Snowball v. Napoleon

Animal Farm: Comparative Essay

In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Orwell depicts a revolution of the farm animals overthrowing their master, Mr. Jones. Throughout the story the animals are led by two pigs, namely, Snowball and Napoleon. Although the two pigs united for the common purpose of the revolution, their methods of leadership and their ideals for the new society differed greatly.

From the beginning, each of the two pigs’ distinctive personalities was evident. Snowball’s method of leadership was that of gentle thought, speech, and persuasion. He, thereby, presented the animals with a fair opportunity for their opinions to be expressed and allowed them to participate in deciding issues. Snowball’s idea of Animalism was that of a society in which every single animal was equal in every way. The liberty that they had attained through the revolt would not be merely the liberty from the unyielding grip of man; it would be the liberty of the animals from the reign of any animal or being. Each animal would serve the community to the best of his or her ability and would be rewarded according to his or her needs. The strong would defend the weak, and no animal could claim that they were greater than any other animal. He did not believe that the Animalistic society would require a strong central government or leader, rather just a guide to advise the community and provide them with direction.

Napoleon was, in many respects, the antithesis of Snowball. Napoleon chose to lead the animals using much more forceful methods. Napoleon preferred action and power to consideration and diplomacy. Napoleon used Animalism and the revolution not to bring animals together and to bring equality into their society; instead he used it to oust Jones from his position as the master of the animals and to put himself at the head of the community. Napoleon used the position that he gained as the leader of the animals to put himself in a role of strong, absolute, control over the animals. Napoleon does not regard the initial guidelines of Animalism as important if they are in the way of his ascent to the top of the social pyramid of the animals or if they are inconvenient to him in any other way. Napoleon does not care about the original principles which were the basis of the animals’ revolution. He has reverted back to the same society as they had before, only now, he is the leader instead of Jones.

Despite all of these extreme differences, Napoleon and Snowball both shared certain similarities. Both pigs put forth the effort to attain intelligence to be able to lead the animals. They both had leadership in mind when they led the revolution. Both Napoleon and Snowball strove for the freedom of the animals and the advancement of the farm.

In analyzing how much the pigs had in common, yet how much they differed, something very powerful can be noted. As much as two parties have the same goals in mind, one can subvert those goals to his own satisfaction. In our example, both pigs wanted Animalism but neither could agree on how it should be executed.