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Nearly all the characters in George Orwell’s Animal Farm are animals, and two groups of animals which get the most attention in this novella are the pigs and horses. One horse, Mollie, is different from the other two, and she leaves the farm early in the story so she can get petted and spoiled rather than having to do her share of the work on Animal Farm.
The other two horses, Clover and Boxer, are admirable in every way. They are both hardworking and do what they are supposed to do and, in Boxer’s case, even more. The horses are representative of the common, working people who get things done and generally do not complain about it. They do not question authority too much, and they are willing to overlook what seem to be flaws or inconsistencies in their leaders.
While all of these are positive qualities, there is a negative aspect to them, as well. Because they do not really question authority, they are taken advantage of; and because they are willing to work more than their fair share, they allow the lazier animals to escape doing their far share.
The pigs, on the other hand, represent authority at its worst. They are lazy and selfish, keeping all the best things for themselves, depriving the other animals of their earned rations and privileges, and using up significantly more than their share of the farm’s resources. They are deceitful (mostly through their spokes-pig, Squealer) and willing to get rid of anything that might undermine their authority (which is why Snowball is gone so early in the story).
In the beginning, when the animals took over Manor Farm, the animals were equal an united in the belief that they must rid themselves of man because he produces nothing and takes everything.
Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.
Now this description fits the pigs, and they have become the unfair and unfit masters of all the other animals, including the horses. Boxer, symbolic of every man, realizes this but only after it is too late for him to lead a charge against the pigs.
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