A Character Analysis of Benjamin in Animal Farm: [Essay Example], 1269 words (2023)

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In the allegorical novel Animal Farm, George Orwell uses animals to represent humans or groups in Stalin’s Russian Revolution. A character who is integral to the improvement of the storyline is Benjamin, an aged donkey. It is unclear which group or particular person in Stalin’s Revolution Benjamin represents. Nevertheless, a single theory is that Benjamin is utilised to portray the sceptics living in the revolution, specifically those who do not criticise Stalin’s regime publicly. Orwell uses Benjamin to represent the sceptics as he is is strong minded, but sensible enough to hold his beliefs low profile so as not to face repercussions. His interactions with the other animals are normally abrupt and rude and he is not renowned for his hard operate. Nevertheless he is respected by all the animals. His stubbornness is evident all through the text, and in spite of his rudeness he is undeniably loyal and useful to those in require.

Throughout the novel, it becomes apparent that Benjamin is an really intelligent and mentally strong animal. Orwell states that Benjamin ‘could read as well as any pig’, which right away leads the reader to assume that he is one of the, if not the, smartest animal on the farm. However this is not the only piece of proof that suggests Benjamin is intelligent or strong minded. He is the only animal on the farm that instantly differentiates his opinion from what the pigs want him to believe. This is shown by way of the basic impression of scepticism he emanates, this can be inferred from his opinions on minor concerns on the farm. Benjamin believes that as far as he knows, ‘there is nothing worth reading’ and he also refuses to ‘meddle in such matters’ as reading a commandment for Clover, Boxer’s discerning beliefs can be compared to the beliefs of one more animal such as Boxer, who is prepared to devote his whole life after retirement to studying and studying the ‘remaining twenty-two letters of the alphabet’. Through his capability to resist the ‘propaganda’ spread by the pigs, specifically Squealer., Benjamin’s mental strength is shown. Yet another show of Benjamin’s intelligence is shown by his approach to his beliefs mentioned above. Not only does he have the mental strength to formulate these views but he has the intelligence to not boast about what he believes. Orwell lets the reader infer that Benjamin keeps his beliefs and scepticism low profile about the farm. As readers, we can make this conclusion as we in no way hear his beliefs spoken to a massive audience or to numerous men and women – they are always phrases muttered by Benjamin beneath his breath to other trusted animals. He acts in this manner for he knows that if he spreads or publicises his beliefs he will be killed, just like the hens who had been starved to death right after their rebellion in protest of Napoleon wanting to sell their spring eggs. All these functions of Benjamin’s personality can be drawn back to the characters Benjamin represents from Stalinist Russia. These quiet sceptics had been not dragged into the vortex of propaganda, they had the mental strength to forge their personal opinions and consistently avoided problems by maintaining their opinions low profile. As it is now clear, Benjamin’s intelligence and mental strength are made to represent the sceptics from this era.

Benjamin’s interactions with animals also offers us an insight into his traits and their parallels with the sceptics of Stalinist Russia. We can ascertain two major traits from viewing Benjamin’s interactions: mysteriousness and unearned respect. Orwell leads us to make the conclusion that Benjamin is a respected animal by eluding to his seniority. On the initial web page he states that Benjamin is ‘the oldest animal on the farm’. Quickly Benjamin is seen as a senior figure, and with seniority comes a kind of respect. Another example of Orwell inferring the mutual respect which the Animals have for Benjamin is in the way that other animals look to him for assistance. An instance of this is Clover instantly turning to Boxer to assist her in reading the commandments. The reader is invited to conclude that the animals worth Benjamin, this value puts him a position of natural leadership, albeit an unwanted, and quite possibly an undeserved 1. With this leadership comes the animals respect. Benjamin is also a mysterious figure. he keeps mostly to himself throughout the whole text, nonetheless he still forms extremely strong opinions. It is clear that Benjamin does have powerful preferences. Nevertheless when he is asked to vote for either Snowball or Napoleon to lead Animal Farm he ‘did not side with either faction’ and chose to stay impartial. This act of indifference could be seen as a sign of rebellion – by way of saying nothing he is making the most significant statement. It is also the only sign of rebellion that is not realised and stopped by the pigs. These acts adds to Benjamin’s mysterious figure as they separate him from the rest of the animals. The exact same can be mentioned for the sceptics from Stalinist Russia. Their mystery about their lives are what separate them from the working class and earn them the respect of the individuals around them. This is one more example of how Benjamin’s traits can be used to relate him back to the sceptics of the Russian Revolution.

