Let’s Talk… Boxer the Horse

So if you haven’t ever read it Boxer is the horse from George Orwell’s novel “Animal Farm”, it is a satirical piece looking at Stalinism and how it just doesn’t work because there is always someone who will be in charge and will take advantage of those below them.

Whilst I’d always heard about the book and the message people tend to talk a lot about the pigs and the underlying message. I personally want to look at the real hero in my opinion of the entire story and that is Boxer the Horse.

Boxer isn’t very smart, when the Pigs start teaching the animals how to read and write Boxer was only ever able to learn A B C D, if he ever learnt E F G H he had already forgotten A B C D. Thus he could never learn the Commandments by heart.

For Boxer his worth was in his impeccable work ethic. He’d be woken up half hour before anyone else so that he could get straight to work, he was the rock to the entire group when food was scarce and work was hard, pulling through with his maxim “I must work harder”. He was a simple character but hard working and extremely loyal which brought his second Maxim of “Napoleon is always right” a Maxim I’m pretty sure was the end of him. He believed in the Windmill, he believed in the Rebellion and he worked his life away for it. He was a hero in the Battle of the Cowshed, he was a hero in the Battle of the Windmill and died trying to bring these dreams to fruition.

Why does this make him the most important character in my opinion?

How many of us go to work and earn just enough to live off of? Every day we go to work just to get money to pay bills and make sure we have enough food to live with. Of course we have other luxuries, we aren’t anywhere near as poor off as the animals in the story, but it is hard and you look at what you do and see little reward for it. Still every day you go in, every day you work your hardest, every day you break your spirit and your back doing the same things even if life isn’t getting better or the work seems to get harder. Overtime? You’ll take it for that extra few pennies at the end of the month. Having to do three jobs at once? You’ll do it to show that you are valuable to those above.

Boxer in his way is all of us.

Whilst he was the backbone of the building of the Windmill, the animal all others looked too for their own strength, he was just going out and doing his job because that was what he needed to do. If food was scarce, if the work was hard it didn’t matter because it wouldn’t get better until the Windmill was finished. Not only that but Napoleon wanted him to do it, his leader, his boss, wanted him to work hard and you always have to do what your boss wants if you want to carry on living the life you had.

It is sad as the memories of how they WERE treated fade, as the commandments were changed, history was rewritten and life went back to being what it had been, sometimes even worse, then when Jones was in charge Boxer never changed his mind.

Like the majority of the working population the animals on the farm including Boxer just didn’t have the smarts, didn’t have the belief in themselves to stand up for themselves or do things for themselves. Boxer was the actual perfect leader for the farm after the Rebellion, not because of his smarts or because he had good ideas but instead because of his work ethic and his pure hearted belief in the Rebellion and its original and true meaning. He wasn’t cruel, I don’t think he had the capacity to be cruel, he just wanted what was best for his comrades. Whilst we never got to see what it was that Snowball would have done if he had been kept in the fold or been able to get his ideals over and beat Napoleon, the pigs were out for themselves for the majority of the story, it was the entire POINT of the story that given power and the ability to out think others someone was always going to rise to the top and take advantage of those less fortunate then them, if Boxer had even the smallest amount of belief in himself he’d have been able to lead the Farm to a probably nicer resolution then they did end up with.

So many people in the retail sector just don’t have the belief in themselves. Some people just don’t know what they want to do with themselves, they are stuck in a rut working hard for a life they don’t even understand or have any ideas where it is leading. Like Boxer they have the work ethic and the kindness that would make them great leaders but they lack belief in themselves or just don’t have that little something others do that can lead them onto greatness.

Boxer is the champion of the working classes and for that he has become in one reading of the book my absolute favourite character of all time. He is one of the most important characters and his death actually moved me to tears, the fact that even his undying loyalty to Napoleon wasn’t enough to earn him retirement and a nice ending but instead was used for profit was enough to make me have a nightmare about dead horses.


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