When Snowball and Napoleon begin to disagree in Animal Farm, Napoleon acts like the aggressor and bully that the reader has understood him to be all along. In the beginning, the two pigs are presented as equals:
Pre-eminent among the pigs were two young boars named Snowball and Napoleon, whom Mr. Jones was breeding up for sale.
However, they have clear character traits that differ markedly from one another. Napoleon is described as large and “rather fierce-looking.” In contrast to Snowball’s “eloquence,” he is “not much of a talker.” Moreover, he has “a reputation for getting his own way” as a bully does. Conversely, Snowball is “quicker in speech and more inventive.”
Snowball is more of an idealist than Napoleon, who essentially wants the rebellion because he covets power. Snowball is forthright with the other animals and answers their questions truthfully. For instance, when Mollie asks if there will still be sugar on the farm after the rebellion, Snowball answers truthfully that there will not be any.
Snowball and Napoleon begin to disagree and pit themselves against one another politically. Some of the animals support Snowball, using the slogan, "Vote for Snowball and the three-day week," and others support Napoleon, using the "Vote for Napoleon and the full manger" slogan.
Napoleon very quickly begins using smear tactics against his opponent, Snowball. Although Snowball makes "brilliant speeches" when the animals congregate together, "Napoleon was better at canvassing support for himself" behind Snowball's back. He convinces the other animals that Snowball's idealism is unrealistic. When the animals are uncertain, Napoleon then uses sheer physical force to expel Snowball from the farm and take over. Napoleon is then able to convince the others that Snowball has been a traitor to their cause.