Violence is the Way For Survival Essay Example

First, to put this in perspective. Imagine 45 million people, the entire state of California, dropping dead at once. That’s close to the number of people who died under the rule of China’s dictator, Mao Zedong. How could the world let this happen? This question shows up time and time again in history, and as themes in modern novels. People use poor living conditions, and the need to survive, in order to inflict harm on others, and to gain control.

In the book Animal Farm, Napoleon demonstrates survival tactics to protect himself, by way of violence or betrayal towards the other animals, in order to gain control. At Animal Farm, food was scarce. 

Napoleon emerged as a greedy and corrupt leader, who betrays his own kind by depriving the other animals of basic needs, like food and proper shelter, in order to hog it for himself. Napoleon forces long hours on the other animals, while he stands idly by, to remind himself that he’s in control and that he must survive in these harsh times. While the food is scarce for other animals, and the winters are cold, he feasts on apples and milk, and rests upon his bed, while the others suffer from starvation, and freeze from the bitter cold. In order to combat Snowball from taking his throne, Napoleon trains a group of dogs that will violently attack anyone that threatens him. When Snowball tried to intervene on Napoleon's rule, the dogs drove him off the farm, and Snowball was never to be heard of again. 

Snowball was trying to incorporate a sense of humility in the animals, so they would realize how corrupt Napoleon really was. Napoleon didn’t like that.  Napoleon proceeded to drive Snowball off his farm to protect his corrupt way of living. This stems from human nature, because when one threatens your way of life, it is instinctual to want to eliminate the threat to protect yourself.  Napoleon demonstrates that clearly in this book. Because the resources were scarce, and the conditions were harsh, Napoleon resorted to corruption and greed towards the other animals, to survive the farm, and provide for his followers.

Due to the political and economical downfall of Germany, Hitler was able to take the lives of millions through any means that he saw fit, in order to preserve the Nazi regime he had systematically established, which had turned into a great world power at the time. Germany was in a state of great depression from 1929-early 1930s. Hitler found the failures and misery of the Great Depression to his liking, remarking: “Never in my life have I been so well-disposed and inwardly contented as in these days. 

For hard reality has opened the eyes of millions of Germans” (Alpha History-Weimar republic). Due to the Great Depression, Hitler was able to inflict great harm on the citizens of Germany, because of the failing economy and political divide within the country. People were distraught, and they needed a leader, in order to revitalize, and reshape what had been lost. Hitler saw this great opportunity to carry out his manifesto, and to take advantage of the struggling population, for the good of his own.

He claimed the Great Depression “has opened the eyes of millions of Germans” which implies Hitler was destined to rule, a new hope for Germany. In reality, this “new hope” would lead to a mass genocide of millions of minorities, and specifically Jews. Hitler used ideological propaganda by targeting the Jews to indoctrinate the German people with hatred and hostility towards the Jews. This propaganda was only possible due to the failing economy Germany was experiencing at the time. Hitler deemed it a “new hope” for Germany, and the Germans believed it.  

This largely influenced Hitler's great rise to power, and control. “When the Nazis came to power in 1933, they established a Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, headed by Joseph Goebbels. The aim of this “black propaganda” machine was to spread throughout Germany enmity against the Jews and other minority groups that were targeted, the “undesirables,” as they were coined”(Jerusalem post-Holocaust). Propaganda produced by Hitler and the Nazis promoted widespread radical hatred towards the Jews, which convinced millions that Jews should be viewed as subhuman or not worthy of life.

The propaganda he used also promoted cultural nationalism, which persuaded the people of Germany to think more like Hitler, and less like an individual. This was made possible due to the failing economy and the sense of “new hope” the Germans felt under Hitler's rule. What came with this was the thought that whatever Hitler was doing, should be deemed ok, and was necessary for the success of Germany. This allowed Hitler to easily murder millions of Jews and other minorities, because of the propaganda he used, which justified such drastic acts of violence.  

It was the work beforehand, the mind control that he used on the people, the genius manipulation that he implemented on his people that allowed him to commit genocide with ease. The holocaust was just the implementation, but the real work was gathering an army big enough to commit it. His motivation was his idea that only pure white Aryan blood may share the benefits this world provides for us humans, and that no other is worthy of the oxygen that we breathe. 

He was convinced that the Germans couldn’t survive without him, and that he was crucial to their survival.  What made him so evil was the brutality and extremism he incorporated in the killings. He quite literally deprived humans of oxygen, and left them to suffocate in the gas chambers, among their closest loved ones. After WWI, the Germans fell into a Great Depression, which led to the start of Hitler's brutal rule, where he manipulated millions of Germans to side with him through propaganda, in order to use them at his disposal, which meant mass Genocide on the Jewish people.

