Empathy can be defined as ‘the power of identifying oneself mentally and emotionally with a person or object’. When reading novels, we are able to relate to some characters through similar experiences and emotions and so these characters often invite our understanding and empathy. In George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm, Boxer the horse invites our empathy. We empathise with Boxer and the way in which the pig Napoleon, the leader of Animal Farm, takes advantage of his good-natured personality and manipulates him into following all orders.
Boxer is unaware of the fact that he is being taken advantage of and that Napoleon has forced him into being the main labourer in the long, strenuous construction of the windmill. Despite his apparent simple-mindedness and gullibility, Boxer is an interesting and complex character used by Orwell to show how leaders, conservative and revolutionary alike, cruelly exploit the working class masses for their own advantage. In Animal Farm, the role of Boxer exemplifies the abused and manipulated Russian working class.
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He is one of those working people who never complains about their work and never questions the authority of the state. Boxer is a perfect example of a leader’s ideal disciple because of his gullibility, hardworking demeanor and his loyalty to his superiors. One of his mottos, “Napoleon is always right,” demonstrates his devotion to Napoleon. Even though he is an older horse, Boxer is physically strong, hardworking and maintains a strong sense of determination which is demonstrated through his other main quote, “I will work harder”.
During the building of the windmill, Boxer works extremely hard, and often over night time for an hour or two whilst the other animals are asleep. Even in times of adversity, Boxer continues to display his characteristics of determination and willingness. For example, when the “Battle of the Windmill” occurs and the windmill has been destroyed by Frederick and his men from Pinchfield Farm, Boxer is severely injured with bleeding knees, a split hoof and a dozen pellets wedged deeply in his hind leg.
Despite this injury and the fact that animals’ morale had been shattered, Boxer began hard work again and refused to take a day off. Boxer only had one aspiration left which was to see the windmill well into action before it was time for him to retire. Another example of Boxer’s strong personality in times of hardship is the night in which the executions of the animals that admitted to having been deceitful to their fellow comrades by taking Snowball’s side took place and Boxer stated that to overcome the faults amongst the farm’s animals, he was going to work harder.
By now the responder clearly realises that the strong relationship between Boxer and Napoleon is obviously a negative one. It saddens the responder and invites their empathy to find Boxer to be so oblivious to what is going on around him and at the same time his level of incomprehension creates a feeling of slight frustration in a sympathetic type of sense. A strong feeling of dislike is formed towards Napoleon as he so easily controls Boxer, forcing him to do such tough, punishing labour as he is aware that Boxer is extremely loyal to his superiors and happily prepared to complete all set tasks.
Boxer and the other animals fall victim to the pigs’ cunning ways, but besides the easily convinced sheep and Boxer, the other animals are aware of this but are too frightened or cowardly to put a stop to it, for fear of being accused of treachery and then executed. Boxer also shares a strong relationship with both Benjamin the donkey and Clover the female horse on the farm. They always support each other and this can be shown when Boxer becomes very weak and fragile after being injured in the “Battle of the Windmill”.
Clover treats Boxer’s split hoof with poultices of herbs every night whilst Benjamin also comforts him and encourages him to work less due to his old age. Boxer was waiting for the day that he and Benjamin could retire and spend their days together relaxing in the small separate paddock that had been put aside as a place of rest for those who were getting old and past their working days. This simple aspiration, and the responder’s knowledge that it will never come to fruition, arouses sympathy for Boxer.
Boxer undergoes many upsetting experiences in the novel, during all of which he displays his typically courageous and determined personality. One of his first memorable experiences was in the “Battle of the Cowshed” when Mr. Jones with his men and half a dozen other men from both Pinchfield and Foxwood began to move in, declaring war against the animals. During the ferocious battle, Boxer trampled a stable-lad from Foxwood on the head, leaving him lifeless in the mud. When the battle had ended, what Boxer had done properly sunk in and he was devastated.
He was feeling a strong sense of remorse over the killing and expressed this to Snowball. Boxer sadly cried to Snowball, “I have no wish to take life, not even human life. ” This statement perfectly expresses Boxer’s good-natured personality and the concern he has for others. Another time that was significant to Boxer was the night in which the animals that had admitted to taking Snowball’s side were executed. This somehow left Boxer feeling guilty as he couldn’t believe what he had just witnessed. His solution was to work harder, getting up an hour earlier each morning to do so.
A very hurtful moment in the story is the time when after all his hard work and staying loyal to Napoleon his leader for so long, Boxer falls weak and ill as a result of his old age and exertions. When he becomes dispensable in the working of the farm, he is carted off in a horse slaughterer van, by the pigs’ orders and taken to a knacker’s yard, to be boiled and turned into glue. Orwell shapes the responder’s perception of Boxer through a skilful use of language. He portrays Boxer as a simple but decent, honest, hardworking and loyal horse.
This is reflected through his first description of Boxer being ‘not of first-rate intelligence’ but then Orwell goes on to say that he is ‘universally respected for his steadiness of character and tremendous powers of work’. In writing Boxer’s dialogue, Orwell uses short, simple sentences with fairly straightforward, unsophisticated language to represent Boxer’s simple personality. For example, without a lot of thought, Boxer’s solution to everything is always announced to be, “I will work harder” which is barely appropriate for many situations.
