How is Snowball a good leader in the book Animal Farm?

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belarafon's profile pic

belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Snowball genuinely believes in Old Major's message of animal equality and shared sacrifice for shared gain, and so his ideas represent an attempt to create a working communal farm. Although he shares the early luxuries of the pigs, such as the milk and apples which are kept from the other animals, he tries to make things better for them with technological advances like the windmill. His passions are naive, and he is driven out by Napoleon's brutality.

Snowball had made a close study of some back numbers of the Farmer and Stockbreeder which he had found in the farmhouse, and was full of plans for innovations and improvements. He talked learnedly about field drains, silage, and basic slag... Napoleon produced no schemes of his own, but said quietly that Snowball's would come to nothing...
(Orwell, Animal Farm, msxnet.org)

Napoleon's pragmatism proves more powerful than Snowball's intelligence, and the other animals are cowed into accepting Snowballs expulsion because of the threat of the dogs. Had Napoleon been removed instead, it is possible that Snowball could have created the utopian ideal with his drive and his understanding of technology.

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lakegirl55's profile pic

lakegirl55 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

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The biggest difference between Snowball and Napolean is that Snowball puts his people first.  Napolean looked at the situation as a chance to stop working and to get the best (as in food, shelter, etc.).  Snowball encouraged the animals to imagine a better future for them and for the rest of the world's animals.  He had big dreams that he wasn't afraid to carry out, such as the windmill.  Imagination is an important quality in a good leader, which Napolean lacked.  Snowball was also not greedy, demanding, or lazy.

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