Animal Farm Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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What animal is Benjamin in Animal Farm?

In Animal Farm, Benjamin is a donkey.

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Benjamin, the donkey, is described in chapter one. He is the oldest animal on the farm. Although he is mostly silent, he has a bad temper and a cynical personality. He never laughs. Benjamin is devoted, however, to Boxer, the massive work horse.

Benjamin generally refuses to express political opinions. Although he can read "as well as any pig," he does not seek a leadership post in the rebellion and dismisses things like the rebellion or the construction of the windmill with his cryptic saying, "Donkeys live a long time."

Benjamin is the one who understands that the men are going to blow up the windmill, and he is the first to grasp that Squealer has been changing the Seven Commandments by painting over or repainting some of the words.

Benjamin's one moment of excitement comes when a van comes to the farm to take his friend Boxer, who has grown ill, away. Although the animals have been told Boxer was going to the vet, Benjamin reads the lettering on the side of the van, and realizes that Boxer is to be slaughtered. Even though he raises a general alarm among the other animals, Boxer is taken away. Later, when Squealer explains to the animals that Boxer died at the vet's and declares the rumor that he has been slaughtered a lie, Benjamin says nothing.

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