My personal response to Boxer is based on mixed feelings. When reading Animal Farm, I was initially frustrated by Boxer’s lack of awareness and the ease with which he was manipulated and exploited by the pigs. But, Boxer is Orwell’s symbol of the downtrodden and vulnerable in every society, those for whom justice and equality are almost unattainable. This aroused feelings of sympathy and empathy, and, so, I became attached to the fictional character of Boxer.
The way he is portrayed as a down-to-earth, uncomplicated character who suffers because of his own good nature is most upsetting. In conclusion, through reading George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm, I found that Boxer is a character that could easily invite the responder’s empathy and understanding, in relation to his unfortunate experiences and the fact, that with complete obliviousness to the situation, he was so harshly manipulated and mistreated by his leader Napoleon, despite having been so loyally devoted to him the entire time.
He is a hard worker, strong, loyal and caring. He also fights bravely against the humans. Unfortunately, he is too loyal, the pigs take advantage of this and work him until he collapses. Then they sell him to the horse slaughterer so that they can buy more whisky.What did Boxer the horse represent in Animal Farm? ›
Boxer serves as an allegory for the Russian working-class who helped to oust Tsar Nicholas and establish the Soviet Union, but were eventually betrayed by the government under Joseph Stalin. He is described as "faithful and strong"; and he believes any problem can be solved if he works harder.What four characteristics are noted about Boxer the horse? ›
- enormous beast.
- strong as any 2 ordinary horses.
- white stripe, not of first-rate intelligence.
- universally respected for steadiness of character and tremendous powers of work.
Boxer is depicted as a huge horse, nearly eighteen hands high and extremely strong, emphasized by the simile and hyperbole “…as strong as two ordinary horses put together”. Besides, his hooves are hairy (cf. p. 1).Who does the horse represent in Animal Farm? ›
The horse Boxer stands in for the proletariat, or working class. The setting of Animal Farm is a dystopia, which is an imagined world that is far worse than our own, as opposed to a utopia, which is an ideal place or state.Why is Boxer's death so tragic? ›
The quality of life for the average citizen continued to decline, even as the ruling class grew ever larger and consumed ever more luxuries. Orwell uses Boxer's death as a searing indictment of such totalitarian rule, and his death points sadly and bitterly to the downfall of Animal Farm.How is Boxer's death symbolic? ›
Boxer's pitiful death at a glue factory dramatically illustrates the extent of the pigs' betrayal.What was boxers role on the farm? ›
Boxer played the role of the hard-working, reliable horse, because of his major contributions to the windmill and other jobs (Orwell 61). He is well known on the farm for his slogans that motivate himself and the other animals on the farm. Boxer's most known slogan is “I will work harder” (Orwell 70).How was Boxer killed in Animal Farm? ›
Animal Farm is eventually proclaimed a Republic, and Napoleon is elected President. Once his hoof heals, Boxer works as hard as he can at building the windmill — until the day he collapses because of a lung ailment.How would you describe boxer? ›
Boxers are intelligent, high-energy, playful dogs that like to stay busy. Their temperament reflects their breeding. They prefer to be in the company of their owners and are loyal pets that will fiercely guard their family and home against strangers. Few boxers bark excessively.
Character Analysis Boxer
Horses are universally prized for their strength, and Boxer is no exception: Standing almost six-feet tall, Boxer is a devoted citizen of the farm whose incredible strength is a great asset to the rebellion and the farm.
- Speed. The art of boxing is to hit and not be hit! ...
- Accuracy. Landing punches on a moving target is no easy feat; boxers have to size opponents up and predict their movements before judging where and how fast to hit to make it effective. ...
- Power. ...
- Defence skills. ...
- Endurance. ...
- Discipline. ...
Boxer is the strongest animal on the farm, "an enormous beast, nearly eighteen hands high, and as strong as any two ordinary horses put together [...] he was not of first-rate intelligence, but he was universally respected for his steadiness of character and tremendous powers of work" (1.3).Why did Boxer work so hard? ›
Boxer is admired for his determination to do more and his hard work. Horses are universally prized for their strength, and Boxer is no exception: Standing almost six-feet tall, Boxer is a devoted citizen of the farm whose incredible strength is a great asset to the rebellion and the farm.How Old Is Boxer Animal Farm? ›
How old was Boxer? 12 years of age.Who are the two horses in Animal Farm? ›
Boxer A dedicated but dimwitted horse who aids in the building of the windmill but is sold to a glue-boiler after collapsing from exhaustion. Mollie A vain horse who prefers ribbons and sugar over ideas and rebellion. She is eventually lured off the farm with promises of a comfortable life.What is Boxer's ultimate fate? ›
What is Boxer's ultimate fate? He dies of old age.Why is Boxer loyal in Animal Farm? ›
Boxer is a selfless hard-working horse that displays genuine loyalty to the rebellion willing to do anything for the better of his newfound family. Boxer adopts a new personal motto of “I will work harder” static from the beginning of the novel to his death (murder). Boxer is unwavering in his devotion.What was Boxers motto? ›
Boxers' Motto: Self-Discipline Leads to Excellence.What is Boxers main conflict? ›
Boxer worries about the farm, and blames himself. When Napoleon starts killing other animals, he says, "I would not have believed that such things could happen on our farm. It must be due to some fault in ourselves."
