Compare and contrast Napoleon and Snowball in Animal Farm.

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Napoleon and Snowball in Animal Farm are alike in having greater intelligence than the other animal species on the farm, in vying for leadership roles, and in believing the pigs deserve extra privileges. However, Snowball is far more intelligent and hardworking than Napoleon, believes to some extent in the principles of Animalism, and is courageous. Napoleon is a strutting, narcissistic bully and coward who is only concerned about ruthlessly amassing personal power and indulging his appetites.

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Because they are pigs, Snowball and Napoleon are alike in being more intelligent than the other animal species on the farm. They both are interested in leadership of Animal Farm, and both are united in thinking that the pigs, because of their brain work, deserve extra benefits that the other animals don't get to share in, such as the windfall apples.

Snowball, however, is much more intelligent and hardworking than Napoleon and more of proactive leader early on. For example, Snowball expects Farmer Jones and his men to attack and try to retake the farm, so he studies Julius Caesar's writings on military strategy to be prepared.

Snowball also differs from Napoleon in being more dedicated to the principals of Animalism, if not entirely so. He forms many committees, for instance, in order to get all the animals involved in running the farm. He wants to build the windmill, which Napoleon initially opposes, in part to fulfill the dream of making life easier for all the animals.

Snowball is also braver than Napoleon. He actually fights in the Battle of the Cowshed, rather than disappearing.

Napoleon, on the other hand, has a more ruthless will to power. Unlike Snowball, his focus is solely on amassing power for himself. He is more underhanded and unprincipled than Snowball expects, so Snowball is taken by surprise when Napoleon uses the dogs he has raised to turn on Snowball and drive him off the farm.

Napoleon, unlike Snowball, does not care at all about the welfare of the other animals. He uses terror and propaganda rather than intelligence and planning to consolidate his power. He exploits his police-state power to set himself apart from the other animals and loll about self-aggrandizing, drinking, and womanizing with a variety of female pigs. He shows himself to be utterly heartless and without empathy when he has the elderly Boxer sold to the glue factory so he and his cohort can have a drunken revel.

Snowball is the Leon Trotsky character in the book, while Napoleon is meant to represent Joseph Stalin.

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Napoleon and Snowball are the two leading pigs on the farm at the beginning of the story, who take center stage following the Rebellion and the Battle of the Cowshed. Both pigs are portrayed as intelligent and take the initiative to lead the other animals. Napoleon and Snowball also enjoy their privileged status and are not afraid to express their opinions by addressing the animals in public.

Despite the minor similarities, Napoleon and Snowball have completely different personalities and styles of leadership. Snowball is depicted as being more "vivacious" and in-touch with the other animals than Napoleon. He takes it upon himself to establish various committees to improve the standard of living on the farm and gives the other animals a voice in government decisions. Snowball is also a more articulate speaker and has plans to build a windmill, which will provide electricity to the farm and make life significantly easier for the animals. He also values the opinions of others and subscribes to old Major's teachings regarding equality and solidarity for every animal.

In contrast, Napoleon is a more intimidating, taciturn pig, who has a reputation for getting his own way. The animals believe that he has a greater depth of character than Snowball and he is depicted as a more threatening pig. Napoleon does not support Snowball's plans to build a windmill and believes that the farm should focus its attention on increasing its food production. Napoleon also subscribes to a completely different style of leadership than Snowball. Napoleon does not believe in the tenets of Animalism and develops into a tyrannical leader. He is much more ruthless, violent, and hostile than Snowball, which enables him to usurp power with relative ease.

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Napoleon and Snowball are two leaders with very different personalities, as is clear from the following introductory description.

 Napoleon was a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting his own way. 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.(chapter 2)

Napoleon, then, is  big, tough, ponderous, and laconic while Snowball is quick, fiery and talkative. However, from this description, we get the sense that ultimately Napoleon's is the more powerful and forceful personality, and so it proves.

