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What is the significance in Orwell choosing to call Boxer and Clover the pigs’...

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ip4680 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 27, 2012 at 6:41 AM via web

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What is the significance in Orwell choosing to call Boxer and Clover the pigs’ ‘most faithful disciples?'

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 27, 2012 at 10:20 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that Orwell's designation of Clover and Boxer as the "most faithful disciples" to the pigs is a bit of sarcasm on his part.  He seeks to bring out how much obedience and silence helps to empower the aggressors that might exist in the form of government.  Boxer and Clover never raise question to what the pigs do, even when it pricks at their conscience.  Boxer simply internalizes all of this with his maxims of "Comrade Napoleon is always right" and "I must work harder."  In doing so, Boxer lays the groundwork for an incredible amount of abuse that Napoleon can perpetrate.  Clover realizes that what is happening cannot be right, but when she asks Muriel to read the commandments, she is placated in that she believes that if the written word sanctions it, then the practices of the pig government must be acceptable.  In this, Orwell seeks to make a point about obedience to a government or any controlling entity that they know is wrong.  Clover and Boxer have no political agenda and seek only to further the cause of Animalism.  Yet, in not raising questions, Orwell argues that Clover and Boxer help the pigs accomplish the type of government that benefits only they and the dogs and not the other animals.  Through their blind obedience and lack of questioning, Boxer and Clover become the "most faithful disciples" of the pigs.

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