Due to the fact that young boys were stranded on an island with no resources, they resorted to violence and power struggle in order to survive. Because of the poor living conditions and the need to survive, Roger deemed it fitting to kill Piggy, because it would eliminate yet another threat to Jack's throne. Poor piggy was always treated like a runt, not fit for survival, therefore his elimination was inevitable.“The rock struck Piggy with a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist.” (pg. 164) 

Since the boys were stranded on an island with a lack of resources, they had to resort to hunting. It removed the filter they once had, and justified the killing of any living thing in order to survive. Once they were removed from society, they lost the nurture they once had, and the instinct to survive and hunt took over. This led Roger to inflict fatal harm on Piggy, and for Jack to assert himself as the alpha male to gain control. Jack's obsession with human dominance and power is displayed here, as he can’t help himself from harming Piggy. “Piggy and even some of the hunters start yelling at Jack. Jack, humiliated and angry, hits Piggy. Piggy's glasses fly off, breaking a lens. 

Jack mocks Piggy and everyone laughs.” Jack becomes obsessed with dominance and power. While dominance and power was certainly something he sought, the clear motive was survival.  There were very few rules that were enforced, which led him to punish without reason. This displayed how a poorly structured “civilization” led Jack and his followers to inflict harm on the others. His corrupt rule helped Jack to gain and maintain control, because the others that sided with him had no choice but to stay with him to survive on the island, or else they would end up like Piggy or Simon (goners).  

Due to few resources and the need to thrive in the wild, the boys resorted to violence and constant power struggle, which corrupted their way of life. Since there were limited resources on the island, there wasn’t enough to share for everyone, therefore the boys resorted to violence in order to have enough food to feed their “pack”.  They became desensitized to killing over time, which eventually led them to kill each other, displaying the power of nature, and the need to survive. 

Living in a communist society was a struggle because of the lack of food and access to basic essentials needed to survive, which led humans to inflict harm on each other, in order to have food to survive. Poor planning policies, shortage of food, subsequent cannibalism, and man mad forced famines were used to commit genocide on a population in communist systems. “Under former communist leader Mao Zedong’s “Great Leap Forward,” a disastrous policy to develop China’s steel production to American or British levels in only a few years resulted in as many as 45 million people dying of starvation or persecution” (Epoch Times). 

The reason so many people died was because Mao and his regime promoted starvation, in order to gain industrial control through Mao's “Great Leap forward”. Mao was attempting to grow China’s steel production, but instead, due to poor planning policies, he was left with little progress over the span of four years. What this led to was severe famine and the unforeseen 1 death of 45 million people.

This is the peak of man-made famine, might as well call it man-made genocide, because all it did was kill. Mao was able to do this because he was the leader of China at the time, and because the “Great leap forward” had great promise in the eyes of China. So the 45 million people that lost their lives, was due to Mao’s control over China, and his strive for world power, and control in the industrial market.  As the famines got worse, people resorted to inhumane acts in order to be fed. Under Stalin's communist rule, Feofila Bylina, a 40-year-old woman, was a victim of cannibalism on “cannibal island”. 

As many as 4,500 people died due to starvation and cannibalism. This next quote describes the gruesome reality behind cannibalism during Stalin’s communist rule. “She was being taken to another camp.... The woman was taken into the back room to spend the night and I saw that her calves had been cut off. I asked, and she said, 'They did that to me on the Island of Death – cut them off and cooked them” (Rferl). Stalin claimed that “Cannibal Island was a “special settlement” but it was really just another one of his labor camps. 

These camps were all over the Soviet Union, and millions died in them, due to overcrowding and starvation. Without tools shelter or food, the victims on the island soon resorted to cannibalism in order to survive as long as they could. The weaker ones were eaten first, while the stronger ones survived longer, as they were able to live for longer based on size and strength. 

Survival by any means necessary was they’re only way of life, and cannibalism was justified due to the fact that they had no food, or access to basic resources. Due to poor living conditions and the need to survive, inflicting harm on others, and to gaining control was necessary in order to stay alive. Famine led to cannibalism, which shows how humans resort to violent acts especially when we are put under dire circumstances.

Hitler, communists and the boys in Lord of the Flies all used the excuse of poor living conditions, and the need to survive, in order to inflict harm on other people, and to gain control. It paired hand in hand with fear, and how it played a role in inflicting mental harm on human beings. People feared Hitler, communists like Mao and Stalin, and the boys on the island most definitely feared Jack. This is what made the leaders even more powerful, this strong desire for control, and feeding off the fear of others.

Works Cited

“Cannibal Island: In 1933, Nearly 5,000 Died In One Of Stalin's Most Horrific Labor Camps.” Google, Google,

“Cannibalism: The 'Pinnacle' of Communist Rule.” Google, Google,

“Weimar Republic Quotations.” Weimar Republic,

“Weimar Republic Quotations.” Weimar Republic,

Animal Farm, George Orwell

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