In Animal Farm, what does Clover represent in history and what does she look like?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter One, Clover is described as a "stout mare" (horse) of middle age. She is motherly figure in the story, having given birth to four foals during her lifetime.  Her closest friend on the farm is Boxer, a horse known for his strength and loyalty.

In the novel, Clover represents the female members of the proletariat. Like them, she works hard and believes strongly in the revolution, but she lacks the knowledge to question the pigs because she cannot read. This is shown clearly in Chapter Six when the pigs begin sleeping in beds. Clover clearly remembers a rule stating that no animal should sleep in a human bed, but being unable to read more than a few letters of the Seven Commandments, she relies on Muriel to check the facts. When Muriel tells her that the rule specifies beds with sheets, Clover blames herself for not remembering the rule correctly.

Just like the female proletariat, it is Clover's inability to question the status quo which forces her to live under the tyrannical rule of the pigs.

pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Clover is a female horse who is Boxer's close friend.  She symbolizes the women of the Revolution.  She is a motherly figure who is caring and provides comfort to the other animals.  She is a firm believer in Napoleon, but is sometimes suspicious.

Clover is described as being a bit dumpy, having never gotten her figure back after her fourth foal.  She is a cart horse, not a sleek pretty horse like Mollie. 

Although Clover does not represent any person in history in particular, she does represent the working class women in Russia.  They worked as hard as the men for the same empty promises of Communism. 

lawsonbob | Student

My take on it is that Clover ultimately is not matched with Boxer, despite her devotion to him, but rather with Benjamin. It is not accidental that the book begins with her and ends with her. Outside the narrow confines of the classes in the revolution, I think Clover represents "Mother Russia," in much the same way that Benjamin is "Father Russia," perhaps someone like Leo Tolstoy.  She represents a decency that lives on despite the rotten things that happen around her, and offers a hope for something better in the future when the evils that pervade Animal Farm have been swept away.  I know that Clover is not just inserted into the book to give it another character. There is not a single word or sentence in this book that is not a part of the allegory as a whole.