Boxer still works harder than everyone else, but his strength begins to wane. He comforts himself with thoughts of retirement. In the first days of Animal Farm, it was decided that a horse could retire at age twelve and receive a pension.
A steadfast idealist, Boxer continues to believe in Animalism even though most of its rules and laws have been broken or rewritten by the pigs.
Food during the winter is even scarcer than in the previous year, and the animals' rations the animals are reduced. In contrast, the rations for pigs and dogs remain at their normal levels. Squealer continues to claim that they're all better off than ever, and explains that a rigid equality in rations would be against Animalism.
The pigs control over information ensures that animals can't properly evaluate their situations. They must trust the pigs, even if it's obvious the pigs are lying.
Soon, four sows give birth to over thirty young pigs. From the piglet's markings, it's clear they're Napoleon's children. He discourages the piglets from playing with the other young animals, and teaches them himself until a schoolhouse can be built for them.
Napoleon makes official the class distinctions between pigs and the other animals: the pigs get special privileges and don't interact with the other animals.
Festive processions and weekly Spontaneous Demonstrations celebrating the triumphs of Animal Farm now dominate life on the farm. The celebrations remind the animals that they are working as their own masters, which alleviates their hunger somewhat.
The ceremonies here are obviously not spontaneous: they're designed by the pigs to manipulate the animals' feelings.
In April, the farm is declared a Republic, and an election takes place. Napoleon, the only candidate, wins unanimously. On the same day, it's announced that Snowball fought openly against the animals at the Battle of the Cowshed.
With this crucial bit of misinformation about Snowball, the pigs have now completely rewritten Animal Farm's history.
Moses the raven suddenly reappears, talking of Sugarcandy Mountain. The pigs say it's all nonsense, but give him an allowance of beer.
The pigs use religion just as Jones once did: to make the animals forget their misery.
One day, while working on the new windmill, Boxer's lung fails and he falls, no longer able to work. Squealer announces that Napoleon has decided to send Boxer to a human veterinary doctor. The idea of a human examining Boxer disturbs the animals, but Squealer says a vet can do more for Boxer than they can. Boxer stays in his stall until a van comes to pick him up. The animals yell their goodbyes, but Benjamin shouts that side of the van reads, "Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler." The animals cry out. Boxer tries to break down the door of the van with his hoofs. But he's now too weak to escape.
Boxer gave up his freedom without knowing it by trusting the pigs' words instead of analyzing their actions: he allowed them to take power but never held them accountable. By the time he realizes he's been betrayed, Boxer is too weak to do anything about it. In a tragic irony, his strength has been sacrificed to the regime that now sacrifices his life for its own benefit.
Three days later, Squealer announces that Boxer died in the hospital, and that his last words were "Napoleon is always right." In response to the "dark rumors" the animals had heard about the van, Squealer explains that the vet had just bought the van from the glue boiler and had not yet repainted it. A few days later the pigs buy a new crate of whiskey.
The pigs' willingness to sell Boxer to a glue producer proves that they view the other animals merely as means to their own profit and luxurious indulgences, such as alcohol. Mr. Jones viewed the animals the same way.