In Animal Farm, would the power of ruling the animals have corrupted Snowball as it did Napoleon?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

After the revolution, the pigs "ruled" as a committee subject to a vote by the other animals until Napoleon took power through military might. It should be noted that while Napoleon's plans always included the use of the dogs to subjugate the other animals, Snowball had plans to make the farm better and more efficient, allowing the animals to rest while machines did their work. It cannot be said if he would have been corrupted by power eventually, but it is clear that his original plans, originating from Old Major's philosophies, were aimed at the ideal of collective living, not dictatorship.

Snowball... was full of plans for innovations and improvements. He talked learnedly about field drains, silage, and basic slag, and had worked out a complicated scheme for all the animals to drop their dung directly in the fields, at a different spot every day, to save the labour of cartage.
(Orwell, Animal Farm,

All Snowball's energies went to the improvement of the farm, and so he was unprepared for Napoleon's coup. However, since the pigs had already started to take unfair advantage of the other animals -- such as in their sole consumption of windfall apples and milk -- it might be that eventually Snowball would see himself as superior. However, even if he claimed dictatorship, he would probably not seek to emulate human behavior, as Napoleon did, and he would probably have been a benevolent, instead of violent, ruler.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team