Describe a conflict faced by a character or individual in a written text you have studied.
Explain how the author conveyed the conflict.
Dystopian texts and novels portray how common it is for a character or person to have a conflict with themselves. They highlight the grim truth that we can be our own worst enemies, and not even realize it. This is evident throughout George Orwell’s 1945 text “Animal Farm” which conveys the conflict that horse Boxer faces with himself. Boxer’s conflict is shown in the text by George Orwell’s use of language features and how Boxer’s character is portrayed.
George Orwell’s 1945 text “Animal Farm” is an allegorical text about the rise to power of totalitarian leader Joseph Stalin (represented by Napoleon) in the Russian Revolution. It highlights the ideas of exploitation, lack of knowledge, and corruption.
Firstly, the conflict between Boxer and himself is conveyed by the author through the quote “I will work harder." This is one of Boxer’s mottos or maxims that he repeats several times throughout the novel. The adjective ‘harder’ in the phrase highlights how Boxer always pushed himself to and worked at his maximum potential, which is emphasised through Boxer’s repetition of the phrase. While this shows his good work ethic and dedication, it is due to this attitude that he has his downfall. Tyrannical farm ruler Napoleon took advantage of Boxer’s strength and dedication and conditioned him to work tirelessly on the farm. However because of Boxer’s hard working personality he didn’t see that he was being exploited and willingly did so. This caused Boxer to blame himself whenever an incident happened on the farm, and he then vowed to work harder. Because he continuously overworked himself he gradually became weaker and weaker as he aged. Napoleon and the pigs eventually decide to send Boxer to a horse executioner as he was no longer useful to the farms growth. This ultimately highlights how Boxer’s internal conflict with himself and his constant devotion to work caused him to overwork himself and be easily exploited, in the end resulting in his death.
Secondly, Boxer’s conflict with himself is conveyed by George Orwell through the use of preposition. Another of Boxer’s mottos, “Napoloen is always right” utilizes the preposition ‘always’ to show how how Boxer’s unwavering loyalty and devotion to Napoleon made him easy to exploit. It highlights the naivety of his character that he had such strong loyalty to Napoleon and would never doubt him no matter what. Because of Boxer’s clouded judgement and lack of knowledge he was prone to being manipulated and brainwashed. Boxer’s conflict with himself and his own traits is evident here.
Thridly, Boxer’s conflict with himself is portrayed by the author through the quote “Once again Clover and Benjamin warned him to take care of his health but Boxer paid no attention”. Orwell uses irony here as boxers neglection of his health for the sake of the farm’s progression led to his downfall - his death. Boxer constantly fought against his will to keep working, which he always gave in to. This meant he paid no regard to his health as he saw the farms growth and progression as more important. This also highlights Boxer’s inability to see his power, as he could have used his strength to overthrow napoleon but he was too brainwashed to see that, due to his lack of knowledge. Instead he overworked himself and wasted his strength on something that ultimately resulted in the opposite of his motives and what he was working towards, no one but Napoleon being to gain.
In conclusion, Boxer’s conflict with himself was conveyed by the author through the use of language features such as repetition, prepositions, irony, and dialogue. It highlights how Boxer struggled with his own lack of knowledge, naivety, and overworking personality. These traits of himself make him easy to exploit/manipulate which supports Napoleon’s rule of the farm. This is extremely significant as Napoleon is an allegory for the 1945 political leader Joseph Stalin in the Russian Revolution.