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

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.