Animal Farm contains the theme that there will always be some group of people who will contaminate an idealistic revolution for their own gain. The main character in Animal Farm who takes advantage of the stupider animals and completely ruins the Revolution is Napoleon, a pig. Napoleon loves power and chases away another pig with power, Snowball, so he can be the sole ruler. Napoleon symbolizes the people of the world who will do anything to be in control. One especially famous example of this type of person is the character Macbeth from William Shakespeare”s Macbeth.
Macbeth murdered the king, killed innocent people, and sacrificed his morals in order to become king. This type of person is needed in order for an idealistic revolution to be corrupted. Through the character of Napoleon, George Orwell emphasizes that there will always be someone willing to commit heinous deeds in order to become leader, dictator, or tyrant The pigs of the farm are much smarter then the rest of the barn animals and take up the job as the “thinkers” and “planners.” The other animals are the “workers” and diligently believe anything the pigs tell them.
The abuse of power begins when they notice that the apples and milk start disappearing. Sqealer, the public speaker pig, explains this to the worker animals: You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples this has been proved by Science, comrades contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us.
Day and night we are watching over your welfare. 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! Yes, Jones would come back! p52
This is only the only the beginning, as the pigs keep taking more for themselves and leaving less for the rest of the animals. Eventually the worker animals are worse of then when they were with Mr. Jones. They are worked to death and on the verge of starvation because of the greed of the pigs. Orwell uses this suffering as an example of the extent some people will go to for personal gain. As any reader can see, Squealer had an important part in this process.
Squealer symbolizes the public relations man who will say anything to get what he wants – kind of like a lawyer. Squealer is the most handy with words and can convince the worker animals of anything. He is even able to continually convince them that they remember things wrong. Squealer alters the past to the convenience of his idol, Napoleon. A “squealer” is needed for any man or animals rise to power, to brainwash the public into believing their leader is god. Orwell uses the character of Squealer to prove that there will always be a group of people who take a Revolution and corrupt it for their own personal gain. And then there are the dogs.
Early in the novel , while Snowball is working on literacy for the entire farm, Napoleon steals some puppies sand raises them to be his guard dogs. The dogs symbolizes the “Secret Police” or law enforces that are needed to force the animal workers, or public, to do as the leader demands. The dogs are responsible for Napoleons rise to power. They look up to him as an master: It was noticed that they wagged their tails to him as the other dogs had been used to do to Mr. Jones. p68 The dogs are also the type of people who can be easily brainwashed into believing that their master is God. They are the ones who do the dirty work. It is partly the terrorism of the dogs that rule the animals.
Orwell uses these dogs to convince the reader that there are these types of people out there who will use force to work towards the corruption of an idealistic revolution. Boxer is an important character in the novel. He is a not very bright old cart horse whose answer to any problem is “I will work harder.” Boxer is known for saying “If Comrade Napoleon said it, then it must be right.” He symbolizes all the people in the world whose blind faith allow their leader to take advantage of them. Boxer believed in the “cause” but was innocent at heart. There are always simple people who know nothing else but to follow a leader. The pigs arrange for Boxer to be taken to a glue factory once he is no longer of any use. This is Orwell”s example of the abuse of the innocent.
Orwell uses the character of Boxer to emphasize that these types of loyal and self-sacrificing people will always be willing to follow their leader to the end, making it easier for a revolution to be corrupted with personal gain. Animal Farm contains many characters which symbolize the types of people willing to corrupt a revolution for their own personal gain. This has been proven in many instances throughout history and other novels. Orwell chose to prove this through the simple story of barnyard animals, making it easy for everyone to understand his ideas.
In conclusion, there are always going to be the power-hungry, the weak and strong, the followers and the leaders, and those willing to go to any extreme in order to be in achieve inner profit.