George Orwell's Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four share several commonalities and dissimilarities. Although the primary characters of both Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty- Four possess similar traits, their behavioral patterns distinguish them from one another. The characters of both novels act in correspondence to their totalitarian surrounding and yet, the manner in which they confront their predicaments varies. Characters in Animal Farm, such as Napolean, Squealer, and Boxer, are effective compared and contrasted with Big Brother, Winston, and Parson of Nineteen Eighty-Four. Nonetheless, George Orwell utilizes his similar yet distinct characters to unravel the shared theme of the two novels, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Napolean, the leader of all the animals of the Rebellion, can be compared and contrasted with Big Brother, the leader of all the people of Oceania. After their power is absolute, both Big Brother and Napolean unveil the qualities of a despotic ruler. Similar to Big Brother, Napolean is a furtive plotter who works behind the scenes rather than overtly. However, unlike Napolean, who rests within the Manor house, Big Brother periodically appears on the telescreen. Napolean and Big Brother both work continually to undermine and jeopardize their rivals, whether it be by removing Snowball or abolishing Rutherford. Both place emphasis on elaborate ceremonies and parades to prevent their prisoners from thinking about their schemes. Napolean's control over animal farm is not as as intense as Big Brother's control over Oceania. Although rebels were hounded by the dogs in Animal Farm, doublethinkers were not vaporized.
In the service of their ruler, Squealer and Winston both revise history. Winston's tasl at the Ministry of Truth is to alter the past to suit the present. Squealer's duty is to amend the Seven Commandments also to suit the present. However, Squealer supports the views and beliefs of Napolean wheras Winston does not support the rules of Big Brother. Also, unlike Squealer, Winston was a rebel.
Parson and Boxer are both characterized by their willingness to work, constantly volunteering for work whenever something needed to be done. Boxer worked vigorously to build the windmill and Parson labored endlessly organizing marches and parades. Preparation for Hate Week was described a "Processions, meetings, military parades, lectures, waxwork displays, film shows, teelscreen programs all had to be organized..." The most striking between Boxer and Parson is their blind, unquestioning faithfulness to their master. At the end, one is presumably vaporized and the other is assigned to "Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughter and Glue Boiler, Willington, Dealer in Hides and Bone-Meal. Kennels Supplied." they were both victims of absolute power.
The common theme of the two novels, absolute power corrupts absolutely, is developed by characterization. It is stated in Nineteen Eighty-Four that "The two aims of the Party are to conquer the whole surface of the earth and to extinguish once and for all the possibility of independent thought." The purpose of Napolean and Big Brother was to establish a tyrannical government. They were despotic rulers, determined to maintain their civilization within their grasp. They psychologically brainwashed each of their subjects and compelled them to labor ceaselessly. At the end, devotees such as Boxer and Parson are destroyed simply because they are expendable. The traits of Parson and Boxer represented tha humble portion of society overcome by absolute power. Winston Smith's "...struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."
The characters in Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four possess similar and distinct characteristics which contributes in the development of theme. Big Brother and Napolean, unrelenting and sly, established a totalitarean government. Winston, Boxer, and Parson are subdued by the absolute power.