But Boxer would not listen. He had, he said, only one real ambition left–to see the windmill well under way before he reached the age for retirement.How is Boxer betrayed? ›
Boxer collapses in the quarry and is sold by the pigs to the owners of the knacker's yard.What were boxer's two mottos? ›
To this end, Boxer adopts two personal mottos: "I will work harder," and "Napoleon is always right." Through these mottos, the novel shows how someone like Boxer sacrifices himself to the cause at the expense of everything, including his health, his intellect, and his possibility for advancement.What are boxer's weaknesses? ›
- Boxing is useless against Takedowns and Grappling.
- Boxing is useless against Weapons such as knives and guns.
- Boxing stands a slim chance against Multiple opponents. ...
- Striking your enemy in the face often gets you in trouble with the authorities afterwards.
The pigs use the money made off of Boxer to buy whiskey.What is the full meaning of boxer? ›
boxer in American English
1. a person who fights as a sport, usually with gloved fists, according to set rules; prize-fighter; pugilist. 2.
The breed name, Boxer, has two possible origins. There's a chance the name is drawn from Bullenbeisser or, it's speculated, the breed earned the name due to their propensity for using their front paws to “box” each other.What skills does a boxer have? ›
What are the Basic Skills of Boxing? The basic skills of boxing for beginners include the boxer's stance, the jab, the cross, the hook, and the uppercut punches. Successful boxers are able to employ a combination of skilled footwork and punches together in close synchronization.Is Boxer a good leader? ›
Boxer one of the horses on the animal farm worships Napoleon and sets good examples for the other animals by working hard and being a good leader.Why is strength important for a boxer? ›
Core strength is important to a forceful punch because it links the lower and upper body in the Kinetic Chain. The Kinetic Chain is a term used to describe how force is transferred through different parts of the body to produce movement.
Boxer is one of the many example of a virtuous being in The Animal Farm “'Napoleon is always right' in addition to his private motto of 'I will work harder'”(56). Boxer has great faith in a leader who is unfaithful to his companions and to his people. Anything could happen to Boxer and he will still work his hardest.Who does Boxer symbolize? ›
Boxer represents the peasant workers of Russia. They were exploited by the Tsar Nicholas II who ruled from 1894 until his expulsion in 1917. The workers were kept in a position where they never earned enough money to pay for food or accommodation.Is Boxer a good job? ›
Very few professional boxers live off their earning. While there are many physical and mental benefits to boxing, it's a small minority of professional boxers who earn the big bucks. Like with top-level athletes across all sports, there are very few who earn their living professionally.What inspired the Boxer? ›
The lyrics are largely autobiographical and partially inspired by the Bible, and were written during a time when Simon felt he was being unfairly criticized. The song's lyrics discuss poverty and loneliness.Who took Boxer Animal Farm? ›
Animal Farm part 18 - the glue factory wagon takes Boxer away, much to Benjamin's distress. The pigs receive alcohol in return for Boxer's life.How does George Orwell present Boxer? ›
Orwell presents Boxer as a kind, selfless, heroic figure. As readers we care about Boxer because he is presented sympathetically: he is a loyal and dedicated follower of Napoleon, even though he does not fully understand the ideas behind the revolution.Why would Boxer be a good leader in Animal Farm? ›
Boxer is a much different worker than the other animals on the farm because he motivates the other animals to keep going and not run off. He is determined and loyal when it comes to comrade Napoleon and the work on the farm.…Why is Boxer the hardest worker in Animal Farm? ›
Boxer is admired for his determination to do more and his hard work. Horses are universally prized for their strength, and Boxer is no exception: Standing almost six-feet tall, Boxer is a devoted citizen of the farm whose incredible strength is a great asset to the rebellion and the farm.What language does Orwell use to describe Boxer? ›
Boxer was never seen again. Orwell uses very plain language to describe Boxer's disappearance. In contrast to the emotive language seen above, Orwell uses direct and understated language. This helps to make Boxer's treatment more tragic.What is Boxer's famous motto? ›
Boxers' Motto: Self-Discipline Leads to Excellence.
The powerful and hard-working Boxer does most of the heavy labor, adopting “I will work harder!” as a personal motto.How did Boxer get betrayed in Animal Farm? ›
Boxer collapses in the quarry and is sold by the pigs to the owners of the knacker's yard.What are Boxer's weaknesses in Animal Farm? ›
However, his strengths of being hardworking and loyal are also his weaknesses. Boxer is easily manipulated by the pigs who profits off of his work for Animal Farm and his loyalty to Napoleon, which led to his untimely death in Animal Farm.Who is the protagonist in the Boxer? ›
Yu is the main protagonist of the webcomic manhwa series, The Boxer. He is the undefeated boxing champion, despite his young age.