Why does Orwell choose to call Boxer and Clover the pigs' most faithful disciples?

In Animal Farm, Orwell chose to call Boxer and Clover the pigs' most faithful disciples because they are consistently the strongest supporters of Napoleon and his regime. They do not think for themselves, and they absorb everything that the regime tells them before passing it on to the other animals by way of simple arguments.

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Considering that Animal Farm is an allegory (or "Fairy Story" to use Orwell's label at the beginning of the book) for the Russian Revolution, each of the animals represents a real-life human. Sometimes, as in the case of Napoleon representing Josef Stalin, these correlations are to a specific historical...

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Considering that Animal Farm is an allegory (or "Fairy Story" to use Orwell's label at the beginning of the book) for the Russian Revolution, each of the animals represents a real-life human. Sometimes, as in the case of Napoleon representing Josef Stalin, these correlations are to a specific historical figure. However, in the case of the horses, they represent a group of people- the Soviet working class.

Orwell is suggesting that the horses (working class) were strong and fiercely loyal, though perhaps not as educated or as intelligent as some of the other trades of classes of citizens (the pigs, specifically) which allowed the horses to be easily manipulated and literally worked to death for the benefit of their leaders, the pigs.

Orwell writes:

"Boxer was the admiration of everybody. He had been a hard worker even in Jones's time, but now he seemed more like three horses than one; there were days when the entire work of the farm seemed to rest on his mighty shoulders. From morning to night he was pushing and pulling, always at the spot where the work was hardest. He had made an arrangement with one of the cockerels to call him in the mornings half an hour earlier than anyone else, and would put in some volunteer labour at whatever seemed to be most needed, before the regular day's work began. His answer to every problem, very setback, was `I will work harder!' which he had adopted as his personal motto" (11-12).

And later, Boxer adopts a second motto to show his deep allegiance to the leaders of Animalism, to which he has devoted himself:

"Boxer, who had now had time to think things over, voiced the general feeling by saying: `If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right.' And from then on he adopted the maxim, `Napoleon is always right,' in addition to his private motto of `I will work harder'" (Orwell 22).

Napoleon is able to use Boxer's fierce loyalty against him by relying on Boxer's work ethic and strength to complete great tasks like building the windmill, and when Boxer finally collapses, rather than allowing him to retire to a field as promised, Napoleon sells Boxer to the "knacker" (glue-maker) for a case of whiskey.

This literal selling out in the novel metaphorically represents how the Russian Revolution was fought and the Soviet Union was built on the backs of the working class who did not receive exactly what they were promised by Stalin and Soviet leaders.

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In Animal Farm, the two cart-horses, Boxer and Clover, are allegorical figures representing the Soviet working class under Stalin. Although workers suffered appallingly under a regime that was supposed to represent their interests, they nonetheless remained remarkably loyal to the Soviet Communist Party throughout all the famines, the purges, and the brutal repression that characterized Stalin's despotic regime.

Boxer and Clover are consistently the most fanatical supporters of Napoleon and his regime. It is not for nothing that they are described as the regime's most faithful disciples. No matter what happens on the farm, no matter how many things go wrong, or how many animals die due to famine or repression, Boxer and Clover can always be counted on to stay loyal to the party line.

What makes them particularly useful to the regime is that they have great difficulty in thinking for themselves. This means that Napoleon and the pigs essentially do their thinking for them. Boxer and Clover have willingly accepted the pigs as their teachers, and once they've absorbed what they've been taught, they pass on the party line to the other animals by way of simple arguments. In that sense, the two shire-horses act as intermediaries between the regime and the other animals.

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I think that Orwell's choice of language is significant in his description of Boxer and Clover.  They demonstrate themselves to be the most faithful in the promises and possibilities to the Revolution.  They never think of their own self or the selfishness of others.  Instead, both approach the Revolution with a sense of hope and optimism that is almost blind in its view.  For Orwell, both Boxer and Orwell represent the revolution's "most faithful disciple" primarily because they never question any of its teachings.  When Boxer hears Snowball talking of how clothes are remnants of humans and should be shed, he throws the hat on his head meant to kept the flies and sun out on the fire.  After seeing Napoloeon's bloodbath to consolidate his own power, Clover still believes that the revolution is still being practiced and that it is still alive.  The reality is that both horses do not question what is happening around them because of their zeal and faith in the promises and possibilities of the revolution.  Even though Boxer is the strongest horse, he never questions what is happening in the name of the Revolution.  Even though Clover has earned the love and trust of the animals on the farm, she never questions the execution of political life after the Revolution.  It is in this lack of questioning and willingness to accept anything in its name that Orwell chooses to call both the most faithful disciples of the revolution.  This helps to convey their sense of trust, but also in how easy it was to manipulate individuals like them by those in the position of power.

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I think that Orwell's designation of Clover and Boxer as the "most faithful disciples" to the pigs is a bit of sarcasm on his part.  He seeks to bring out how much obedience and silence helps to empower the aggressors that might exist in the form of government.  Boxer and Clover never raise question to what the pigs do, even when it pricks at their conscience.  Boxer simply internalizes all of this with his maxims of "Comrade Napoleon is always right" and "I must work harder."  In doing so, Boxer lays the groundwork for an incredible amount of abuse that Napoleon can perpetrate.  Clover realizes that what is happening cannot be right, but when she asks Muriel to read the commandments, she is placated in that she believes that if the written word sanctions it, then the practices of the pig government must be acceptable.  In this, Orwell seeks to make a point about obedience to a government or any controlling entity that they know is wrong.  Clover and Boxer have no political agenda and seek only to further the cause of Animalism.  Yet, in not raising questions, Orwell argues that Clover and Boxer help the pigs accomplish the type of government that benefits only they and the dogs and not the other animals.  Through their blind obedience and lack of questioning, Boxer and Clover become the "most faithful disciples" of the pigs.

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