What are your impressions of Benjamin, the donkey, based on Chapter 1 of Animal Farm?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Benjamin seems to have no interest in the whole idea of rebellion.  He tells the other animals that donkeys live a long time, no other animal has ever seen a dead donkey.  One of the main reasons that the animals want to rebel and take over the farm is to allow animals to live out their natural lives.

The farmer gets rid of animals as they age, and are unable to work hard, they are sent to slaughter.  So Benjamin has no interest regarding this aspect of the revolution.  He is aloof and has no faith in the idea of animals making the farm a better place.  As a matter of fact, Benjamin does not believe that the farm will improve once the farmer is gone, he has his doubts about the whole idea of equality and justice.

As a non-believer, Benjamin does not believe that life or conditions on the farm can get any better, he thinks that they will always be miserable.  He is an old curmudgeon who is negative about everything.

"Benjamin represents the cynical intellectual who refuses to get involved in politics and so fails to affect meaningful change. His cyncism is much like Orwell's own attitude toward life."