A deeper understanding of power and control emerges

Published: 2021-06-28 19:25:04
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A deeper understanding of power and control emerges from considering the parallels between Animal Farm and V for Vendetta. Compare how these texts explore the ideas of power and control. George Orwell’s allegorical novella, Animal Farm and Alan Moore’s dystopian novel, V for Vendetta are prominent texts in English Literature which clearly establish the ideas of power and control. Both texts have a differentiation in terms of the ideas of power and control due to the contrasting political and social contexts involved.
The authors, Orwell and Moore both succeed in demonstrating the context of communism and fascism respectively as a result of abusing the use of power and control. In Animal Farm and V for Vendetta, the use of propaganda is displayed through government manipulation over the populace. The oppression of people in the form of fear and violence reinforces the idea of maintaining the power a group or individual possesses. The exploitation of power enforces the corruption of society thus ensuing disunity and rebellion.
Through the use of these themes, the ideas of power and control can be thoroughly explored and compared. Propaganda and manipulation, a theme present in both texts has been employed in order to establish and maintain the power and control of the leader. The leaders’ control over the knowledge of the masses allow the implementation of power and control over society, hence the success in demonstrating the context of communism and fascism. Within Animal Farm, propaganda and manipulation is exhibited through the main source of propaganda, Squealer.
This is evident in the quote, “He was a brilliant talker and when he was arguing some difficult point he had a way of skipping from side to side and whisking his tail in a way that said of Squealer that he could turn black into white. “ This quote manifests Squealer’s skilful communication enabling him to have power and control, thus the ability to manipulate and mislead facts. When Orwell describes Squealer as being able to “turn black into white”, he is referring to his persuasive talent to exploit the animals thoughts as to what is right and what is wrong.
Therefore, Squealer’s actions establish the destructive nature of communism and fascism enabling the exploration of the ideas of power and control. Likewise in V for Vendetta, the populace’s knowledge is manipulated through propaganda by one supreme leader who controls everything possible which therefore exemplifies the role of a fascist government. Propaganda is evident in the quote, “Britain’s belief in the Integrity of Fate is the cornerstone of our new order. ” This quote suggests how the Norsefire Regime has manipulated and brainwashed the British populace has become to believe that the Norsefire leaders have their best interest in mind.
If this “new order” was to have just a slight failure, the merciless leaders would be overthrown and this demonstrates how important government propaganda is to Norsefire. So to maintain this order, it was vital for the Regime to maintain the publics’ opinions through the use of propaganda. Thus, it is due to propaganda that the government is able to manipulate the people’s knowledge and view on society, allowing them to possess the power and control over Britain. The idea of propaganda and manipulation in both texts is to maintain the power of the leader and this is demonstrated through Squealer and the Norsefire Regime’s actions.
Oppression, another prominent theme, has been reinforced to enable the continuation of an individual or group’s power and control. The reinforcement of oppression through fear and violence has clearly displayed the background of communism and fascism as it demonstrates the cruel treatment or control over a society of people. In Animal Farm, Napoleon abuses his power and control because he utilises oppression. This is exposed through the quote, “ Napoleon uttered a high pitched whimper and immediately the dogs bounded forward, seized four of the pigs by the ear and dragged them, squeaking with pain and terror.
” The fact the Napoleon, a dictator, uses his “personal military” to silence opposition exemplifies the existence of abuse within his intent. Napoleon abuses this power by keeping the other animals fearful and in subjection as shown in the quote above. As displayed, Napoleon’s actions exemplify that of the characteristics of communism due to his exploitation of power and control. Similarly, in V for Vendetta, oppression is derived from mainly the totalitarian government, Norsefire Regime through utilizing strategies involving fear and violence.
V’s message to the populace, “You have encouraged these malicious incompetents, who have made your working life a shambles. You have accepted without question their senseless orders. You have allowed them to fill your workspace with dangerous and unproven machines. You could have stopped them. All you had to say was “no”. You have no spine. You have no pride. ” suggests that the British populace have let themselves become oppressed. By saying “All you had to say was no”, V was trying to show that the people of Great Britain were really the ones with the total dominance.
The people had the potential to overthrow this totalitarian government, except they just needed to be steered into the right direction. Although V may have been viewed as a threat to society, V’s words and actions was that steer. However, the populace had been oppressed greatly through the Regime’s corrupt power and control, hence showing the characteristics of a fascist government. Therefore, oppressing the populace through fear and violence is illustrated through Napoleon’s abuse of power and V’s influential speech which depict the characteristics of communism and fascism.
Disunity and rebellion is another theme applied to emphasis the consequences of abusing the use of power and control. The individual or groups power when misused lead to a corrupt society, thus revealing the authors’ aim to expose the consequences of communism and fascism. In Animal Farm, rebellion and disunity is shown in the scene where hens were forced to surrender their eggs. This is evident in the quote, “Squealer announced that the hens, who had just come in to lay again, must surrender their eggs …. When the hens heard this, they raised a terrible outcry….
For the first time since the expulsion of Jones, there was something resembling a rebellion. ” Due to the hen’s persistence of not surrendering their eggs, Napoleon ruthlessly exploited his use of power, causing several hens to die. This scene exemplifies the parallels between Napoleon’s manipulation of power and communism, which both serve to result in disunity and rebellion. However, in V for Vendetta, rebellion is utilised as vital to overthrow a fascist government who immorally uses their power and control. This is demonstrated in the comic, V for Vendetta through V who was initially the symbol of rebellion.
This is portrayed in the scene where he blew up the Old Bailey justice building. However, although V is the symbol of rebellion the purpose behind this terrorist operation was because he was urging people to rebel against the morally corrupt leader of the Norsefire Regime, Adam Susan. Thus, it concludes the fact that rebellion is necessary to overthrow a totalitarian regime who seized force through the abuse of power and control. Ultimately, the idea of disunity and rebellion in both texts is utilised for entirely different situations whether it is to achieve power or freedom in a communist or fascist government.
To conclude, propaganda, oppression, and disunity and rebellion are prominent themes in both texts, Animal Farm and V for Vendetta as they aid in demonstrating the parallels and differences in the texts as well as the contexts of communism and fascism. Through taking in the parallels between the two texts, the understanding of power and control has deepened because it has exhibited the consequences of the corrupt use of power and control by communist and fascist governments.

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