Animal Farm Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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What comment does Benjamin the donkey make that shows his cynicism and bad temper in "Animal Farm"?

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There are many things that Benjamin says throughout the novel to illustrate his negativity and unpleasant, taciturn temperament. We learn about this early in the book. In chapter one he is described as bad tempered and only talks when he wants to make a cynical remark. He is purported to have said, for example, that God had given him a tail to keep the flies off but that he would just as much have preferred no tail and no flies. His statement means that he does not see the benefit in anything, no matter how good it may seem. 

The quote is significant in that it indicates that Benjamin is unaffected by the events around him. He stands aloof and only does what is necessary. He seldom comments about the changes in the commandments or the pigs adopting human characteristics. He even refuses to comment about the wholesale slaughter of so-called traitors by Napoleon 's dogs. In this instance, Clover asks him to read the commandment about the killing of animals,...

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