What does Boxer's death represent?
Also, does Benjamin’s reaction to Boxer's death represent any real incident?
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The death of Boxer the most loyal and most hardworking of all the animals marks the climax of the novel. In Ch.1 Old Major had prophesied that Jones will sell Boxer once he is of no use:
"You, Boxer, the very day that those great muscles of yours lose their power, Jones will sell you to the knacker, who will cut your throat and boil you down for the foxhounds."
But it is in Ch.9 that this prophesy comes true with Napoleon the dictator callously and cruelly getting rid of his most loyal supporter once he has grown old and useless. His death represents the end of the ideals for which all the animals had fought for and sacrificed so much for. The dream of establishing a utopian society has been shattered and a new elite class of aristocratic pigs which exercise their ruthless authority over the other hapless animals has come into existence.
Benjamin is the donkey who is literate, but although he is Boxer's closest friend he is not able to help him escape because he has kept himself aloof all these days and is not able rouse all the other animals to action and help save Boxer. By the time he manages to convince the other animals to help him rescue Boxer it is too late:
' "Fools! Fools!" shouted Benjamin, prancing round them and stamping the earth with his small hoofs. "Fools! Do you not see what is written on the side of that van?"'
Benjamin represents the so called intellectuals in society who are unwilling to participate in politics, and when they are moved to action it is always too late.
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