Benjamin is a donkey of mixed emotions, he is very stubborn, but shows uncompromising loyalty and helpfulness to these in require. This shows that even though Benjamin could at times be self-centered, at heart he desires the best for others as effectively. The top quality of stubbornness can be linked to Benjamin by analysing his quotes. On numerous occasions he says that ‘Donkeys reside a long time. None of you has ever observed a dead donkey.’ This cryptic remark leaves the animals puzzled, but he continues with this remark. By means of this quote we can infer that Benjamin is a single minded character who could be perceived to be stuck in his approaches. The repetition of this quote suggests that he only sees items a specific way and does not want to change his views. His physical appearance also relates him to stubbornness. Mules, which are descendants of donkeys are notoriously stubborn. Benjamin’s loyalty is a surprising good quality to attribute to such a seemingly rude animal. When boxer is injured following the second battle with the humans, he cares for him and is by his side. He also risks his life for his friend Boxer when Boxer is getting taken away in a horse slaughterer van. As quickly as he understands what the pigs have planned for boxer he alerts the other animals, in the procedure giving the pigs all the reason they need to execute him. Through these acts the reader infers that Benjamin cares for his fellow animals and although at times seeming spiteful, he has their greatest interests at heart. These qualities can be connected back to the sceptics in Stalin’s era by means of the single-mindedness these sceptics would have only had their beliefs and would not have led anything or body alter their views. He also can be loyal and caring for his fellow ‘comrades’ to keep them on his side and to retain pals in an era exactly where is was so simple to have enemies.

To conclude, the text Animal Farm is one which is dependent on the understanding of the characters. Benjamin proves to be a stubborn animal who is single minded yet intelligent. He is a mysterious character who gains a position of respect and leadership amongst his peers. Benjamin’s characteristics combine to portray the sceptics of Stalinist Russia

FAQs

What is Benjamin characteristics Animal Farm? ›

Benjamin is an old and pessimistic donkey. No one on the farm knows exactly how old he is but it is hinted that he has been around for a very long time. He is never enthusiastic when things go well for the animals; likewise, he is never surprised or upset when things go wrong. He often gives vague answers.

Why does Benjamin represent in Animal Farm? ›

Interpretations. Some interpret Benjamin as representing the aged population of Russia, because he is old and cynical. Others feel that he represents the Menshevik intelligentsia as he is just as intelligent, if not more so than the novel's pigs, yet he is marginalised.

What does Benjamin do in Chapter 9 Animal Farm? ›

The pigs announce that they will arrange to bring Boxer to a human hospital to recuperate, but when the cart arrives, Benjamin reads the writing on the cart's sideboards and announces that Boxer is being sent to a glue maker to be slaughtered. The animals panic and begin crying out to Boxer that he must escape.

What kind of person does Benjamin remind you? ›

Benjamin reminds me of hard-headed and determined people because he doesn't change his point of view after the rebellion. My opinion, in this case, is that he was right in feeling this way, because Napoleon and the rest of the pigs/dogs start to make harsh ways for the lower animals.

What does Benjamin say about life on the farm? ›

''Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life and to know that things never had been, nor ever could be much better or much worse - hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he said, the unalterable law of life. '' (This is said by the narrator.)

Is Benjamin a good leader for Animal Farm? ›

'' Benjamin is one of the smarter animals and can read, but unlike the pigs, he has no interest in leadership and doesn't really care to read anything. Despite his cynicism about the Rebellion, when the men attack the farm, Benjamin rushes to the front lines to defend it.

Is Benjamin loyal in Animal Farm? ›

His stubbornness is evident throughout the text, and despite his rudeness he is undeniably loyal and helpful to those in need. Throughout the novel, it becomes apparent that Benjamin is an extremely intelligent and mentally strong animal.

What rule did Benjamin break in Animal Farm? ›

The other animals simply assume they forgot about the last two words, but Benjamin, with his ability to read and his long memory, could have said something. His rule against reading was broken one time, and despite seeing the pigs changing the rules, he still did nothing.

Is Benjamin in Animal Farm stubborn? ›

Character Analysis Benjamin

As horses are known for their strength, donkeys are known for their stubbornness, and Benjamin stubbornly refuses to become enthusiastic about the rebellion. While all of his comrades delight in the prospect of a new, animal-governed world, Benjamin only remarks, "Donkeys live a long time.

