Animal Farm and Fahrenheit 9/11

Composers are inherently concerned with politics and the complex relationships that those in power have with their citizens. The abuse of power and the manipulation of information and control through creating a fearful society is explored by Orwell in ‘Animal Farm’ and Michael Moore in his documentary ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’.While ‘Animal Farm’ is mainly an allegory of the Russian Revolution in the form of an animal fable, Fahrenheit 9/11’ is a documentary which explores George Bush’s corruption of the American people’s trust in relation to his ‘War on Terror!’ Orwell uses ‘Animal Farm’ to address abuse of power. Farmer Jones represents Czar Nicolas II who was the leader of Russia before the Revolution. At the beginning of the novel, Orwell introduces Jones as being a drunk, neglectful farmer who cares very little about his animals which allegorically represents Orwell’s views of the ruling monarch, and how Russian society viewed him before the Russian Revolution. The farm was in a terrible state – “the fields were full of weeds, the buildings wanted roofing, the hedges were neglected, and the animals were underfed”. Through the use of strong visual imagery, Orwell portrays Nicolas as a bad ruler who ran Russia, who was not nurturing his country, but rather depleting it, motivated solely by self-interest.

When Napoleon overthrows Mr Jones’ from the farm he teaches the other animals the maxim “all animals are equal” and they will now live free of oppression.Gradually as the pigs gain more and more power, they find it harder to resist temptation. Soon their “resolution falters” and they “adopt his vices” – they move into Mr. Jones’ house, drink alcohol and engage in trade with the other farms. These actions were all things that Old Major had purposely told them not to do. Orwell’s message is that any society that has leaders with absolute power is eventually destined to fail, due to the certainty of leaders u…