Animal Farm Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

Animal Farm book cover
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Discuss the rift between Snowball and Napoleon as they are caught in their power.

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Hollis Sanders eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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After Old Major dies, Snowball and Napoleon both consider it inevitable that they should revolt against Mr. Jones. Once they are able to do this, the rift begins with the implementation of Animalism. While Snowball is more interested in educating the young animals by teaching them to read and write, Napoleon is already preoccupied with forcing his dogma and tenants on all members of the farm. After The Battle of the Cowshed, Snowball is easily the most popular pig, and introduces his plan to modernize the farm by building a windmill. Napoleon seeing this as a threat to his authority, has Snowball chased out of Animal Farm by his dogs.

Napoleon and Snowball are allusions to Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky, respectively. Trotsky, once a high-ranking member of the Communist party, was stripped of all his positions and titles over the course of a few years and was exiled and eventually assassinated for opposing Stalinist bureaucracy.

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lkhernandez eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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While Snowball and Napoleon created the basics of Animalism as a team, along with Squealer, as their power increases, so do their disagreements on how Animal Farm should be run. 

The two cannot agree on plans for Spring, or how best to defend the farm from attack. However, the biggest issue arises due to Snowball's desire to build a windmilll. He feels that it will increase production and make life easier for the animals. Napoleon is opposed to the idea because he wants the animals working to increase food production rather than wasting time building a windmill. 

Snowball is very good with words, Orwell describes him as a

[...] more vivacious pig than Napoleon, quicker in speech and more inventive

Because of these traits, Snowball is able to garner support for his windmill project. However, just before the animals are about to vote in favor of the windmill, Napoleon releases a weapon he has been hiding. The nine pups that Napoleon had taken from their mothers were raised to be his bodyguards and they chase Snowball off the farm.

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