Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely Animal Farm Essay Outline

Sample Analytical Paper Topics
The following paper topics are designed to test your understanding of the novel as a whole and to analyze important themes and literary devices. Following each question is a sample outline to help get you started.

Topic #1
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This statement by Lord Acton, sent in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton on April 5, 1887, provides the basis for understanding the effects of power on the heads of state, and it furnishes insight into one of the main themes in the novel Animal Farm. Write a paper that shows how power affects the characters, the events and the outcome of the book.

Outline
I. Thesis Statement: Animal Farm is a historical novel, set in England but dealing with the events leading up to and after the Russian Revolution of 1917. It illustrates the idea expressed by Lord Acton that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This abuse of power can be demonstrated by studying Napoleon’s actions in the book.

II. Power on Animal Farm before the Rebellion
A. Man has absolute power, taking without producing
B. Jones operates the Manor Farm with no regard for his animals
1. Animals aren’t fed
2. Animals are slaughtered
3. No animal lives its life to a natural end
4. Animal families are broken up by the sale of the young

III.The Meeting
A. Old Major holds the key to power: eliminate man
B. The pigs are the leaders even before the Rebellion
1. They are more clever than the others
2. They are assertive, sitting in the front at the meeting
3. They teach themselves to read
4. They are the organizers forming various animal committees.

IV. The Rebellion
A. Elimination of man creates a “power vacuum”
B. Napoleon, Snowball and Squealer become the new leaders that fill the vacuum
C. Pigs get special privileges—milk and apples

V. The Harvest
A. Pigs are the supervisors
B. They make the work schedules
C. They move into the harness room
D. Special privileges for the pigs are said to be necessary to keep Jones away

VI. The Windmill
A. Napoleon and Snowball vie for control of the farm
B. Napoleon eliminates the competition
1. He uses the dogs to expel Snowball
2. Squealer discredits Snowball
C. Napoleon assumes the power to run Animal Farm

VII. Changes on Animal Farm
A. Trade with the humans
1. The arrival of Mr. Whymper
2. The sale of a stack of hay
3. The sale of part of the wheat...

(The entire section is 1097 words.)

Free Essays - Power and Authority in Animal Farm

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Power is authority and strength, which is any form of motive force or energy, ability to act, or control.  When too much power is given, a dictatorship government can form, in which all decisions are made by one authority.  In the book Animal Farm, by George Orwell the author portrays how “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton).


Old Major, who is a respected animal on the farm, had given a speech to stir the animals emotion into rebellion. He used his power of respect and trust to persuade the others to pursue the vision in his dream.  “Old Major was so highly regarded on the farm that everyone was quite ready to lose an hour’s sleep in order to hear what he had to say” (Orwell 15).  Old Major’s dream was for the earth to be ruled by animals.  Old Major strongly believed that animals have only one adversary.  “Man is the only real enemy we have” (19).  His oration inspired and energized the listeners.  “At this moment there was a tremendous uproar” (21).  Old Major had all the power and history has proven that dictatorship does not work, due to the fact that, power leads to corruption in a communism style government.  The power Old Major held led his friends into taking action in what he desired to do, which led to rebellion and future tragedies.  Power corrupted society and absolute power that is eventually obtained becomes corrupt within. (Lord Acton).


From the death of Old Major, Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer replaced him. At first things started off pretty well; the harvest was very good the first year and the reading and writing system had helped some, but had limited success on others.  In time, the leaders of animal farm started to have mixed feelings.  Snowball and Napoleon were in constant disagreement.  An important meeting that was held ended with an astonishing outcome. One decision that was made was concerning the windmill project and the most important decision made was who would be the head animal.  Snowball and Napoleon each gave their input on what needs to be done around the farm.  “Snowball stood up and, though occasionally interrupted by bleating from the sheep, set forth his reasons for advocating the building of the windmill.  Then Napoleon stood up to reply.  He said ver quietly that the windmill was a nonsense and that he advised nobody to vote for it” (57).

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  At this time, Snowball jumped back up to convince the people that it was a good idea to build a windmill.  Then Napoleon sent his dogs after snowball and they killed him.  Since Snowball had died, Napoleon took over “The Manor Farm” which led to food shortage, hard labor, and deaths.  He used his knowledge and education to take over the farm.  With all the pigs and dogs on his side Napoleon had absolute power.  The pigs were the brains of the farm and the dogs were the military force of the farm.  Napoleon had complete control over the farm.  Napoleon’s power corrupted the whole idea of Animalism & The Seven Commandments, which the farm first started with. The power that the three pigs obtained had corrupted them and, then Napoleon received absolute power, which corrupted the society as a whole.


 In conclusion, history has proven that power is the root of all evil in a communism style government or congregation.  In Animal Farm, the animals tried to be equal, but in time, some animals had certain views and different opinions and some gradually became more powerful. No matter how hard in society we try, equality will never truly be reached by mankind for the reason that  “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton).



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