GCSE Animal Farm – Character Profile: Clover & Mollie
Orwell uses Clover to represent the unquestioning working classes, as he does with Boxer. Clover sometimes doubts the motives of Napoleon, but she doesn’t think she’s intelligent enough to speak out. She is aware though that the changes in the farm are not for the better and that the conditions the animals are living in are worse than when Jones was there.
Clover is a loyal follower of Animalism though. She is a very compassionate and maternal mare. Anytime that the animals are scared they will be “huddled about Clover” for protection and comfort. She listened carefully to Old Major and is happy to pass on everything that she has been taught by him. Like Boxer, she believes in equality amongst animals and the animals using the farm for themselves. When she grows suspicious of the pigs’ behaviour, she blames herself for misremembering the commandments rather than them misusing and changing the commandments. The propaganda which Squealer is constantly spreading also helps to keep Clover, along with the other animals unsure about what is really going on.
Even when Clover understands that the way things are on the farm are not what Animalism was about, she continues to follow obediently and accepts Napoleon’s leadership without question. She knows that “these scenes of terror and slaughter were now what they had looked forward to” but she doesn’t challenge them in any way. She doesn’t feel she is intelligent enough to do so.
Her kind and compassionate nature, much like Boxer leads her to believe everyone is the same way and she can’t really accept that Napoleon and the others are being manipulative and cruel. Her concentration is more on helping the other animals at the farm and continuing to keep the farm a success.
Orwell may have been using Mollie to represent the upper-class Russians who had a comfortable life under the Tsar. They did not want to challenge the regime as they may then lose the comfortable life they had with it.
Mollie is a “pretty white mare” who is vain. She is one of the only animals who has been spoiled by Jones and enjoys treats like ribbons, sugar and being petted. She enjoyed human attention and doesn’t see humans through the eyes of animalism. She misses Jones when he has gone and resents the new rules which have forced upon her.
Mollie has no interest in politics or the rebellion and is not keen to fight. She doesn’t fight to take over Animal Farm and she hides in fear during the Battle of the Cowshed.
After the revolution, Mollie also refuses to make sacrifices. She really struggles to follow the principles of Animalism and hides ribbons and sugar lumps. She is more interested in her own needs than in working towards equality.
When Snowball teaches the animals to read and write, Mollie has the capacity to do very well, but she just wants to learn to read and write her own name. Again showing that she isn’t really interested in learning what the rebellion has to teach her.
In the end, Mollie finds it too difficult to adapt to the Animal Farm way of life. She is too shallow and devoted to her luxuries to continue at the farm and so runs away to draw the cart of a man who pets her and feeds her sugar lumps. This shows that she is quite selfish, like the pigs and more interested in what she can get from the farm and from others, than what she can give.