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Benjamin was the only animal who did not side with either faction. He refused to believe either that food would become more plentiful or that the windmill would save work. Windmill or no windmill, he said, life would go on as it had always gone on– that is, badly. (5.11)
Question: Benjamin comes off as a Debbie Downer, but is he right? Or is Orwell saying it's just as bad to have no hope as to have too much hope?
Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life and to know that things never had been, nor ever could be much better or much worse-hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he said, the unalterable law of life. (10.6)
If it's true that things can't even be much better or worse, then why is Orwell even bothering to write Animal Farm? Does he agree with Benjamin? Or are we supposed to think that capitalism is still better than communism, no matter how bad it is? (This is where things get tricky.)