In Animal Farm, what would the farm be like if Snowball were in power?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

How different would Russia be and the world if Trotsky and not Stalin had been in power from the 1920s in Russia (the USSR)? Animal Farm is allegorical and representative of George Orwell's opposition to the tyrannical rule and corrupt government in Communist Russia after the Russian Revolution. Orwell despised all forms of oppression and had been disillusioned himself.

Snowball is an idealist and certainly does have the animals best interests at heart at the beginning. He wholeheartedly advocates the principles of animalism and immediately commences with plans to improve living conditions, infrastructure and to introduce fairness and equality.

He does confuse the animals sometimes - as with his explanations of "propulsion" when trying to include the birds in the mantra "four legs good two legs bad." His logic and ability to persuade the animals, having gained their trust would have worked to his advantage had he managed to oust Napoleon.

As with all characters, Snowball does have flaws and agrees that the pigs should get the milk and apples despite the fact that it conflicts with Animalism. Had the story ended differently - with Snowball in charge- this may have foreshadowed some difficult times ahead although not so brutal. Perhaps Snowball would have accepted other less than ideal conditions and compromised the other animals further.  

In chapter 3 when the conflict between Napoleon and Snowball is heightened and at which stage it could still go either way, there is clearly

a difference in ideology as the two try to build their personal power bases on the farm

Snowball proves himself to be a competent strategist during the Battle of the Cowshed and is awarded for his efforts. Had he been able to successfully build on this success and persuade the pigs to attack neighboring farms - to which Napoleon was vehemently opposed- and had he not been afraid of Napoleon - life for the animals would have been very different.

Snowball's speech about the windmill inspires the animals but neither Snowball nor the animals is any match for the brutal Napoleon. Unfortunately, Snowball's inability to mobilize against Napoleon, means he is never heard of again - except by means of propagandist reports.

Working with the possibility of Snowball being a stronger match for Napoleon and his impassioned speech being enough to rally the animals when he

 paint(s) a picture of Animal Farm as it might be when the animals no longer have to work

and during this crucial turning point - when he is chased off the farm - Animal Farm may have been a comfortable, manageable farm with easy-to-please animals.

However it could also be a poorly managed farm- indicated by Snowball's inability to be assertive against Napoleon. It could also go back to having human interference if Snowball is unable to manage ALL the pigs who otherwise may form a rival "party" and cause the equivalent of a civil war!

Human nature - or the representation of it in the animals- may therefore have produced much the same result for the animals on the farm; some measure of success, much hard work, impressive schemes but inequality rendering some animals to suffer at the hands of others because no matter what: