In Animal Farm, how does the non-human character of Boxer reveal some aspect of human nature?

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

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Boxer's animalistic ability to work reflects a human characteristic of loyalty.  Simply put, Boxer's strength is purely animal.  It is one where it is singular in focus, driven by the need to work and work for the benefit of the farm.  Boxer is not conscious of the work he does in terms of seeking benefit from it or desiring an exterior end from it.  Rather, he understands work as his purpose and to this end he does it with an intense fervor.  Orwell makes it clear that this attribute of his is something that is animal in design, as there is no human sensibility in this.  Such a non- human trait reflects an aspect of human nature in its blind loyalty.  Boxer's loyalty is what makes him so recognizable to humans.  His intense work ethic, such as asking the rooster to crow earlier so that he can work, or his mantras such as "Napoleon is always right" or " I will work harder" is reflective of his human character through non- human traits.  It is here where we see a human construct demonstrated through non- human form.

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