farm for a while. Then Napoleon and Squealer kicked out the third pig. O
nce Napoleon gains the animal’s trust [he]was never spoken of simply as Napoleon. He was always referred to in formal style as our leader, comrade Napoleon(Orwell 93). Because of Napoleon abusing his power he begins to declare himself leader. On the animal farm, there is supposed to be equality. Clearly, Napoleon is abusing their equality because he is electing himself as a leader. In conclusion, Napoleon elects himself leader then abuses the animal’s rules, which causes problems and supports dictatorship.
In summary, Orwell uses the characters Squealer and Napoleon in Animal Farm to explain the idea that power corrupts. Sadly, at the end of the book, the animals are still controlled by Napoleon and Squealer who continue to use manipulation and their power. By reading Animal Farm and understanding the character’s experiences, society can learn how easy power can corrupt and manipulate. People should have a better understanding of the importance of rights and equality. Near the end of Animal Farm, the animals had one last commandment to follow, All Animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others(Orwell 134), which demonstrates that power corrupts.
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