In what ways are Snowball and Trotsky similar to one another in Animal Farm?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In my mind, the fundamental and best comparison between Snowball and Trotsky is that both of them represent the intellectual angle towards revolution.  Trotsky and Snowball both see the revolution as a testing ground for the theory that animated them.  For Trotsky, this is Marxism and for Snowball this is Animalism.  When the pigs gain power, Snowball is responsible for developing committees to run the farm.  Napoleon takes the pups and develops his own secret police. Snowball is not really driven by power, while Trotsky was more concerned with how the revolution and post- revolution Russia would represents the theories of Marx and of Communism.  Trotsky's intellectualism was seen as something that was going to be challenged by the power driven sensibility of Stalin, whose love for theory only went as far as his ability to control and be at the center of all power.  In this light, Trotsky was seen as meddling threat, someone who could undermine Stalin because of his keen understanding of theory and its application.  This is where Snowball, whose military understanding helps the animals win at the Battle of Cowshed and whose idea to build the windmill helped provide power to the farm.  In this, Snowball becomes a formidable threat to Napoleon, who ends up running him off, similar to the manner in which Stalin ran off Trotsky.

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