What does Boxer do to the stable lad during the battle?

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noahvox2 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

George Orwell's Animal Farm, originally published in 1945, is a novella that takes an allegorical look at Russian communism and explores ways in which its ideals might become corrupted. In the second chapter of Animal Farm, the animals of Manor Farm overthrow their human masters and take over the farm. The battle is over in a matter of minutes and is virtually bloodless:

After only a moment or two they gave up trying to defend themselves and took to their heels. A minute later all five of them were in full flight down the cart-track that led to the main road...

As time goes on, the ideals that prompt their revolution become corrupted. In Chapter 4, the human beings return and try to recapture the farm. This time, though, the battle is a bloody one as the humans bring guns with them. The animals strike back with all the fury they can muster and the noble horse Boxer ends up killing a stable-boy:

the most terrifying spectacle of all was Boxer, rearing up on his hind legs and striking out with his great iron-shod hoofs like a stallion. His very first blow took a stable-lad from Foxwood on the skull and stretched him lifeless in the mud.

After Boxer realizes that the boy is dead, he feels tremendous remorse, but the damage is done. Snowball, however, tries to console him with the harsh comment that "War is war. The only good human being is a dead one." Still, the tearful Boxer cannot be consoled.

amne | Student

He knocks him out but thinks that he killed him. After the animals looked for Mollie who disappeared they found out that the stable lad was only unconscious but had ran away when he woke up.