20040326 Literature reflection central message

After reading Animal Farm, I think the central message George Orwell wants to bring across is how power and authority corrupts. This message can be seen throughout the book mainly through the pigs, especially Napoleon. Similarly in today’s society, everyone wants status and recognition. Each individual wants to have total control of everything and therefore, will try all means and ways to achieve complete dictatorship, even if it means using underhand methods to get rid of their opponents,

In the beginning of the story, shortly after the Rebellion, three pigs rose to become the overall head of the farm. They were Napoleon, Snowball and Squealer. As time passed, Snowball and Napoleon were constantly in arguments over almost everything. Squealer became the ‘public relation officer’ for the pigs, convincing the animals why they took all the privileges and benefits for themselves. It was naturally assumed that as ‘brainworkers’ of the farm, they must be must be more well nourished than the rest of the animals. This was just the beginning of the corruption.

The more power someone gets, he will thirst for it more and more. He will try to remove all his rivals.Similarly, Napoleon wanted to have full control of Animal Farm and did not like both the fact that one of the ideals of Animalism was that everyone was equal and that Snowball was getting in his way. In the end, Snowball was expelled. As time progressed, Napoleon expanded his tyrannical rule, increasing the suffering of the animals. He imposed forced slave labour and decreased the food rations for each animal. “Lanterns in their stalls were forbidden, to save oil.”

However, Napoleon used his new-gained power to get more privileges and benefits for himself. For example, only he had a lump of sugar on his table. This is common in the world today. High-ranking officials also accept bribes to get what they want in exchange for a favour.

Power indeed corrupts. Animal Farm has reminded us of the consequences of total dictatorship.




Gloria Cheng (2)

2 SY



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