“Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” How far do you believe Napoleon’s leadership in Animal Farm bears out the truth of this maxim? Free essay! Download now
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“Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” How far do you believe Napoleon’s leadership in Animal Farm bears out the truth of this maxim?
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| Words: 2900 | Submitted: 08-Feb-2005
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DescriptionGraded A*, An extremely analytically written essay, analysing the famous maxim that power corrupts. This essay provides a full historical context to animal farm, describing the Stalinist allegory. Many direct quotations from the text.
To portray this allegory Orwell uses animals to represent the human characters he is satirising. Animal Farm, is also a satire, Orwell is sending up, making fun of the Communist regime in the USSR. The word satire is basically the using of ridicule, mockery, sarcasm or irony in writing, to expose the vices of other people. In Animal Farm this satire is aimed at Stalin and the Soviet regime in general.
The main satire is aimed at Stalin and his tyrannical government. Russia had been governed by an absolute monarch, a person who had absolute power over everything in his country. Russia at the turn of this century was a poor, backward country, with some quite serious problems. The main problems were; peasants wanted land (it was at the time held by the feudal Lords), workers in the cities wanted better pay and the country’s transport network was terrible. The First World War made these problems ever worse, and in March 1917, a revolution took place and the Tsar (the absolute monarch) was forced to abdicate. A democratic provisional government was set up, but failed to solve the country’s problems. Lenin, who was the leader of an extreme left wing minority political group called the Bolsheviks, organised a second revolution in the September of 1917. When Lenin, the first communist leader of Russia died, the race was on to find his successor. There were several men who were in with a chance, but the assumed favourite was Leon Trotsky, who was a brilliant strategist, orator and had been crucial in the survival of the revolution. He had been very close to Lenin, and was by his side for most of the 1917 revolution. The other contenders were Bukharin, Zinovyev, Kamenev and Stalin. Stalin was unpopular among most party members; he had not been a leading communist for long and was generally not very active for the party. However, he was deceiving and very cunning, he grouped up with, Kamenev and Zinovyev to oppose Trotsky, and managed to get him exiled. He then formed alliances with Bukharin and turned against, Kamenev and Zinovyev. His last trick was to get rid of Bukharin through accusing him of a false crime. This deception got him into power, once there his actions were in my opinion far worse than leaders such as Hitler. Stalin became a dictator, Russia was already a totalitarian state and Stalin used this to tyrannise people. Stalin forced through policies such as collectivisation, and his five-year plans. Both of these schemes resulted in many deaths due to harsh conditions or executions. These plans may have been successful but they caused much devastation to the people and most of the Russians who thought a communist revolution would create equality were turned into slaves of the state.
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