Animal Farm - Character Analysis- Boxer the Horse
Empathy can be defined as ‘the power of identifying oneself mentally and emotionally with a person or object’. When reading novels, we are able to relate to some characters through similar experiences and emotions and so these characters often invite our understanding and empathy. In George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm, Boxer the horse invites our empathy. We empathise with Boxer and the way in which the pig Napoleon, the leader of Animal Farm, takes advantage of his good-natured personality and manipulates him into following all orders. Boxer is unaware of the fact that he is being taken advantage of and that Napoleon has forced him into being the main labourer in the long, strenuous construction of the windmill. Despite his apparent
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Clover treats Boxer’s split hoof with poultices of herbs every night whilst Benjamin also comforts him and encourages him to work less due to his old age. Boxer was waiting for the day that he and Benjamin could retire and spend their days together relaxing in the small separate paddock that had been put aside as a place of rest for those who were getting old and past their working days. This simple aspiration, and the responder’s knowledge that it will never come to fruition, arouses sympathy for Boxer.
Boxer undergoes many upsetting experiences in the novel, during all of which he displays his typically courageous and determined personality. One of his first memorable experiences was in the “Battle of the Cowshed” when Mr. Jones with his men and half a dozen other men from both Pinchfield and Foxwood began to move in, declaring war against the animals. During the ferocious battle, Boxer trampled a stable-lad from Foxwood on the head, leaving him lifeless in the mud. When the battle had ended, what Boxer had done properly sunk in and he was devastated. He was feeling a strong sense of remorse over the killing and expressed this to Snowball. Boxer sadly cried to Snowball, “I have no wish to take life, not even human life.” This statement perfectly expresses Boxer’s good-natured personality and the concern he has for others.
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