The novel Animal Farm by George Orwell is a novel based on the lives of animals living on a farm in England. To me, I think Animal Farm mirrors life when Joseph Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union because absolute power corrupted both societies. In Animal Farm, George Orwell uses irony to show the theme of absolute power corrupts, characterization to show the theme of absolute power corrupts, and symbolism to show the theme of absolute power corrupts.
First of all, George Orwell uses characterization to develop the theme of absolute power corrupts. For instance, characterization develops the theme, absolute power corrupts, since the president of Animal Farm, Napoleon, is a “… large rather fierce looking Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker but with a reputation of getting his way. ” (Pg 11). Therefore, this quote shows that Napoleon is a very persuasive yet quiet and mean looking pig which is how Napoleon gained absolute power, by being very persuasive.
Also, there was a time when the animals told their “… tale of confessions and executions and went on until there was a pile of corpses, lying before Napoleon’s feet and the air was heavy with the smell of blood, which had been unknown since the expulsion of Jones “(Pg 58). This quote shows that Napoleon was unmerciful and had corrupted the society so bad (because of his absolute power), that the animals were murdered and no one tried to stop him because they were too scared and intimidated.
Both of these examples from the novel Animal Farm supports and provides evidence that characterization supports the theme that absolute power corrupts. Second of all, George Orwell uses symbolism to develop the theme that absolute power corrupts. For example, after the revolt when Muriel was dead “… Bluebell, Jessie and Pincher were dead. Jones too was dead he had died in an inebriates’ home in another part of the country. Snowball was forgotten. Boxer was forgotten, except by the few who had known him” (Pg 87).
Therefore, this quote shows them that Boxer, who was a big supporter of Napoleon during the revolt, has died and no one remembers (except for a few animals); this symbolizes how the revolt was forgotten due to the absolute power; I think it was forgotten so that the animals wouldn’t have any ideas to revolt against the pigs/Napoleon and remember how much better life was with Jone’s. To add on, when the animals were “snooping”, they hear “Twelve voices shouting in anger, and they were all alike.
No question, now, what happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. ” (Pg 97). This quote supports the theme, absolute power corrupts, because the animals revolted to escape humans and their devilish ways but this quote symbolizes that the pigs are becoming what all the animals revolted against… umans. Both quotes from Animal Farm support the theme that absolute power corrupts y using examples of symbolism. Last but not least, George Orwell uses irony and verbal irony to develop the theme absolute power corrupts. For instance, when Boxer was hurt and needed a veterinarian, “Squealer easily convinced them the veterinary surgeon in Willingdon could treat Boxer’s case more satisfactorily than could be done at the farm. ” (Pg 82).
This quote supports the theme that absolute power corrupts, because, instead of getting a vet for Boxer, Napoleon turns against Boxer and all of the animals and sends Boxer to a slaughterhouse to be killed when he was supposed the be going to the vet… This is also ironic since Boxer is one of Napoleon’s biggest supporters. The Seven Commandments of the farm use verbal irony to show that absolute power corrupts because some of the commandments are “Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy … , “No animal shall drink alcohol”, “No animal shall sleep in a bed” and “All animals are equal” (Pg 17). These commandments shows that absolute power corrupts because over time, Napoleon and Squealer are changing these commandments so that they had find a loophole so that it doesn’t apply to the pigs; the animals don’t say anything because Squealer always has a reason in response and the animals feel as if the pigs should have all the power to do this because they are smart since they can read and write..
For instance, when the law was that “No animal shall drink” (Pg 18), it was changed to “no animal shall drink excessively “without the animals noticing so that Napoleon and the pigs could drink. Both of these examples from the book Animal Farm supports and provides evidence that absolute power corrupts which is shown through irony and verbal irony. In this passage, George Orwell uses the pigs who “out from the door of the farmhouse came a long file of pigs, all walking on their hind legs. (Pg 91) to develop the theme absolute power corrupts through verbal irony.
For instance, the passage stated that all the animals saw the pigs walking in a file. Yet in the seven commandments of the farm, the first commandment, states that “Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy”, which is ironic since the pigs are walking on their two hind legs. This matters because this shows that absolute power corrupts (through verbal irony). In the novel Animal Farm, George Orwell uses irony, uses characterization and uses symbolism to show that absolute power corrupts.