What role does Boxer play in 'Animal Farm', and why does Napoleon feel so threatened by him?
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3. What role does Boxer play in 'Animal Farm', and why does Napoleon feel so threatened by him? Boxer was George Orwell's version of the Russian Stakonovites. The Stakonovites were renowned in the USSR as role models because of the effort and hours that they put into their work. They were the most reliable and strongest workers, often working twice as long as the other workers were. The Stakonovites believed that by working harder, their problems would be eliminated. However, later on Alexei Stakhanov suffered from overwork, understandably due to his immense effort. He was able to mine a hundred and two tonnes of coal in one shift while the average for someone else would've been six or seven tonnes of coal.
His strength was 'equal to that of all the rest of the animals put together.' All the animals admired him for his strength and his achievement. Boxer was the most hardworking of all the animals; he woke up earlier than any of the other animals and stayed out working later than anyone else works. Boxer made arrangements with one of the cockerels to call him half an hour earlier than anyone else in the mornings. Then later on he arranged the cockerels to call him three-quarters of an hour earlier instead. After the execution of the animals that had supposedly leagued themselves with Snowball, Boxer decided to wake up a full hour earlier.
However, Boxer was not afraid of the dogs. Instead of cowering or running away, Boxer pinned one of the dogs down on the ground, the dog 'shrieked for mercy' and the other two fled. Boxer could have crushed the dog to death; nevertheless, he was loyal to Napoleon and looked at him for instructions. The dog was released and slunk away. This showed that the dogs did not intimidate Boxer as they did the other animals, and the other animals probably admired him even more for that. Napoleon needed the sense of fear in the animals for his rule to continue. Squealer's speeches were met with comments from a confused Boxer. Thus possibly raising questions in the animals themselves.
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