In chapter 5 of Animal Farm how do Mollie's actions show that she is also clever?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Mollie is clever because she manages to get what she wants even when it is not allowed.

Mollie is a horse.  She is described as “the foolish, pretty white mare who drew Mr. Jones's trap” and she likes to be noticed.  Mollie represents the vain aristocrats who wanted to keep their cushy circumstances.  She wants to keep her ribbons and sugar, trappings of “people” or capitalism. 

The very first question she asked Snowball was: `Will there still be sugar after the Rebellion? '…`And shall I still be allowed to wear ribbons in my mane?' asked Mollie. (ch 2)

Snowball tells her she does not need sugar because there are plenty of oats, and ribbons are trappings of her enslavement to people.  Mollie agrees, but when the animals are done touring the house, she goes missing and they find her looking at herself with ribbons in the mirror.

Mollie is also clever because she is able to avoid work.

Nobody shirked | or almost nobody. Mollie, it was true, was not good at getting up in the mornings, and had a way of leaving work early on the ground that there was a stone in her hoof. (ch 3)

Mollie has ways of getting around her work by showing up late and leaving early.  She is more interested in being pretty and enjoying the comforts of life than in contributing.  During the battle, she hides in the barn “as soon as the gun went off” (ch 4).

Mollie might seem to be not too bright, because she does not know any letters but the letters of her name.  However, she does not learn them because she refuses to learn them.  She is too vain to worry about anything but herself.

There is a more serious side to Mollie’s shirking work.  One day she is discovered with “Mr. Pilkington's men” stroking her nose.  She denies it, but soon after she disappears.  A life of hard work is not for her.  She prefers to flee and enjoy a life of simple leisure and pretty somewhere else.

As Mollie demonstrates, equality would have been fine for the working people during the revolution.  However equality means everyone has to pull his or her own weight.  If you are not used to working, equality does not work out so well for you.  It is one of the pitfalls of revolution.

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gpane's profile pic

gpane | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Mollie might be called clever, or cunning, in the way that she manages to escape from the farm and all the hard work the animals have to do there. She has always wanted a life of ease and pretty things to wear and good things to eat, and she makes sure she gets them. She gets out of doing her share of the work by pretending to be ill and then leaves altogether, to go back to humans, because this means she can be petted and fussed over rather than having to drudge away every day. She does this secretly, avoiding open confrontation which is quite crafty of her. She acts in her own interests rather than in the interests of the community. Actually, leaving the farm does turn out to be rather a smart move in the long run, as this means that she will also escape the oppressiveness of Napoleon's soon-to-be dictatorship.

  

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