Notions of Power: Animal Farm and Macbeth

1272 words 6 pages
“Political Power grows out of the barrel of a gun”
-Chairman Mao-

QUESTION: To what extent does this quote connect to the message regarding power in each of your texts?

Write a synthesis essay that deals with the quote above and Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Orwell’s Animal Farm.

In your essay ensure that you specifically refer to each of texts including quotes and analysis.

“Political Power grows out of the Barrel of a Gun”

The idea of power and especially political power has its many definitions, and is used, explored, and even exploited, featuring in all human experiences in the struggle for authority and dominance. The theme of power is widely explored in the two texts of Macbeth by Shakespeare, the famous
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The regimes of both Stalin and Mao have many similarities with similarly communist ideology and the similar use of Mao’s “barrel of the gun”. The motif of the “barrel of the gun” in Animal Farm were symbolised through the use of the dogs (a motif for the KGB and the Red Army), and also the exploits of Squealer, the talkable pig who is often associated with the Soviet Propaganda Machine. Both these tools are essentially the basic tools of control for any government to instil fear and ignorance within the ranks.

However, the Fear of Violence versus Use of Violence is a major theme between the communist regimes of Stalin and Mao, and Macbeth’s reign as the King of Scotland. Macbeth’s and Lady Macbeth’s objectives and motivations behind the use of violence are purely in a practical sense not to create fear or “terror”, but simply to remove any possible rivals to the throne, and to ensure that the Macbeth lineage to clings on to the throne.

The regimes of Mao and Stalin, however, use violence with more than the motivations to simply remove possible rivals to the throne. It is these regimes that believe that prevention is the best cure, and instead of just removing possible rivals to the throne, the use of violence must discourage any opposition towards the regime. The tool of violence of the dogs in Animal Farm stifles any opposition to Napoleon by the use of fear. “…nine huge dogs