MINP: March #1: Animal Farm Character Analysis

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.

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Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: New American Library, 1946. Print.

MINP: January #2: Connect With the Protagonist/Conflict

Connect with the Protagonist and the Conflict

First & Then, by Emma Mills, is a realistic fiction novel about Devon Tennyson. Devon goes to parties, does homework, and hangs out with friends like any other normal senior. Things start to take an unexpected turn in her life as the year goes on, though. She is hopelessly in love with her best friends, Cas, but he doesn’t seem to take a hint. Her cousin suddenly moves in with her and her family and now they are “siblings.” She surprisingly becomes friends with the best football player at the school who nobody else seems to be able to figure out.

At the beginning of the book, Devon is at the Road-to-College Club and is showing the counselor, Mrs. Wentworth, her college essay. The only problem is that she didn’t put any thought into her essay and didn’t really expect to. Throughout the book, she struggles with trying to improve her college resume so that she can get into her dream college: Reeding College. She volunteers as a TA, joins the school paper, and searches for help from the best student she knows.

“‘Devon, I really need you to take this seriously.’


I just couldn’t find it in my heart to do that.


‘But it reads like you wrote it during a commercial break.’

I took offense to that. I wrote it during at least four commercial breaks.

‘How much thought did you really give this?'” (Mills, p. 2)

I can connect with Devon because although I am not a senior preparing for college, I am an eight grader preparing for high school. I have gone through similar conversations as she had with my mom about the essays that I had written for honors next year. I had also struggled a bit with writing my essay because I didn’t really know what to write about.

Mills, Emma. First & Then. New York: Henry Holt, 2015. Print.


MINP: January #1: Dust City

Dust City

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Dust City, by Robert Paul Weston, is set in a fantasy world filled with foxes, ravens, wolves, goblins, and homonids who live and interact with each other. The main character, Henry, is a wolf who lives at the St. Remus Home for Wayward Youth. His father is a murderer who was sentenced to life in prison and his mother was killed by a truck carrying fairy dust. Unlike the other wolves there, especially their leader, Roy, Henry doesn’t like to hang out with the pack and race and act mean. Instead, he likes to hang out with his roommate, Jack, who is a homonid. On the outside, Henry looks like a teenager who, besides being outcast from his pack, is normal. In the text conversations above, you can see that he seems like a normal kid. He has a text conversations with Jack, his best friend, Roy, his “enemy,” and Fiona, who he likes.

On the inside, though, Henry has all sorts of things going on. In his text conversation with his shrink, Doc, he talks about having nightmares. He is haunted by the terrible story of his father’s murder every night and dreads that some part of him might become like his father.

“The dream is the same every time. The details shift from night to night – the depth of the darkness, the distance from the road to the cottage, the way the wind blows – but everything that matters is the same. I’m always some amalgam of my father and me.” (Weston, p.91)

His dream is always about his father’s murder, when he killed a grandmother and her young granddaughter. The only difference is that in his dream, he is the one killing them and in the end, he ends up being hurt and tortured himself. His dream is his worst fear – that he will turn into his father. You can also tell from his texts with his dad that he doesn’t think very highly of him and that he really doesn’t know what to say to him.

Also, in his conversation with the Doc, they also talk about his fear of fairy dust. His mother was killed by a truck that was carrying fairy dust and ever since then, he had been scared to come near it.

At first glance, Henry may seem like a normal, well-adjusted teen, but he is far from that.

Weston, Robert Paul. Dust City. New York: Penguin Group, 2010. Print.


MINP: December #1: theme: It’s the Little Things that Make a Big Difference

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is an informational story of how the author explored major tipping points in history and in the modern world today. The analogy that Gladwell uses is that everyday trends and happenings are epidemics.

