What do Boxer's and Mollie's actions at the Battle of the Cowshed show about them?by actions I mean, what does it show about their character? Cowardley? Brave? etc...

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Boxer is one of the heroes of the Battle of the Cowshed as he reared up and struck out with his hoofs.  The first one he hits is a person, no more than a boy, whom he hits so hard, the young man falls to the ground as if dead.  The sight of his powerful blows though, made the people pause allowing for the other animals to charge and run the people off the farm.  Afterwards, Boxer is very sad that he killed the young man. He cries and says he has no wish to take human life. Even after Snowball reminded him that this was war and in war, it was sometimes necessary to take the lives of others, Boxer repeats that he does not want to take a life, not even the life of his enemy.  During the Battle of the Cowshed, Mollie was noticeably missing.  At first the other animals feared something bad had happened to her, such as a kidnapping.  She was found, however, hiding in her stall.  She'd gone there as soon as the battle started.  This says a great deal about the personalities of the two characters.  Boxer is loyal, hard-working, and selfless.  He is not above putting himself in harm's way if it is for the betterment of his fellow beings.  Yet, he is also respectful of one's right to life. He is not brutal and he does not relish fighting.  He sees fighting simply as the only means to an end sometimes.  Mollie, on the other hand, is a coward.  She wants the benefits of others' sacrifice so that she can live in comfort.  She wants others to do the dirty work for her because she feels above those who do the work.  Orwell drew these characters, as are most of the others, as stereotypes.  Boxer is the average good citizen and soldier.  He does what is asked of him because he knows it's for everyone's benefit in the long run, even if it means sacrifice on his part.  He understands that sometimes, in order to get something, one has to work hard and give of oneself.  Mollie represents the typical selfish citizen, especially the upper class.  This group is typified by Orwell as not wanting to do the dirty work to get a good life for themselves.  They aren't willing to sacrifice, but they want to reap the benefits of those who do make all sacrifices, including the ultimate one.

pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Boxer and Mollie's actions at the Battle of Cowshed represent their opinion and commitment to the rebellion and its aftermath.

Boxer is very committed to the rebellion, he is a hard worker, believes strongly in the ideas of animalism and does not question the authority of those in charge.  He works harder than the other animals, accepting that this is his fate, his contribution to the cause.  Boxer trusts that the social order that is established at Animal Farm will in fact bring about the opportunity for him to retire one day and graze at leisure. 

He remains committed to this belief even when he is hauled away in an ambulance to the glue factory or slaughter house.

Mollie exhibits her lack of interest in the rebellion, the organization of the farm, working on the farm or participating in any activities that are dangerous.  By her absence at the struggle with the humans, Mollie's feelings are clear, she wants her old life back, or some form of it, to be taken care of by a human, to have her mane brushed and fixed with pretty ribbons and to eat her lump sugar.

 In fact it is not long after that Mollie is taken off the farm by another human and is seen pulling a carriage.