In Animal Farm, what sort of person does Boxer represent?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Boxer represents the idealist, the true believer in the cause of Animalism. He is so good himself, so lacking in deceit or duplicity, that he can't imagine that others could backstab the worthy movement he is part of.

We appreciate Boxer as the moral center of this book. He is the kind of individual we call the "salt of the earth." He is hardworking, caring, dedicated, optimistic, and a good example to the other animals. The other animals look up to him and follow his lead, because they have seen his character firsthand and admire it greatly.

That is where the trouble starts. A true believer, goodhearted and pure himself, can be blind to the evil in his leaders. By throwing his weight behind evil without allowing himself to see the reality of it, Boxer leads others into being deceived by unscrupulous leaders like Napoleon. Orwell meant Boxer to represent the true, pure, goodhearted believer in the communist cause who was blinded by ideology and deceived into following a murderous tyrant like Stalin.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Boxer represents the working class, a person of no great intellect but very capable abilities in actually performing skilled labor. He spends the book serving first the revolution, and then the pigs, to the best of his ability, secure in the knowledge that his own hard work -- and by implication, the equal hard work of the other animals -- will result in better conditions for all. However, because Napoleon and the pigs view the other animals as workers for their benefit instead of equals, Boxer's work is never rewarded; when he becomes injured and unable to work, Napoleon sells him to the knackers instead of putting him out to pasture as promised. This betrayal of the working-class is common in societies that adopt a Marxist world-view; regardless of intention, one group of people always end up working for the benefit of other, non-working people, and are belittled for their effort.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial