In Animal Farm, what is the metaphorical significance of Snowball and Napoleon agreeing to reserve the milk and apples for the pigs?

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While this incident might seem rather insignificant, just like all of Orwell's writing, it represents an important trend in the enacting of Communism, which can be applied not just to Russia but also to every Communist country that has existed so far in the world's history.  Someone once ironically said that Communism would work perfectly if humans didn't get in the way.

When Snowball and Napoleon start reserving better food/necessities for themselves than for the rest of the farm animals, they illustrate the seemingly unavoidable tendency of Communist leaders to bestow special privileges upon themselves all while promoting equality for everyone.  As soon as Snowball and Napoleon begin this process, they gain more and more power until Napoleon evicts Snowball and establishes himself as an ultimate authority.

A modern, true example of this type of hypocritical leadership is Kim Jung Il from North Korea.  His people starve and work for the equivalent of $20 a month while he imports I-Pods, special wines, and American movies (all of which he denies his people).