In Animal Farm, how are the leadership styles of Napoleon and Snowball different?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the early chapters of the novella, Orwell elaborates on the differing styles of leadership between Snowball and Napoleon. Snowball is a more enthusiastic, vivacious pig, and he is more inventive and more articulate than Napoleon. Snowball is also active and works hard on his various projects for the farm. His tireless work ethic, creative nature, and public speaking skills make him an effective leader. Snowball forms various committees and designs elaborate plans to build a windmill, which will revolutionize life on the farm. His hands-on approach also makes him a likable figure among the animals, and his courageous personality is evident during the Battle of the Cowshed. Essentially, Snowball is a compassionate, enthusiastic leader, who wishes to improve the lives of each animal on the farm.

In contrast, Napoleon is a more reserved, austere pig, who appears have more depth of character than Snowball. Unlike Snowball, Napoleon maneuvers behind the scenes and finds a way to take things rather than create them. He is a shrewd politician, who rules through force and intimidation. After usurping power, Napoleon uses Squealer to propagate lies and manipulate the animals into supporting every decision he makes. Napoleon also uses his fearsome dogs to intimidate and threaten those who challenge his authority. He does not care about the other animals and rules the farm like a ruthless tyrant.

belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Napoleon and Snowball address leadership in several different ways. Napoleon uses propaganda, slogans, and force to get his way, while Snowball attempts to live according to the ideals that Old Major put forth. One obvious example is the windmill, which Snowball wants built to ease everyone in their work.

...thereafter, [Snowball] declared, so much labour would be saved that the animals would only need to work three days a week. Napoleon, on the other hand, argued that the great need of the moment was to increase food production, and that if they wasted time on the windmill they would all starve to death.
(Orwell, Animal Farm,

Snowball genuinely wants to use the farm's collective labor to improve the lives of everyone. He tries to convince the animals to take his side with logic and debate. Napoleon, though, understands that if the animals are not constantly beaten down with hard labor, they will start to actually demand the fair and equal environment they were promised, and he will be out of power; in the debate, he uses his trained dogs to run Snowball off the farm, increasing his personal power.

kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Animal Farm, the leadership styles of Napoleon and Snowball are very different. Beginning with Snowball, you'll notice that his leadership style is based on equality. He works hard at teaching the animals to read and write and organizing different committees to help the running of the farm.

Similarly, Snowball wants to use his leadership to make life on the farm easier and more enjoyable for everybody. This is shown clearly by his plans for the windmill, which will give everybody a better standard of living through the introduction of electricity and heating.

In contrast, Napoleon shows no interest in education or labor-saving devices. He is far more concerned with raising his own welfare at the expense of others. When he takes the cows' milk, for instance, we see just how self-interested he is.

Furthermore, Napoleon has no interest in sharing his power with anybody else. This is shown clearly in chapter 5 when he sets his personal bodyguards on Snowball and runs him off the farm.

khly | Student

Leadership and power is seen amongst Snowball and Napoleon in varied ways. Snowball uses the power of speech to convice the animals into going with the plan of the windmill. However on the other hand we see Napoleon abusing power, calling out his dogs to attack on the snowball, this is seen as power of force.

Hope it helps. Im new to this and still a student so please do forgive me if this isnt quite helpful. Help you go well in whatever you are doing. Im the same grade as you :)