In George Orwell's Animal Farm, why does Mollie become disloyal to Animalism? In contrast, why can Napoleon successfully gain the support of the sheep?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Animal Farm, author George Orwell characterizes Mollie, the pretty white mare, as foolish, selfish, and vain. It's due to her selfishness and vanity that she is unable to understand and appreciate the Animalism movement.

As a pretty mare, Mollie was the most beloved and pampered animal on Mr. Jones's farm. She was frequently fed sugar, had her nose stroked, and had her mane decorated with ribbons. When Animalism is first being proposed, Mollie voices her reservations about complying to Animalism in the form of foolish, selfish questions:

Will there still be sugar after the Rebellion? ... And shall I still be allowed to wear ribbons in my mane?

Though she is told that Animalism is far more important than sugar and ribbon, Mollie is unable to accept the ideas. She tries but soon allows herself contact with humans to resume her pampering and runs away to a different farm. Mollie's desires symbolize the same desires for luxury held on to by the upper class of Russia prior to the Bolshevik Revolution.