Discuss the similarities of Mollie and Benjamin in their relationship to power in Animal Farm.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the basic linking trait between Mollie and Benjamin is that they both make it easier for those in the position of power to consolidate control over them.  Both of them are fundamentally different. Mollie is self- absorbed and self- indulgent, while Benjamin is cynical and doubting of any notion of collective progressivism.  Yet, both of them make it easier for the humans and the pigs to control the animals on the farm.  Mollie can be bribed and bought with ribbons and sugar, a fact that is emphasized when she runs away from the farm.  For his part, Benjamin refuses to take any real action when it comes to solidify action for the animals.  Benjamin almost relishes his role as an outsider, as a cynic.  He is responsible for saying that few have ever seen a donkey in the role of power, and thereby subject to manipulation.  In the end, though, this is what ends up dooming him because he is unable to save Boxer, his friend, from his fate with the knacker.  The refusal to enter political action or civic activism is something that links Mollie and Benjamin.  She refuses to partake because of her own self- indulgence, while he refuses to do so because he believes that it will not amount to much of anything.  In this, they are both similar because they become easier to control or bypass by those in the position of political power.


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