Benjamin (a donkey)
Benjamin is "the oldest animal on the farm and the worst tempered. He seldom talked, and when he did, it was usually to make some cynical remark" (1.3). (Think Eeyore, but smarter.)
Despite his nasty temper, Benjamin knows what's up. After the rebellion, the other animals want to know what Benjamin thinks of the new organization of Animal Farm. The only thing that he'll say is, "Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey" (3.4). Later, he rolls his eyes about everyone's windmill enthusiasm. Why? Again, because "donkeys live a long time" (6.17). You could say that Benjamin has long-term vision: unlike anyone else, he remembers the past and thinks about the future, so he doesn't bother getting worked up over what he sees as passing phases or fads.
We Can't All, and Some of Us Don't
Levelheaded, wise, and detached: Benjamin sounds like he'd be a great leader. But he's not. He just refuses to act, even if he thinks (or knows) that the animals are making a really dumb decision. We get the sense that he sees all actions (including his own) as pointless and thinks it's funny. When he realizes that the humans are going to blow up the windmill, the narrator tells us, "Slowly, and with an air of almost amusement, Benjamin nodded his long muzzle" (8.19). Part of Benjamin seems to enjoy the fact that the windmill is going to come crashing down.
But there's a price to all this hipster detachment. After Boxer is injured, you'd think that Benjamin could figure out that "We're going to take Boxer to a hospital" really means "We're going to send Boxer to the glue factory"—but he doesn't, or, if he does, he doesn't bother doing anything about. Only when Boxer is actually being taken away does Benjamin come running to alert the other animals; "it was the first time that they had ever seen Benjamin excited—indeed it was the first time that anyone had ever seen him gallop" (9.16).
Boxer's death doesn't exactly cheer up the old donkey. In fact, he's "more morose and taciturn than ever" (10.2). When the other animals want to know whether things were better before or after the rebellion, he replies with a characteristically cynical answer, "things never had been, nor ever could be much better or much worse—hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he said, the unalterable law of life" (10.6). Does Benjamin blame himself? Does he think that if he'd spoken up sooner, none of this would have happened?
Maybe—especially if you think (like Morris Dickinson) that Benjamin has a touch of Orwell in him. We'd buy it: he's definitely got the philosophical and distant air that Orwell's narrator adopts. But there's a crucial difference. Orwell speaks out against the injustices he sees, instead of just letting them unfold for his own twisted sense of humor.Benjamin (a donkey) Timeline
The Animal Farm RebellionGet Your
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Whitney L. June 7, 2012 The Animal Farm Rebellion George Orwell’s fiction novel, Animal Farm, is an allegory because its events and characters represent key events and people from the Russian Revolution of 1917. An allegory is a work in which it has two meanings, a literal one, and a symbolic one. Animal Farm is basically a retold story of communism in the setting of a farm. In the beginning, the wise boar, Old Major, talks of the rebellion. The other animals get convinced that what he speaks of is the truth. After he dies, the animals take over the farm and run off the owner, Mr. Jones.
They create their own government and eventually Napoleon, one of the pigs, gets drunk with power and he ends up becoming like the first owner, Mr. Jones. The rebellion was never completely successful. It was a complete downfall in which not many of the animals ended up surviving. Many characteristics of Napoleon represent Joseph Stalin. Both of them always got their way. They found that the only way to control people was to kill them. At first, Napoleon made the law that “No animal shall kill any other animal” (Orwell 24). They thought that all animals should be treated as equals.
Napoleon later changed the law and tricked the animals into thinking he was good. The new commandment stated “No animal shall kill any other animal, without cause” (Orwell 91). Napoleon would make up excuses and tell the animals that everything was Snowball’s fault. When any animal rebelled against Napoleon, they were killed and their wrong-doing was blamed on Snowball. Joseph Stalin was very controlling too. He wanted people dead. He believed that people were the cause of everything that went wrong with his plans. As in his words “Death is the solution to all problems.
No man – no problem” (Stalin 2). He was just like Napoleon. He wanted people dead so that he would always be the one in control. Events from Animal Farm represent key events from the Russian Revolution. The windmill was introduced by Snowball. He wanted the animals to help build it so that after it was done, they would only have to work 3 days a week instead of every day. Orwell writes that Snowball tells the animals the windmill could be finished if they all worked with each other. “He maintained that it could all be done in a year” (Orwell 50). After Napoleon has the dogs chase
Snowball off the farm, he agrees to go through with the plan of the windmill, claiming that it was his plan all along. “The windmill was, in fact, Napoleon’s own creation” explains Squealer (Orwell 57). Stalin’s five year plans are symbolized as the windmill. The purpose of the plans was to improve the Soviet industry and then allow the workers to shorten their work-week. Even if someone did not like Stalin, they could not say anything bad about him. “Nobody was allowed to condemn or criticize the five year plans as they were Stalin’s idea” (Chris Trueman 3). Boxer, one of the horses had two personal mottos for himself. I will work harder! ” (Orwell 29) and “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right” (Orwell 56). In the novel, he represents the tricked communist supporters of Stalin. Stalin was believed and trusted by many people because he was a communist. Boxer wanted to help the farm to fulfill Old Major’s dream of that the Revolution should have been. From what Boxer saw, he believed that Napoleon was doing the right thing for Animal Farm. He ended up working himself too hard and after all Boxer had done for Napoleon and the farm, Napoleon tricked boxer and said they were taking him to the vet, but he was actually being taken to slaughter.
Joseph Stalin did relatively the same thing to his followers. He worked them too hard and he didn’t care one bit about them. “It did not matter if they lived or died – only that the task was completed” (Chris Trueman 3). He killed innocent people only because they disobeyed him, he did not like them, or simply because he felt like it. Orwell wrote Animal Farm based on the Russian Revolution. The novel is a political allegory and expresses how both Stalin and Napoleon became failures because they both abused their power.
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The characters show a great deal of resemblance to the leaders and other people that were involved in the Russian Revolution. The revolutions, in both cases, eventually became corrupted and turned into an epic disaster. Not very many people survived and not much good came to be from it. ? Works Cited “Joseph Stalin Quotes. ” BrainyQuote. BrainyQuote, n. d. Web. 5 June 2012. . Orwell, George. Animal Farm. London: Harcourt Press, 1946. Print. Trueman, Chris. “Stalin. ” History Learning Site. HistoryLearningSite. co. uk, n. d. Web. 5 June 2012. .
Author: Brandon Johnson
The Animal Farm Rebellion
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