Is Benjamin a flat character in Animal Farm? ›

Benjamin is a flat character and shows no development in his personality throughout the novella except for certain noticeable but temporary changes like when he helps the animals of the farm by reading to them the last and only commandment or when he hears the news of Boxer being taken to hospital: it was the first ...

Who does Benjamin represent? ›

Within the novella's allegory of Soviet history, Benjamin represents the intellectuals who failed to oppose Stalin. More broadly, Benjamin represents all intellectuals who choose to ignore politics.

What message does Benjamin have throughout the novel? ›

Benjamin's suggestion that life 'always' goes on 'badly' reveals that he has a pessimistic view on life, he does not see the Rebellion, the windmill or victories in battle as being positive things – he sees them as struggles.

How does Benjamin feel about the windmill? ›

How does Benjamin feel toward the windmill? He refused to grow enthusiastic about the windmill.

What is Benjamin fond of saying? ›

What is Benjamin fond of saying and what does it mean? "Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey." It probably means that he's lived a long time and hasn't seen as many changes as he has after the rebellion.

Why Benjamin and Boxer are good friends? ›

Moreover, Benjamin never trusted any other party apart from Boxer which is also a sign of great friendship. Another similarity was the fact that these two animals were under the pigs' regime or leadership. This implied that the pigs controlled both the animals to ensure that the farm's work is executed.

Who is the most important person in Animal Farm? ›

Napoleon. The pig who emerges as the leader of Animal Farm after the Rebellion. Based on Joseph Stalin, Napoleon uses military force (his nine loyal attack dogs) to intimidate the other animals and consolidate his power. In his supreme craftiness, Napoleon proves more treacherous than his counterpart, Snowball.

Who is the smartest character in Animal Farm? ›

Old Major. Old Major is a wise and intelligent pig who is well-respected by the other animals and inspires the rebellion. George Orwell describes him as “a majestic-looking pig, with a wise appearance” which allows the reader to understand the power he has over the other animals within the farm.

Is Benjamin partially to blame for boxer's death? ›

Benjamin is not responsible for Boxer's death because he stayed with Boxer while the other animals went for help, and he was the one who read the sign on the truck and told everyone that they were taking Boxer to the glue factory, but I wouldn't say that had he done things differently he woyuld have been able to stop ...

Why did Benjamin not speak up in Animal Farm? ›

It's for his survival and sanity. It's not noble, sure, but he's disillusioned with the ideals of the Rebellion and the abilities of everyone else. The only time where he spoke up was when Boxer was about to be taken away.

Did Benjamin agree with Napoleon or snowball? ›

Note that Benjamin does not endorse either pig, and their slogans have no effect on him. Like the reader, he is doubtful of Snowball's scheme and wary of Napoleon's maneuvers.

Is Benjamin a static character? ›

Benjamin: Benjamin is an antagonist in the story. Benjamin is a stubborn donkey. He feels neither excited or against the rebellion. He is static because he remains stubborn.

Who does Benjamin represent in Animal Farm quizlet? ›

Benjamin represents all the skeptical people in Russia and elsewhere who weren't sure revolution would change anything. masses of people at large, Not tremendously clever, the sheep remind themselves of the principles of animalism by chanting "four legs good, two legs bad."

What human characteristics did Orwell give to Benjamin? ›

What human characteristics did Orwell give to Benjamin? Doesn't care, careless, has a whatever attitude, nothing matters to him.

How was Benjamin the donkey different from the other animals describe his characteristics? ›

Benjamin the donkey is a stoic. He doesn't get involved and does not even voice an opinion one way or another concerning the management of Animal Farm. Whenever questioned, he is purposefully evasive, giving such nonsense off-beat answers as "Donkeys live a long time." Benjamin's "zen attitude" is hard to decipher.

Is Benjamin a flat character in animal farm? ›

Benjamin is a flat character and shows no development in his personality throughout the novella except for certain noticeable but temporary changes like when he helps the animals of the farm by reading to them the last and only commandment or when he hears the news of Boxer being taken to hospital: it was the first ...

Is Benjamin loyal in animal farm? ›

His stubbornness is evident throughout the text, and despite his rudeness he is undeniably loyal and helpful to those in need. Throughout the novel, it becomes apparent that Benjamin is an extremely intelligent and mentally strong animal.

Who is the most important character in Animal Farm? ›

Napoleon. The pig who emerges as the leader of Animal Farm after the Rebellion. Based on Joseph Stalin, Napoleon uses military force (his nine loyal attack dogs) to intimidate the other animals and consolidate his power. In his supreme craftiness, Napoleon proves more treacherous than his counterpart, Snowball.

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