Socialized and Personalized Power in “Animal Farm”

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"After reading George Orwell's Animal Farm, the first thing that I noticed was the corruption of power that was taken place in this novel. Everyone in this world has a different amount of power that is used to rule over others for different reasons. Power is something that we envy, being able to control others from the authority that you have over them is a great thing to have. We also look up to the people that have authority over us because otherwise there will be consequences as that is how our society is set up. There are typically two types of power that the leaders can have which are; socialized power, which is used to benefit others, and personalized power which is using power in order to achieve a personal gain. A leader can use both powers, but the problem comes into play when they dominate the use of personalized power. ( psych ). This is also known as corruption of power. As we have heard Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. (acton). This is exactly what Napoleon and the pigs do in George Orwell's Animal Farm.

Animal Farm starts off as being ran by Mr. Jones, an old man who is considered a drunk and awful ruler for the farm as he forgets to feed the animals. Because of this Old major, the oldest and wisest pig on the farm, calls in a meeting late at night stating that they must get rid of Mr. Jones and bring out the rebellion because the humans are evil and mistreat animals. So, they rise to get rid of the humans and all the power they have. Just a few days after Old Majors speech he passes away and this results in Snowball, Napoleon and the rest of the pigs stepping up as the new leaders of the farm because they are the most intellectual, therefore, they are superior to the others. Nobody questioned about the pigs rising as leaders, this indicates that power is not difficult to gain if it is truly desired and there is support for it. ( byu). The animals get rid of Mr. Jones and rename the farm from Manor Farm to Animal Farm. They wrote up the 7 commandments on the wall of the barn that the farm animals must live by. Little things began to change on the farm such as the pigs use of personalized power. They say, It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples otherwise Jones will come back! ( book 36 ).The pigs slowly rise above all the other animals as they are corrupting their use of power considering themselves better than everyone else.

One day Snowball decides to set out his idea of the building of the Windmill to generate electrical power. Napoleon and Snowball have always had different views on things and therefore Napoleon thought it was nonsense and that nobody should vote for it. The animals began to be in favor of the windmill and Napoleon stood up and whimpered like nobody had heard before and Napoleons dogs came running out. Nobody had known what had happened to these dogs as Napoleon took them away when they were born and has secretly been training them to be under the control of himself. They all came out grown up and fiercely chased snowball out of the farm and he never came back. This shows that Napoleon has corrupted his power already because he used the dogs at his advantage. He took them away and trained them to be under his authority. He chased away Snowball which was harmful to the rest of the animals and they all considered to be evil. He was using his personalized power as this was only to be under the benefit of himself, so he could rule the farm as he wanted to.

The animals began working everyday on that windmill while the pigs sat and supervised. They started to break the commandments one by one. They had so much personal power that they were no longer helping the other animals. They were beginning to sleep in the beds of the house, wearing the clothes, and drinking the alcohol. All of which were against the 7 rules, but so the pigs thought. They would see these things happening and go check the commandments board to see that there had been changes to it to fix the actions that the pigs had already made. They had the power to persuade them that it had always been that way. This shows how the pigs have corrupted their use of power because they are the ones who set the commandments as so in the first place. They did so to make all the animals rights the same and for everyone to follow, but once they had corrupted their use of power, they were able to change the commandments to the way that would benefit themselves.

Napoleon did all he could to make it so he was never known as the bad person and so he could keep all his power. To do so he made sure that the animals believed that anything that went wrong on the farm was not because of him but rather it was because of snowball. He was corrupting all his power by saying that Snowball was the cause of the fall of the windmill. That the walls were too thin because of the plans from Snowball, that He stole the corn, he upset the milk-pails, he broke the eggs, he trampled the seedbeds, he gnawed the bark off the fruit trees. Whenever anything went wrong it became usual to attribute it on Snowball. (BOOK 78). Napoleon did not want any of the animal's faith in him to be lost, so he used Snowball as a scapegoat to everything. He claimed him as a traitor and that nobody could be in association with him or else.

At the end of the book Napoleon and the pigs were no longer recognized as pigs, they were indistinguishable from the humans. They had corrupted all their power and turned into humans themselves. They were walking on two legs, wearing clothing, getting drunk and everything that the original commandments stated they could not do, but the pigs had gotten rid of all the commandments and left it with one All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

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Socialized and Personalized Power in "Animal Farm". (2019, Jul 26). Retrieved June 18, 2024 , from

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