Animal Farm Essay - Power Corrupts

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Power Corrupts Therefore Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

By: Vraj Barot 8.01

George Orwell’s satirical fable Animal Farm perfectly puts these famous words first quoted by Lord Acton in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887, into a real life scenario. In actual fact Acton stated in his letter:

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolutely power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

No doubt that when Lord Acton wrote this letter, he was referring to an event that had occurred during his time as he, like Orwell, is a social commentator and was most probably reflecting on a leader that had let power get to his head. This phrase however, based on a particular event as it is, has gone on and become a timeless and ever resurfacing trait of man. Acton’s Comment is quite vague however it goes into the very heart of the dynamics of political power and its chance of corrupting. George Orwell in his novella Animal Farm warns of this trait of man and tries to teach that man is weak and those in the position of power will give in to corruption if give the chance to. In the purpose of this essay I will describe the corruption of the Animal Farm movie adaptation and who after gaining total power over the book the producers completely corrupted it. This essay will describe how the Animal Farm (the movie), was corrupted in the purpose of setting, character and theme.

For a long time producers have been making filmic adaptations of book hoping to cash in on their popularity. However in most cases producers have been changing, shortening and to some point corrupting whole movies just to suit their own needs. Unfortunately the filmic adaptation of Animal Farm has not been spared from this awful trend that seems to follow all classical books. It has been corrupted beyond recognition and bears no meaning. The producers have taken a book that is full of meaning, ripped it apart and turned it into a happy g-rated book with no meaning at all. What is incredibly ironic is that when George Orwell put out his novella he wanted to educate the masses and teach them about the flaws of communism and how man could become corrupt is given too much power. On the other hand the producers have used his book to send out the exact opposite message; they have used the book to tell ‘children’ that communism is wrong and totally unachievable. In other words the producers have taken a book that sends out the message ‘power corrupts’ and then, after gaining total power of it, have corrupted it themselves.

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George Orwell, in his novella, has not gone into great detail when explaining the setting. Whereas on the other hand, the movie adaptation of the film has gone into great detail with the settings and to what feelings they create. The producers have done this as this is a film meant for kids and the easiest way to tell kids that something is not right, apart from just telling them, is to show them. The producers even went to the trouble of hiring 80 animators just to create the scenery and totally manipulate children’s views. An example of this is ...

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