What were Snowball's beliefs and how did he hope to transform the farm (before he was exiled)?

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell, Snowball is the name of the pig character and he is young and idealistic. Snowball is loosely modeled on Leon Trotsky so he stands not for a rebellion of strength but one of intellectual prowess, enlightenment and education. He believes that the masses are forever enslaved through hard labour and through the denial of leisure time for culture and education. It is Snowball's idea to write Seven Commandments on the barnyard wall, guidelines which would lay out the ways in which the animals should live. He is constantly modifying and updating his ideas according to changing needs and circumstances.

Snowball believes that a continued revolution which maximizes the will of animals on farms throughout the land will be most effective in bringing about a new world order. He also believes in a life with no humans and that the animals will not be safe in their new utopia whilst humans are around.

It is Snowball again who comes up with the idea of building a windmill, believing that through hard work and innovation the animals can manage by themselves and will have more time to better themselves. We know that he believes in education as a way out of enslavement as he studies the books left behind by Mr. Jones to see whether he can make use of their information. He believes he should bring in literacy so that education can be of use to all the animals, not just to him. We see that he is a good teacher and writer seeming to believe that education should be accessible to all. For example, he reduces his whole treatise to a single catch phrase based on the idea that four legs means good and two legs means bad. He believes in organization and his strategic thinking in battle is excellent. Snowball also believes in perseverance and is very patient, trying not to become negative about the failure of his new committees. He sees that even the most idealistic creatures are frail and flawed and he understands their struggles. However, just like Trotsky, Snowball is exiled after the revolution and everything gets blamed on him. He is accused of being in cahoots with unfair rulers and gets run off the farm as a traitor. Yet again common frailties come to the fore as his rivals seek to discredit him through jealousy and their own greed and insecurities.

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