The two novels, Animal Farm by George Orwell and Lord of the Flies by William Golding were both written over 50 years ago, meaning there is much to be said about both. All you have to do is type in the name of each of the novels into Google and out pops tonnes of information about each. If someone were to research enough of the two books they would be able to see that they are quite similar in plot and themes. Both books take a look at a newly built society which is slowly destroyed by the characters or people within them.
The concept of one having power over the rest is what corrupts the societies and ends in death and adversity for all others within the society. The authors both use their characters in the novels to portray what society might be like in that type of situation and use their actions to demonstrate how it can fall apart if the correct steps are not taken to maintain a functioning society. Therefore, both authors show how power can corrupt a society and create great hardship for the people ruled through its stimulating characters and their fraught actions.
The main characters in both of the books are the ones who ultimately cause the societies to crumble. In Animal Farm George Orwell uses pigs to satire the leadership of Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky and how they manipulated their people into thinking what they are doing is right (NovelGuide). The pigs led a revolution on the farm owner to take the farm and leave it in the hands of all of the animals, instead of man. They stated that the farm would be run by the animals with no rules other then that to never act like a human (Orwell).
Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which (Orwell 88). At the start of the revolution, there was no clear ‘leader’ of the animals and they did as they pleased, however the much smarter pigs started changing some of the rules that were set forth to make sure none of the animals would behave the way the humans had.
The much smarter pigs took advantage of all of the other animals and started changing rules, giving them increasingly more power over the group. In the end, the power hungry pigs ended up becoming exactly what they set out to destroy, humans. The result of this corruption of power ended with a couple animals dying and others working night and day endlessly. In the novel Lord of the Flies author William Golding uses children lost on a deserted island to represent a newly formed society.
Two boys choose to take different approaches to surviving on the island and running the rest of the group, so they split up into their own little societies. Jack, one of the leaders chooses a more violent role of surviving; he disagrees with the methods of Ralph (the other leader) and takes command of most of the boys (Golding). Jack began his adventure on the island as a normal boy just like any of the others, however after he was elected into power by all of his friends, it quickly got to his head. “I agree with Ralph. We’ve got to have rules and obey them.
After all, we’re not savages. We’re English, and the English are best at everything. So we’ve got to do the right things” (Golding 42). The power which is corrupting Jack causes him to do many things no person would think of doing while trying to survive (Bookrags). In the end, Jack’s power ended in the deaths of two boys and the utter destruction of an island. All in all, power was what lead the main characters in each of the novels to corrupt a society they had longed to be apart of, leading to deaths of others and the hardship of the rest.
Both the pigs and Jack used manipulation and their power to control the others in their respective societies. Within Animal Farm the pigs used their smarts to out wit and manipulate the others into giving them power over the rest. When the revolution first happened, the animals established ‘The Seven Commandments’ which consisted of rules preventing any animal from acting like a human (Golding). Over time the farm animals grew suspicious of the pigs actions and reverted back to ‘The Seven Commandments’, which was no use since the pigs were the only ones that could read, and they changed the rules in their favour.
‘It says, “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets”,’ she announced finally. Curiously enough, Clover had not remembered that the Fourth Commandment mentioned sheets; but as it was there on the wall, it must have done so (Orwell 42). Over time the pigs became more and more like the humans, and with no questions asked as well since none of the animals understood what the pigs were up too. The pigs used the saying “Four legs good, two legs bad” to justify most of their actions to the less intelligent animals (NeoEnglishSystem). The pigs rise to power and
the corruption of the animal farm was aided by the smarts the pigs possessed over the other less clever animals. In Lord of the Flies, main character Jack uses persuasion and other un-ethical tactics to recruit other children into joining his ‘group’. Some of these tactics include threatening and bribing the others in order for him to gain power over the majority of the kids on the island (Bookrags). Jack’s methods of gaining the majority of the boys on the island results in him having complete power of what goes on, on the island.
“Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood! ” (Golding 168). Jack orders an attack on the so called ‘monster’ that is living on the island with them. Without second guessing him, his tribe attacks the ‘monster’ which turns out to be one of the boys. All in all, the corruption of the others in the society by the leaders using manipulation and other methods to gain power is what leads to the ultimate demolition of the two novels societies.
Due to their mad hunt for power and the means they went through to achieve it, the pigs and Jack had a bunch of repercussions for their actions against their respective societies. The pigs used their brains as a way to gain power and control of their group of animals, however by doing this it resulted in the deaths of a couple of the animals as well as the expulsion of one of the other pigs (Orwell). About half the animals on the farm rushed out to the knoll where the windmill stood. There lay Boxer, between the shafts of the cart, his neck stretched out, unable to even raise his head.
His eyes were glazed, his sides matted with sweat. A thin stream of blood had trickled out of his mouth (Orwell 74). Even though the pigs are the ones that organized the revolution on the humans, they ended up becoming what they had feared. They over worked the other farm animals and made them think it was all for a better cause (NeoEnglishSystem). Lord of the Flies’ main character Jack also had major repercussions for his actions. Jack did not put him self in the leadership role, he was chosen by Ralph to help him run the group of boys.
Things quickly got out of hand for Jack and he soon wanted to lead all of the boys by himself instead of with Ralph. Jack’s actions to get into power are what corrupted the small society of boys and those actions came with the repercussions of death for two of the boys and the near death experience for another. If anyone peered under the bushes and chanced to glimpse human flesh it might be sameric who would pretend not to see and say nothing. He laid his cheek against the chocolate coloured earth, licked his dry lips and closed his eyes.
Under the thicket, the earth was vibrating very slightly; or perhaps there was a sound beneath the obvious thunder of the fire and scribbled ululations that was too low to hear (Golding 220). Jack told his tribe that they needed to kill Ralph and the only way to find him was to burn the jungle down. Ralph ran for his life away from the blood thirsty tribe of children and the fire (Cliffnotes). Jack’s actions to gain power have dire repercussions for the two boys who ended up dying and Ralph who was chased and nearly killed if he had not ran into a Naval Officer.
All in all, the actions of the main characters who attempted to gain power over the others in the society were what eventually lead to the corruption of both societies. In conclusion, both William Golding and George Orwell do an amazing job of demonstrating how power can corrupt a society by using their characters in their novels. Both of the novels give the reader an insightful look at how society might be if the leaders of our countries grew corrupt with the power that they held over the rest of society.
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