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.

Photo on 8-3-16 at 5.16 pm




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: 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.