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 simple-mindedness and gullibility, Boxer is an interesting and complex character used by Orwell to show how leaders, conservative and revolutionary alike, cruelly exploit the working class masses for their own advantage.
In Animal Farm, the role of Boxer exemplifies the abused and manipulated Russian working class. He is one of those working people who never complains about their work and never questions the authority of the state. Boxer is a perfect example of a leader's ideal disciple because of his gullibility, hardworking demeanor and his loyalty to his superiors. One of his mottos, "Napoleon is always right," demonstrates his devotion to Napoleon.
Even though he is an older horse, Boxer is physically strong, hardworking and maintains a strong sense of determination which is demonstrated through his other main quote, “I will work harder”. During the building of the windmill, Boxer works extremely hard, and often over night time for an hour or two whilst the other animals are asleep. Even in times of adversity, Boxer continues to display his characteristics of determination and willingness. For example, when the “Battle of the Windmill” occurs and the windmill has been destroyed by Frederick and his men from Pinchfield Farm,...
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