Boxer Character Analysis
Animal Farm, by George Orwell, is a satire about the Russian Revolution and Communism. The book starts off with the animals gathering in the barn after Mr. Jones (the farmer) goes to bed. Major, the most respected animal on the farm, gathers all the animals to the barn. He voices their complaints about how to humans are evil, how they take so much and give so little, how something has to be done. Jones rules tyrannically over them, and they must start fighting back, he urged. He makes the animals promise to never live like Man (to never live in a house, wear clothes, smoke tobacco, etc.) and instead live in a society where everybody is equal.
“‘There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single word–Man. Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished for ever.
‘Man is the only creature that consumes without producing….Yet he is lord of all the animals.'” (Orwell, p. 28-29)
“‘Is it not crystal clear, then, comrades, that all the evils of this life of ours spring from the tyranny of human beings? Only get rid of Man, and the produce of our labour would be our own. Almost over-night we could become rich an free. What then must we do? Why, work night and day, body and soul, for the overthrow of the human race! That is my message to you, comrades: Rebellion!'” (Orwell, p. 30)
Major died the next day, but his idea did not. Soon the animals revolted against Jones and started the revolution. But will their new society be able to last?
The animals got to work as soon as Jones was driven out. They worked hard and were rewarded with a wonderful harvest. They ate an abundance of food and were given more recreation time than ever. The pigs, being the smartest of the animals, naturally took over. They controlled the animals, learned literature, and led debates. But the philosophy on Animalism (that all animals are equal) quickly fell apart. It was obvious that some animals thought of themselves at a higher status than others.
Two particular pigs stood out: Napoleon and Snowball. Napoleon and Snowball quickly became the leaders, learning as much as they could from Jones’ books, organizing the animals, and leading the debates. Napoleon, who eventually became the main leader, was harsh and cunning and always found a way to get what he wanted.
One of the main characters in the book is Boxer. Boxer was a gigantic horse, “nearly eighteen hands high, and as strong as any two ordinary horses put together.” (Orwell, p. 26) He was a highly respected animal, even before the revolution, because of his strength and attitude.
I believe that in Animal Farm, Boxer represents our world’s working class because he is very hard-working and keeps things going. Without Boxer, the animals would never have been able to get as far as they had. Boxer was really able to show his diligence when the animals starting working on the windmill. In order to build the windmill, they could have to haul boulders up the hill. Of course, almost all of the work fell on Boxer’s shoulders. Whenever something failed, like if the boulder rolled down the hill or the windmill collapsed, instead of giving up, Boxer would just say his first motto, “I will work harder.” Even when his body argued, he would always push on, panting, “I will work harder.” He also woke up extra early and stayed extra late to work on the windmill on his own.
“Boxer was the admiration of everybody. He had been a hard worker even in Jones’ time, but now he seemed more like three horses than one; there were days when the entire work of the farm seemed to rest of his mighty shoulders. From morning to night he was pushing and pulling, always at the spot where the work was hardest. He had made an arrangement with one of the cockerels to call him in the mornings half an hour earlier than anyone else, and would put some volunteer labour at whatever seemed to be most needed, before the regular day’s work began. His answer to every problem, every setback , was ‘I will work harder!’–which he had adopted as his personal motto.” (Orwell, p. 46-47)
Second of all, Boxer is dedicated to Animalism. Like I said before, Boxer would always wake up early and work late for the windmill and whenever something went wrong, he would just say his motto. Even when his body failed him and Boxer had to stop working, his last wish was to see the windmill finished. He also proved that he would do anything for the cause during the Battle of Cowshed when he kicked the boy in the head. Unlike Napoleon, Boxer was horrified when he thought that he had killed the boy, but realized that what he did had helped the animals. Boxer did all of these things because he believed that doing so would help lock in a bright future for the farm, which was what he truly wanted.
“‘It is my lung,’ said Boxer in weak voice. “It doesn’t not matter. I think you will be able to finished the windmill without me.'” (Orwell, p. 121)
Third of all, Boxer is a follower and not a leader. Boxer never once questioned Napoleon, even when he did things that he thought were wrong. Instead, he just assumed that because Napoleon had appointed himself their leader, everything he did was good. When the other animals had any doubts, he would just say his second motto, “Napoleon is always right.” Also, like I said before, Boxer was a highly respected animal and if he wanted, he could have become the leader and overthrown Napoleon, but he didn’t. Instead, he decided to just follow everything that Napoleon said.
Last, Boxer is innocent. Boxer was not the brightest animal and at the beginning of the revolution when the pigs and some of the other animals were trying to learn to read and write, he could not even learn the entire alphabet.
“Boxer could not get beyond the letter D.” (Orwell, p. 50)
He also never questions the things that Napoleon did or if his intentions were actually good because he was not intelligent enough too. He would just say his motto, “Napoleon is always right,” and believe it. Boxer is also innocent because during the Battle of Cowshed, when he kicked the boy in the head, he was not pleased like Napoleon. He did not want to hurt the boy at all and when he did, he felt terrible for it. Also, Boxer is innocent because, like I said before, he could have used all of the respect and admiration from the animals to become the leader and overthrow Napoleon, but the thought had never even crossed his mind. He never once abused his power like Napoleon had because he just didn’t think that way.
In conclusion, I think that Boxer’s four main characteristics are hard-working, dedicated, follower, and innocent.
Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: New American Library, 1946. Print.