Horses are universally prized for their strength, and Boxer is no exception: Standing almost six-feet tall, Boxer is a devoted citizen of the farm whose incredible strength is a great asset to the rebellion and the farm. As soon as he learns about Animalism, Boxer throws himself into the rebellion’s cause. At the Battle of the Cowshed, Boxer proves to be a valuable soldier, knocking a stable-boy unconscious with his mighty hoof. (Note that Boxer, however, is not bloodthirsty and feels great remorse when he thinks he has killed the boy.) His rising early to work on the farm and his personal maxim — “I will work harder” — reveal his devotion to the animals’ cause. He also proves himself to be the most valuable member of the windmill-building team.
Boxer’s great strength, however, is matched by his equally stunning innocence and naivete. He is not an intelligent animal (recall his inability to learn any of the alphabet past the letter D) and therefore can only think in simple slogans, the second of which (“Napoleon is always right”) reveals his childlike dependence on an all-knowing leader. Even when he collapses while rebuilding the windmill, his first thoughts are not of himself but of the work: “It is my lung … It does not matter. I think you will be able to finish the windmill without me.” His hopes of retiring with Benjamin after his collapse display the extent of his innocence, since the reader knows that Napoleon has no intention of providing for an old, infirm horse. Even when he is being led to his death at the knacker’s, Boxer needs to be told of his terrible fate by Benjamin and Clover. He becomes wise to Napoleon’s ways too late, and his death is another example of Napoleon’s tyranny.