“It is that the best way to understand the emergence of fashion trends, the ebb and flow of crime waves, or, for that matter, the transformation of unknown books in bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth, or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life is to think of them as epidemics.” (Gladwell, p. 7)

Ideas and products behave and spread like viruses, and eventually they reach a tipping point. One example that he gives the the rise in popularity of Hush Puppies, a brand of shoes. They were a very small thing that nobody knew about. But then, something happened, something small. A few people bought Hush Puppies, wore them around, and suddenly it became the new style. Everybody was buying Hush Puppies – they were a necessity. What happened was the tipping point and what caused it was just a very small action. People didn’t go around advertising Hush Puppies, telling everybody that it was the new trend and that it was so cool. What happened was that a few teenagers bought Hush Puppies and wore them around town, exposing others to them – spreading the virus and infecting others.

Gladwell gives many other examples of tipping points in society but what he wants the reader to understand are three things: contagiousness, little things make a big difference, and that change happens at one dramatic moment. One of the major themes of the book is that it is the little things that make a big difference. Another example Gladwell gave was the dramatic decline in crime in New York in 1993. In the space of five years, the crime dropped 64.3 percent and it wasn’t because anything dramatic happened. The murderers weren’t all suddenly caught or moved away or anything like that. It was a series of small changes.

“The crack trade leveled off. The population got a little older. The police force got a little better. Yet the effect was dramatic.” (Gladwell, p. 8)

Basically, what Gladwell is trying to explain is that tipping points are caused by small, minor changes, not dramatic ones.


Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point. New York: Little, Brown, 2002. Print.

MINP: October #2: Connect with the Protagonist: “I could be even bigger…”

In Fat Kid Rules the World by KL Going, the protagonist, Troy Billings, is an overweight teenager who has no friends and is constantly being laughed at. He decides that he has to future ahead of him and that he should just commit suicide until he meets Curt MacCrae, a high school dropout and guitar legend at Troy’s school. Because of one lie, they form a band together and Troy becomes his drummer, but struggles with him self to decide whether he really wants to be.

Troy changes a lot in this book because he goes from being depressed, insecure, and conservative to a confident, happier teenager who is willing to try new things and put himself out there.

“I’m worried about potentially eternal humiliation. I’m worried about being manipulated into something I absolutely, positively, no-way-in-hell can do…..’I’ve got to go home,’ I say firmly. ‘This has been fun and all, but there’s no way I’m playing a gig. I Can’t play in front of people. I hyperventilate. I can’t. . . do it…'” (Going, p. 68)

“My body swells until I fill the room. I’m not fat. I’m enormous. I look over the crowd and think for the first time, I could be bigger. I could be even bigger…” (Going, p.94)

“I’m a total freak, but that’s no one’s problem but mine. Mine, damn it. Mine with a capital ‘M.’ I am the Rocky Balboa of obese drummers.” (Going, p. 113)

At the beginning of the book, Troy is very self-conscious about himself and always worried about people laughing at him and getting embarrassed. But as the story progresses and as he becomes better friends with curt, he gains more and more self-confidence until he realizes that he shouldn’t be thinking those things about himself, that just because he is fat doesn’t mean he should be lower than everybody else and that being fat is bad. Troy and I are alike because we care a lot about what other people think of us and are worried about being laughed at. Although it might not be as bad for me as it is for Troy, of course I still think about things like that. Also, our friends are very important for both of us. Troy only has one friend, Curt, who is probably the best possible person to be friends with at his school. He worries a lot about saying or doing the wrong thing and then loosing Curt, so a lot of his decisions are based on that. I care a lot about what my friends think of me, too, but the difference between Troy and me is that I don’t really worry about loosing them. Sometimes, like Troy, I will think about what they will think of me if I do something, but I don’t just do exactly what I know they will approve of. A difference between me and Troy is that, because he grew up with no friends, being made fun of, he has very low self-esteem, which means that he always likes to stick to the things he knows and is more scared to try knew things because of the possible consequences. I grew up with many friends and family who supported me, so I am more confident with myself and don’t think about if others will make fun of me if I try something new.