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I find Snowball to be the most intelligent and resourceful member of the animals on Manor Farm. His actions in the first battle with the humans are both heroic and militarily sound, and he treats the other animals more fairly than any other of the pigs. He spends most of his time trying to educate the other animals, and his plans for the windmill show a wise view of technology and an eye for the future. He is also the best organizer, and he recognizes the best uses for production from the various animal groups.
For me, the character that has won my support the most is Boxer, the horse. I find him sympathetic because he is such a hard worker and is so honest.
Of the characters that we actually get to see a lot. Boxer is pretty much the only one who is not at all selfish. So many of the other characters are much more interested in getting things for themselves rather than in helping their society as a whole. By contrast, Boxer is very selfless. He works so hard to try to improve the society. I feel sorry for him because of how hard he works and how much he believes in this revolution even though his hopes will come to nothing.
Boxer was the character that I found the most appealing. There is so much inherent sadness within him and his relentless spirit of work and selflessness is what is manipulated by Boxer. I cannot seem to shake him as a character that speaks volumes about the glory and curse of consciousness. That being said, I think that over time I have appreciated an understanding for Benjamin. I like the aspect that he is the alienated misanthrope that is convinced that nothing will change. Yet, in a moment of realization, he is moved to action and seeks to help out someone, his friend, in need. He understands the futility of what he does and yet, he does it. In this respect, I find him perhaps even more sad than Boxer. I liken Benjamin to a sad version of Rick Blaine from "Casablanca." There are parallels. The cynic who speaks of fruitlessness of human action, the belief that the "system is rigged," and the idea that despite all of this, there is some calling that compels them to action and to believe. The difference would be that Rick's acts are probably more successful than Benjamin's.
My favorite character is Benjamin the donkey. He is very intelligent and other than the pigs he is the only animal who is literate. He is very sardonic and often makes cryptic remarks, the best one being "donkeys live a long time." He is very close to Boxer the hardworking and naive horse. It is Benjamin who reads the lettering on the side of the van which takes away Boxer to the slaughter house. Benjamin represents the apathetic and resigned section of the Russian public who were convinced that it would be impossible to bring about any positive change for the better. Scholars and critics have remarked about the similarities between Benjamin and Orwell himself.
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