Even Boxer does not believe that Snowball was always a traitor. Why is his saying a dangerous move? What clues are given in the text?

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Chris Curtis | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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In George Orwell's Animal Farm, Squealer tells the animals of Snowball's alleged treachery, Boxer has a difficult time accepting it. "I do not believe that" (31). Squealer has to redirect Boxer three times and Boxer is only convinced when Squealer tells him that "Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon . . . has stated categorically . . . that Snowball was Jones's agent from the very beginning" (32).

It is only then that Boxer accepts Squealer's accusations of Snowball. Apparently Boxer's persistent defence of Snowball's innocence was too much of a challenge for Squealer because, as he left, "it was noticed he cast a very ugly look at Boxer with his little twinkling eyes" (32).

Four days after, four pigs were executed. A few of the dogs, who appeared to go mad after they tasted blood, jumped at Boxer who prepared to kill one of the dogs until Napoleon ordered him to release it.

It's clear that Boxer was perceived as a danger by Squealer and Napoleon and the failed attempt at execution/assassination only put off the inevitable. Boxer was marked for death from that moment on and when his strength finally gave way, Napoleon took the first opportunity to make a profit and rid himself of the problem.


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