What is your opinion of Benjamin in chapter 9 of Animal Farm?  

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Benjamin is portrayed as an extremely cynical, intelligent donkey. He does not get excited or outraged by the events that transpire on the farm and remains detached. Being the oldest animal on the farm, Benjamin is wise and not easily fooled or manipulated by the pigs like the other animals. For the majority of the novella, the readers perceive Benjamin as pessimistic, and they might be frustrated by his lack of motivation to alter the current political environment on the farm. While his intelligence is an admirable trait, Benjamin's lack of concern and detachment are troubling.

However, Benjamin demonstrates his loyalty and concern in chapter 9 after Boxer suffers a serious injury. Benjamin remains by his side while Boxer suffers and does his best to keep the flies off him. In the evenings, Benjamin stays in Boxer's stall and cares for him. Tragically, the pigs have Boxer sent to the knackers, and Benjamin is unable to stop it from happening. After reading the side of the van, Benjamin hurries to warn the other animals about Boxer's fate. Unfortunately, Benjamin cannot prevent Boxer from being taken to the knackers, but the readers admire his effort to save his close friend. Benjamin's actions reveal that he is a compassionate, caring individual who is loyal to Boxer and tried his best to prevent his friend from being taken to his fate.

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Benjamin shows quick thinking but his warning about Boxer comes too late. When Boxer's lung collapses, Squealer lies to the animals and tells them that Boxer will be treated in a hospital in Wilmington. However, when the horse cart arrives to take Boxer to the "hospital", Benjamin, who can read as well as the pigs, notices the side of the cart says “Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler, Willingdon, Dealer in Hides and Bone-Meal. Kennels Supplied. This means that Boxer is really being taken to the knacker where he will be slaughtered and made into dog food and glue. Benjamin figures this out and immediately tells Clover. They try to save Boxer, but they are too late. Squealer lies and says the cart used to belong to the knacker and the hospital just didn't have time to paint over the old name. Squealer says Boxer died happily but after the funeral, a van delivers another crate of whiskey. The reader can infer that Benjamin's skepticism is correct and that the pigs really did sell Boxer to the knacker.

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