Mollie is painted as a fairly stupid, vain, and materialistic horse. In the very beginning, she comes late to Old Major’s speech, and 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” (1.4). Later, when the pigs make it their job to carry on Old Major’s message, the first thing that Mollie wants to know is, “Will there be sugar after the rebellion?” (2.3). As if she hasn’t made enough of a fool of herself already, the next thing she wants to know is whether she’ll be allowed to wear ribbons in her mane.
After the rebellion, as the animals are going through the farmhouse, they lose track of Mollie. When they find her, “she had taken a piece of blue ribbon from Mrs. Jones’s dressing-table, and was holding it against her shoulder and admiring herself in the glass in a very foolish manner” (2.18). It’s not surprising that when work begins, Mollie often shows up late and leaves early. She doesn’t seem to care who is in power as long as she can do as little work as possible.
Mollie’s behavior continues in the same manner until shortly after the Battle of Cowshed. During the battle itself, she hides in her manger, and as the winter comes on and life becomes slightly more difficult for the animals, “Mollie became more and more troublesome. She was late for work every morning and excused herself by saying that she had overslept, and she complained of mysterious pains, though her appetite was excellent” (3.1). Clover eventually sees Mollie letting one of the neighborhood men pet her nose, and soon after Clover and some other animals discover sugar hidden in Mollie’s manger. In the end, Mollie runs off to be taken care of by humans.
When Mollie runs off, the narrator notes that, “none of the animals ever mentioned Mollie again” (5.7). Mollie becomes a memory not just of unfaithfulness to the cause but of the simple fact that not everyone prefers Animal Farm to Manor Farm. Mollie is so addicted to the simple luxuries that she had under Mr. Jones (sugar and ribbons) that she can’t imagine making sacrifices for a social movement even if, in the long run, it’s supposed to be for her own good.
The vain horse functions as a symbol for the bourgeois class in Russia, who were not outright unfaithful to the Bolsheviks, but who contributed very little to the revolution in the long run. Whereas many Russians were actually anti-Bolshevik and fought against them in the Russian Civil War, the bourgeois often were happy enough to nod along to the ideology so long as they didn’t have to make sacrifices in their own lifestyle. When they were asked to make sacrifices, many abandoned the cause and fled to the West.Mollie (a horse) Timeline