Animal Farm Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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In Animal Farm, what are some similarities between Napoleon and Snowball?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Napoleon and Snowball both play important roles in creating Animal Farm, promulgating Animalism, and gaining the support of the other animals on the farm. Both pigs are intelligent and assume leadership roles after listening to Old Major's speech. They develop the system of Animalism and hold secret meetings to expounded upon its principles. Both Napoleon and Snowball wish to get rid of Mr. Jones and successfully win their independence after leading a rebellion. After Mr. Jones is expelled from the farm, Napoleon and Snowball assume leadership roles and begin to organize the farm. Since both pigs are intelligent and respected, the others animals look to them for guidance. The two pigs are talented in different areas. Napoleon has a commanding presence, and Snowball presents eloquent speeches during the meetings. Both pigs also enjoy authority, and take advantage of their leadership roles. For example, Napoleon and Snowball both consider themselves to be "brainworkers" and mix the stolen milk in their mash. However, Napoleon is more selfish than Snowball, and eventually usurps power.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Napoleon and Snowball play an important role in Jones's overthrow.  They are similar in how they sit in the front row when Old Major delivers his address on Animalism. Both pigs are similar in the way they absorb these lessons. They are also similar in how they share these ideas with the other animals on the farm.  

When Old Major dies, both pigs are active in disseminating the message of Animalism.  Additionally, they both occupy similar leadership roles on the farm when the humans leave.  In this regard, both Snowball and Napoleon are elevated to similar leadership positions on the new farm.

Another similarity between Napoleon and Snowball is that they possess a vision for the farm.  Snowball and Napoleon understand that a necessary part of leadership is having a vision. They are similar in the way they place importance on communicating this vision to the animals. This is seen when both present their plans regarding the building of the windmill.  

Their visions are different from one another.  Snowball sees leadership as cooperative.  He strives to forge relationships with the other animals.  Napoleon sees leadership as power that has to be consolidated in his own hands.  Despite this difference, they are similar in how they believe that vision is an essential component of leadership. 

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