Mrs. Kelly Gardner
9th Grade Lit/Comp B
February 27, 2014
The lesson taught in Animal Farm is simple: Power Corrupts. When Mr. Jones owned the farm he had all the power and therefore believed that he could treat the animals any way he wished. He only cared about bettering himself, even if it meant acting cruelly toward the animals. After the Revolution, and for some time before it, the pigs quickly gained power, and just as quickly, they began to use it purely to improve their own conditions. In the end, though, they became everything they claimed to hate.
The idea of the Revolution was that every animal would be equal. None would be better than the others, none would rule over the others, and all would live in a joyful equilibrium. The idea could have worked, but once power gets a hold on someone, it is loath to let go. The Seven Commandments made at the beginning of the story were to form “an unalterable law by which all the animals on Animal Farm must live for ever after” (Orwell 24). The Commandments were actually not bad; the problem arose from the statement calling them “an unalterable law”. Unalterable means that something cannot, or will not, be altered; the Seven Commandments however, were altered and removed as they got in the pigs’ way.
The pigs started out with at least some good intentions, truly trying to better the farm as a whole, but they quickly became enthralled by the power given to them. The pigs found that they were ruling over subjects that were much less intelligent than they were and that they could manipulate them to believe almost anything. The first manipulation by the pigs to the Seven Commandments was the simple addition of two words to the fourth commandment. Where it had first read “No animal shall sleep in a bed” it now read “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets” (Orwell 67). This change came about when Napoleon and the other pigs moved into the farmhouse. The pigs continued to deceive the other animals. Napoleon