What are the traits of Clover, Benjamin, Mollie, and the cat in Animal Farm?

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jdslinky eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Animal Farm, the traits of Clover, Benjamin, Mollie and the cat are motherly, cranky, foolish, and selfish respectively.

Clover is a mare who has had four foals, and though she hasn't been able to keep or raise any of them, she still behaves in a motherly toward the other animals.

"The two horses had just lain down when a brood of ducklings, which had lost their mother, filed into the barn, cheeping feebly and wandering from side to side to find some place where they would not be trodden on. Clover made a sort of wall round them with great foreleg, and the ducklings nestled down in side it an promptly fell asleep." (17)

Benjamin is a cranky old donkey who doesn't speak often unless it's to make a nasty comment. "Benjamin was the oldest animal on the farm, and the worst tempered. He seldom talked, and when he did, it was usually to make some cynical remark..." (16). The only animal on the farm he really respected was Boxer: "...he was devoted to Boxer; the two of them usually spent their Sundays together in the small paddock beyond the orchard, grazing side by side and never speaking" (17).

Mollie is a "foolish, pretty, white mare" (17), who is favored by Mr. Jones. As such, she believes she is above the other animals, and often behaves in ways to draw their attention to the ribbons in her mane, her appearance. At the meeting of Old Major, Mollie "came mincing daintily in, chewing at a lump of sugar. She took a place near the front and began flirting her white mane, hoping to draw attention to the red ribbons it was plaited with" (17).

The cat is selfish and only concerned with her own well-being. At Old Major's meeting, she is the last to arrive and doesn't care at all about the speech. She "squeezed herself in between Boxer and Clover; there she purred contentedly throughout Major's speech without listening to a word of what he was saying" (17). And when it comes time to vote, she votes for both sides: "There were only four dissentients, the three dogs and the cat, who was afterwards discovered to have voted on both sides" (21).