Snowball's character is defined by his true loyalty to the cause of Animalism, and his willingness to work hard beside the other animals. Because of this idealism, Snowball is unprepared to fight back when Napoleon tries to have him murdered, barely escaping with his life. Here are some important quotes from and about Snowball:
"Comrade," said Snowball, "those ribbons that you are so devoted to are the badge of slavery."
"Let us make it a point of honour to get in the harvest more quickly than Jones and his men could do."
"Four legs good, two legs bad."
(Orwell, Animal Farm, msxnet.org)
The first quote shows Snowball's commitment to the cause; even though ribbons are not a harmful influence, he believes that any form of clothing should be rejected as a symbol of animal freedom.
The second quote also shows his commitment, but more importantly, his willingness to participate; Snowball says "Us" in referring to the harvest, instead of "You," because he will be out in the field with the others, working hard.
The third quote is Snowball's attempt to make the Commandments of Animalism accessible to every animal, even those who cannot read or have very short-term memories. By reducing the seven Commandments to an easily-remembered slogan, Snowball gives the other animals a point of common ground, but inadvertently creates a mob chant that Napoleon utilizes to undermine Snowball's popularity.
At the beginning of the story, Orwell directly characterizes Snowball by writing,
"Snowball was a more vivacious pig than Napoleon, quicker in speech and more inventive, but was not considered to have the same depth of character" (7).
Snowball is utterly dedicated to the cause and risks his life during the Battle of Cowshed. Snowball not only plans the attack against Jones and his men but willingly puts himself into harm's way by charging directly at Jones. Orwell writes,
"Snowball now gave the signal for the charge. He himself dashed straight for Jones. Jones saw him coming, raised his gun and fired. The pellets scored bloody streaks along Snowball's back, and a sheep dropped dead. Without halting for an instant, Snowball flung his fifteen stone against Jones's legs" (17).
Snowball is also a motivating leader throughout the novella Animal Farm. He continually encourages the animals to work together to attain goals and promotes the tenets of Animalism. On the first day of the harvest without Mr. Jones, Snowball offers a challenge to the animals on the farm. Snowball motivates them by saying,
"Now, comrades...to the hayfield! Let us make it a point of honour to get in the harvest more quickly than Jones and his men could do" (Orwell 11).
Snowball is also a very intelligent pig who has the animals' best interests in mind. He works day and night developing plans to build a windmill that will make the animals' lives easier. Snowball captures everyone's attention whenever he tells them about his plans for the windmill. The animals are captivated by Snowball's speeches, and Orwell writes,
"After surveying the ground, Snowball declared that this was just the place for a windmill, which could be made to operate a dynamo and supply the farm with electrical power...The animals had never heard of anything of this kind before (for the farm was an old-fashioned one and had only the most primitive machinery), and they listened in astonishment while Snowball conjured up pictures of fantastic machines which would do their work for them while they grazed at their ease in the fields or improved their minds with reading and conversation" (21).