Have you ever agreed to something in a group you would never agree to alone? First off, let us say that you enjoy soccer and participate on a team. Someone in a group one day states that soccer is “gay,” or not as good as another sport such as football. If you were to look around, many people would begin to agree, and eventually so would you. Why? As shown through the character versus character conflicts in the book, Animal Farm, by George Orwell, the reasoning and ideals of a group are much easier to manipulate than that of an individual.
When talking to Squealer alone, Boxer holds on to his ideals and does not easily let Squealer convince him.
“What is the gun firing for?” said Boxer.
“To Celebrate our victory!” cried Squealer.
“What victory?” said Boxer. His knees were bleeding, he had lost a shoe and split his hoof, and a dozen pellets had lodged themselves in his hind leg.
“What victory, comrade? Have we not driven the enemy off our soil - the sacred soil of Animal Farm?”
“But they have destroyed the windmill. And we had worked on it for two years!”
“Then we have won back what we had before,” said Boxer.
“That is our victory,” said Squealer…
But when the animals saw the green flag flying, and heard the gun firing again-seven times it was fired in all-and heard the speech that Napoleon made, congratulating them on their conduct, it did seem to them after all that they had won a great victory (pg 105-106).
Boxer is not thoroughly convinced by the pigs that the victory was theirs to celebrate. It is not until later when the whole group sees celebrations of their victory put on by the pigs that they are manipulated into thinking it truly was a victory. Boxer alone (although not much of a thinker) might never be convinced, but the group took very little.
Alone, Clover does not let the pigs manipulate her thinking or changes her beliefs easily either. The pigs have recently taken residence in the old farmhouse and have begun sleeping in the beds. Clover, confused because she vaguely remembers the Fourth Commandment stating something about no sleeping in beds, decides to investigate.
"Muriel," she said (Clover), "read me the Fourth Commandment. Does it not say something about never sleeping in a bed?"...
"It says, 'No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets,"' she announced finally (Muriel)
Curiously enough, Clover had not remembered that the Fourth Commandment mentioned sheets...