How does Benjamin's refusal to get involved in the politics of the farm contribute to the destruction of Old Major's dream in Animal Farm?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Benjamin maintains that nothing will change, which contradicts Animalism as supported by the pigs.

Benjamin is the grumpy donkey who is devoted to Boxer but does not care much about anyone else.

Benjamin was the oldest animal on the farm, and the worst tempered. He seldom talked, and when he did, it was usually to make some cynical remark… (Ch. 1)

Benjamin remains “quite unchanged since the Rebellion.”  He has “no opinion” on the rebellion, and only comments that donkeys live a long time and no one has ever seen a dead donkey when anyone asks him anything.

As long as there is someone who does not approve of the party line, there is a threat to the pervasiveness of Animalism.  Although Benjamin did nothing to actively break the code, he did not support it either.

When Snowball and Napoleon argue over the windmill, Benjamin is the only one who does not side with either camp.  He also “refused to grow enthusiastic about the windmill” (ch 6).  When Boxer gets hurt is the only time he shows emotion, as he lays next to him and keeps the flies off of him.  Benjamin is also the one who realizes that Boxer is being taken to the knackers.  By that time, it was obvious to everyone that Animalism was dead.