"There are no characters in Animal Farm that deserve our sympathy" Do you agree?"There are no characters in Animal Farm that deserve our sympathy" Do you agree?

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e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

We can choose to sympathize with nearly all of the characters in Animal Farm. Napoleon, the most sinister figure of the book, may deserve some sympathy. He is not prepared to cope with the temptation that power offers him. He is not strong enough, morally. And so he fails. We might see our way to some sympathy for his plight. 

 

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Absolutely false. Surely the two cart horses deserve our sympathy. All Boxer thinks about is working harder to make life better for himself and his fellow animals. Even though we might disagree with his motto "Napoleon is always right," who can help feeling sorry for Boxer--and outraged at Napoleon--when he gets sent to the glue factory because he can't work anymore? Clover, the other cart horse, doesn't have Boxer's blind faith in Napoleon. She questions things that she thinks are contradictory or just plain wrong. Again, who can help feeling sorry for her when she runs after the van that's carrying Boxer to his death?

Even though we disagree with a character's political or social beliefs, we can still feel sympathy for him or her.

amiet731's profile pic

amiet731 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I agree with the statement.  If we consider that Orwell's intent is for the reader to examine governmental control and political systems, and if we apply the book to our present day situation with the advances in technology and accessibility of information, no person or group of people should be ignorant enough to allow such oppression to occur.  We continue to allow people loop-hole excuses like inferior education, inadequate schooling, and unequal opportunities; however, we claim that everyone is equal.  We contradict ourselves constantly.  Orwell believes that people can live together harmoniously if we use common sense and treat each other fairly. Boxer and the other horses are obviously stronger than the pigs, yet they allowed the pigs to control their lives even though they can physically overpower them. This leads to the slaughter of innocent animals; it is a shame when those with power do not act upon their abilities.  Benjamin's apathy is equally to blame due to the fact that he can read and is as intelligent as the pigs.  he predicts from the start that it won't work, yet he never counters the actions of the pigs.  I believe each of the animals is responsible for his/her actions, or lack there of, just as we humans are responsible for our actions or in-actions in our own lives.

abaker4's profile pic

abaker4 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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I totally disagree with the idea that they don't deserve sympathy. Boxer for example is one of the characters one cannot read about and not feel devastated when they read what happens to him. People have always felt horrible at the idea of someone putting all of their life into something only to have the very people they helped treat them like they're useless junk to be thrown away.  The animals who are forced to confessed then brutally slaughtered by the dogs are another group who deserve sympathy.  The dogs themselves do; they've been taken from their mothers and brainwashed to become dogs with no sort of qualms over killing the animals who are supposed to be their 'comerades'.  Benjamin knows whats going on, and doesn't really voice it sure, but imagine the guilt of knowing that someone close to you was killed and could've had a chance if you acted sooner?  Every animal in this story deserves some sort of sympathy. I think its because each of these characters has so many identifiable traits that its hard to say they don't. 

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