Power Corrupts, but Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

Power can be obtained by anyone regardless of their title or position. The novel Animal Farm by George Orwell expresses the moral, “Power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely” through a series of situations where one of the main characters, Napoleon, gradually gains power by manipulation and deception. When one gains an immoderate amount of power, they have the choice to abuse their power with dishonesty and deception, or to lead with rectitude and nobility. If one were to misuse their power, a government where a dictator are in full control of decision making may arise.

In the beginning of Animal Farm, all of the animals under the authority of Mr. Jones are in the same, powerless state. Majority of the animals ideally have the same desires for freedom, equality, and surpluses of food. They revolt against Mr. Jones, whom they believe restricts them from achieving their desires/is the root cause of all of their hardships. Their revolt is successful. With man gone, Napoleon begins his fair and joint leadership with Snowball. One of the first signs of their misuse of power is when the pigs state, “It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples. Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our duty? Jones would come back!” Orwell 11. The pigs use manipulation and fear by expressing that Mr. Jones would come back if the milk and apples that fuel the pigs were not strictly for them.

Slowly but surely, Napoleon gradually gains power and becomes more and more corrupt simultaneously. A prime example of the corruption that power can lead to is when Napoleon chases Snowball off of the farm. The expulsion of Snowball is fueled by Napoleon recognizing that Snowball poses as a threat to his power. To resolve this, he attempts to get rid of Snowball by chasing him off the farm and succeeds. With Snowball banished from the farm, Napoleon is quick to seize all power and control over all aspects of decision making with ease due to the ignorance of the other animals. At this point, the reader is able to see that the more power one holds correlates with how corrupt they become.

Abuse of power can take shape in any form, but doesn’t always have to seen at an extreme extent. For instance, when I was younger, I experienced a boy the same age of myself abusing the leadership that was given by the instructor. He repeatedly intimidated and humiliated my fellow group members and myself to fulfill our own tasks as well as his, and threatened to tattle on us if we didn’t comply. At such a young age, it was difficult to tell whether or whether not this was a normal. Because I knew I was at a power disadvantage, I complied with his demands and was victim to his abuse of power.