Who Does Boxer Represent In Animal Farm

What does Boxer the horse represent in George Orwell's Animal Farm?

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Boxer is arguably the best character in George Orwell's Animal Farm because he possesses all the attributes most of us admire. He is loyal, kind-hearted, and hard-working, always willing to do more if it will benefit the common good. Of course this novella is an allegory for the people...

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Boxer is arguably the best character in George Orwell's Animal Farm because he possesses all the attributes most of us admire. He is loyal, kind-hearted, and hard-working, always willing to do more if it will benefit the common good. Of course this novella is an allegory for the people and events of a specific time in Russian history, so Boxer is more than just a good cart horse; he represents the common, working man.

Without Boxer, nothing on the farm would get accomplished as easily, and some things, like the windmill, would not be done at all if it were not for Boxer. He is not the most intelligent animal on the farm, but he is willing to question authority when he feels things have gone too far. In general, though, he tends to believe that if he works hard his efforts will eventually be recognized and he will be taken care of in his old age by the leaders who need him to work. 

Of course we know that does not happen and, when he has outlived his usefulness on the farm, he is sold to the knacker for some whiskey for the pigs.

Boxer's mottoes are inspirational to the others:

"If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right."

"I will work harder." 

"Napoleon is always right."

He is trusting (perhaps too trusting) of the pigs (the government), and when he has the chance to change things he does not even realize it. He has one of his hooves on Napoleon's dogs, unwilling to believe the creature could have been about to attack him; if he had taken action then, everything would have changed for the animals under the pigs' oppressive rule. Instead he consults Napoleon and lets the dog go free.

Boxer represents the people who do what they should for themselves and others but is mistreated by the very government that uses his strength and work to become an oppressive entity.

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Boxer represents the Revolution's true believer. He is not terribly intelligent but he is good hearted and willing to work very hard for the cause. He represents the kind of people in real life who are idealistically committed to a larger cause and for that reason earn the respect and admiration of others.

Because Boxer has such a strong reputation with the other animals, who have seen up close the way he has sacrificed himself to work for the common good of Animal Farm, his endorsement of Napoleon goes a long way towards sealing Napoleon's power. When he says "Napoleon is always right," the other animals lay aside their doubts.

Boxer, however, has decided Napoleon is right only because he doesn't want to face his worry and uneasiness about whether Napoleon is going to betray the ideals of the Rebellion. It is simply easier for Boxer to put blinders on and pretend everything is all right. In this way, he is like the supporters and enablers of Stalin who believed so much in the ideals of socialism they were willing to look the other way and deny the atrocities that Stalin perpetrated.

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Boxer represents the everyman worker who believes in the message and works hard to achieve the new order’s goals.

Boxer is the hard working workhorse.  He is the strongest animal on the farm, and universally respected and loved.  Boxer believes in Animal Farm, and trusts Napoleon.  His answer to anything and everything is to work harder. 

And from then on he adopted the maxim, `Napoleon is always right,' in addition to his private motto of `I will work harder.' (ch 5)

Boxer works very hard to help build the windmill, and never questions anything Napoleon suggests.  Despite this, Napoleon has him sent to the butcher when he is unable to work.  Although he supports Napoleon, Napoleon never supports him.

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Boxer, the hard working, loyal horse who stands by Napoleon and believes in his lies is a representation of the individual who accepted the propaganda from the leaders in Russia who told the people that life would be better for everyone after the Czar was gone.

After the Czar was gone, Lenin tried to institute a classless society, where everyone was equal.  Like in Animal Farm, when the animals take over the farm, getting rid of Mr. Jones, they believe that they will all benefit from the new leadership.  And, just like in Russia, the new leadership, Lenin, then Stalin, betray the people and their lives got harder, not better and the small elite class or rulers that emerged gained power and lived luxurious lives, while the peasants struggled to survive.

Just like in Russia, when Stalin staged the Great Purge, and millions of innocent people were executed, tortured or sent to Siberia, Boxer, is betrayed by Napoleon.  No animal is safe on the farm, clearly, Boxer, who was so loyal and worked so hard and was always willing to work harder, should be rewarded for his life of labor. 

He is therefore, a symbol of the baseless cruelty and indifference of Napoleon, who does not recognize the value of the devotion that he demanded from the animals and discards Boxer when he can no longer work.

 Clearly, absolute obedience does not protect you, all promises are lies, you have no individual worth, that is the message.

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Boxer represents the working class, who unquestioningly accept their downtrodden position in society.  Never doubting that the farm's leaders are right and have his best interests in mind, Boxer labors tirelessly in the belief that if he works hard enough, he will eventually get ahead. 

Boxer is a truly good person at heart.  As demonstrated by his remorse when he stuns the stableboy with his hooves during the Battle of Cowshed, Boxer has empathy for others and a great respect for life.  Boxer is not terribly intelligent and is not a deep thinker; he is the type of character who does what he is told, submitting to authority and repeating party slogans without question.  The windmill, the great triumph of the Animal Farm dystopia, is built upon his labor, but Boxer is not able to enjoy its benefits.  His long hours of toil and deprivation take a toll on his health, and when he is unable to work anymore, he is sent by the very institutions he so faithfully served to the slaughterer.

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The name “Boxer” may be referring to the Boxer Rebellion in China, which occurred in the latter part of the 19th century, when the peasants revolted against the foreigners that were controlling and destroying the Chinese economy. Orwell would be making an ironic commentary, as Boxer the horse continued to labor longer and harder for the interests of the ruling class, ultimately to his own detriment.

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