Benjamin in Animal Farm

The tale of Animal Farm by George Orwell is an enjoyable fable of a farm run by its animals. However, this seemingly innocuous account of talkative animals and their farm is laced with allegories to make the reader delve deeper into their meaning and to understand what each character represents. Though this ”fairy tale” holds enjoyment at face value, Orwell includes each specific character for a good reason and to reflect various characteristics of human nature, The character Benjamin is a prototypical example of how Orwell wants the reader not to act like in society.

Although Benjamin is astute, compliant, and cognizant of the abusive leadership tactics of the pigs, he fails to act to better the society in which he exists. Instead of speaking up and telling the other animals of the abuse of power, Benjamin simply remains an apathetic bystander.

In fact, Benjamin could have even prevented deaths of his fellow farm animals or the suppression of the animals’ basic rights if he had not been so disinterested .

in my own life, I strive to be unlike Benjamin. Being conscious of abuse of power and subversive behaviour will always prompt me to action. Both at school and in athletics, I strive to achieve harmony and equality. By both recognizing and preventing the abuse of power in todays society, a true “utopian” country could exist. Indifference as exemplified by Benjamin will only lead to further injustice, Benjamin‘s lack of action adversely affects his friends and fellow farm animals on numerous occasions.

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One example of this is when Benjamin fails to alert the other farm animals about the alcohol incident.

The other animals are baffled why Squealer would be repainting the commandments, “a strange incident which hardly anyone was able to understand. One night at about twelve o’clock there was a loud crash in the yard….none of the animals could form any idea as to what this meant except old Benjamin, who nodded his muzzle with a knowing air, and seemed to understand, but would say nothing” Later in the chapter, Muriel notices that the commandment states “to excess,” concluding that the last part of the commandment must have slipped her mind, Benjamin is cognizant that the pigs cherish alcohol and knows that they can change or modify the rules at will, yet mentions nothing to the others. He is self— centered and rather than looking out for the wellbeing of the general farm population, he keeps to himself. Another example where Benjamin actions could have benefited the farm is when he failed to prevent the mass murder in chapter seven.

Benjamin is known to “express no opinion… donkeys live along time. None of you have seen a dead donkey.“ Benjamin uses this cynical quote to express his narcissistic way. He expresses no opinion on the rebellion or leaders. This in action indirectly causes the murder of numerous farm animals as he could have educated the others on the abuse of power. Lastly, Benjamin is a intelligent character and remembers numerous events in the farm’s history, including before the revolution. When Squealer reads statistics on the farm’s productivity and defames events before the revolution, the others have no historical basis to compare it to other than Squealer‘s word. Benjamin has lived a long time and has remembered past events. Under the current regime, the animals actually work the hardest and are rewarded with the least amount food. Benjamin could have informed others of the current abuse of power and inequality, yet he continues to have apathy to the inequality. In conclusion. On/vell creates Benjamins character to reflect those who are knowledgeable yet apathetic to injustices in society.

In my life. I try to follow a path completely dissimilar to Benjamin‘s. I strive to use my capabilities to recognize injustice and actually be proactive to mediate problems. One example of this is when I work with challenged people at the Wilton Y. Many people. including at our school, make fun of those with special needs. Instead of being a bystander and let those people get taken advantage of, I stand up for what is right and stop bullying of this group. I even try to help them socially in organizing activities for them at the YMCA on Friday evenings. Another way this concept is applicable to my life is when an individual at a lunch table or social event is ganged up on verbally. Instead of letting a person getting “made fun of,” I try to be supportive of that person.

There only needs to be one person to stop the bullying. Just like in Animal Farm, Benjamin was the one individual who was intelligent enough to educate the others of the disparity of power.. Contrary to Benjamin‘s beliefs and as proven in my own life. one person can make a positive change in the lives of others using knowledge and being proactive when recognizing something is unjust, Animal Farm by George OnNell is filled with hidden messages and lessons for the reader. Each animal in the novel is carefully created to represent certain characteristics of humans which represent both good and evil. Specifically.

Benjamin represents the individual who despite having the capacity to recognize evil and potentially change it to benefit society as a whole. he simply remains self centered and apathetic. The character displays to the reader how inaction can lead to harm of humanity. Personally, I try to shun people similar to Benjamin. In my life, I always try to recognize and speak up if I feel if a situation is unjust. I believe that I have the capacity to catalyze change for the better. Sitting idle while recognizing abuse of power is heinous and Orwell wants the reader to recognize this in creating Benjamin.

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Benjamin in Animal Farm. (2022, Nov 18). Retrieved from

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