As horses are known for their strength, donkeys are known for their stubbornness, and Benjamin stubbornly refuses to become enthusiastic about the rebellion. While all of his comrades delight in the prospect of a new, animal-governed world, Benjamin only remarks, “Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey.” While this reply puzzles the animals, the reader understands Benjamin’s cynical yet not-unfounded point: In the initial moments of the rebellion, Animal Farm may seem a paradise, but in time it may come to be another form of the same tyranny at which they rebelled. Of course, Benjamin is proven right by the novel’s end, and the only thing that he knows for sure — “Life would go on as it had always gone on — that is, badly” — proves to be a definitive remark about the animals’ lives. Although pessimistic, he is a realist.