In their clash of temperament, outlook, and ideas, it is inevitable that the two pigs should become rivals. Although to begin with Snowball appears to be the more successful and charismatic leader, with his fine powers of speech, organisational abilities and passionate idealism, he is eventually outmanoeuvred by the cunning and ruthless Napoleon. Napoleon is more interested than Snowball in obtaining personal power and stops at nothing to achieve it. While Snowball has the popular touch, Napoleon is content to work behind the scenes, and finally emerges with supreme power.

The power struggle between Napoleon and Snowball is deliberately reminiscent of the rivalry between Josef Stalin and Leon Trotsky in the early days of Communist Russia. Napoleon, in his laconic brutality and scheming ways, resembles Stalin while Snowball resembles the brilliant and energetic Trotsky.  Just as Stalin finally ousted Trotsky, and proclaimed him an enemy of the Communist state, Napoleon eventually expels Snowball from the farm by brute force and blackens his very memory thereafter.

When compared to Napoleon, Snowball certainly is the more appealing character. However, while not ruthless like Napoleon, he too is seen to have his faults: he is quick enough to assume the pigs' superiority over the other animals at the start, and he has a tendency to somewhat idealistic and impractical schemes, like the windmill, which he stubbornly insists on pursuing.

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Both Napoleon and Snowball are pigs living on Manor Farm. Both become leaders in the revolution, although their roles and responsibilities take them in very different directions.

Napoleon is a "large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar" who becomes the dictator and source of ultimate power in the government set up after the revolution. Napoleon exercises his authority behind the scenes; he seldom comes out among the other animals, and always has his guard dogs around to protect him through intimidation or attack, as needed. The other animals fear Napoleon but also credit him with the success of Animal Farm after the humans are expelled.

It had become usual to give Napoleon the credit for every successful achievement and every stroke of good fortune. You would often hear one hen remark to another, 'Under the guidance of our Leader, Comrade Napoleon, I have laid five eggs in six days'; or two cows, enjoying a drink at the pool, would exclaim, 'Thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napoleon, how excellent this water tastes!

Snowball is the spokespig and the organizer of the revolution. He is "quicker in speech and more inventive" than the other pigs and becomes the conveyer of messages and explanations between the pigs and the other animals. When questions begin to arise about the ways in which things seem to not be working out as the other animals anticipated, Snowball is the one to prove that all is working out exactly as it should have been.

Reading out the figures in a shrill, rapid voice, he proved to them in detail that they had more oats, more hay, more turnips than they had had in Jones's day, that they worked shorter hours, that their drinking water was of better quality, that they lived longer, that a larger proportion of their young ones survived infancy, and that they had more straw in their stalls and suffered less from fleas.

Snowball is eventually driven off the farm and is blamed for everything that goes wrong. He is made into a villain in the eyes of the animals, while Napoleon goes on to establish renewed relationships with the humans of surrounding farms.

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What are the main disagreements between Snowball and Napoleon in the book Animal Farm?

After the Rebellion and the Battle of the Cowshed, Napoleon and Snowball begin to disagree about the future of Animal Farm. The two leading pigs engage in heated debates and disagree on virtually every issue. The most intense debates and heated arguments between Napoleon and Snowball involve the subject of the windmill. Snowball argues that the windmill will dramatically improve living conditions on the farm and develops elaborate blueprints for its construction. Napoleon is opposed to Snowball's plans to construct a windmill and believes that the animals should focus on increasing food production. Napoleon also argues that if the animals were to focus on building a windmill, they would surely starve to death. The two leading pigs form separate factions with opposing slogans that read "Vote for Snowball and the three-day week" and "Vote for Napoleon and the full manger" (Orwell, 38). On the day that the animals get to cast their votes in support of Snowball or Napoleon, Napoleon calls his ferocious dogs from the loft and usurps power by driving Snowball from the farm.

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What are the main disagreements between Snowball and Napoleon in the book Animal Farm?

Snowball is a true egalitarian revolutionary. He writes "The 7 Commandments," a guide to life on the farm after the ousting of the totalitarian and oppressive farmer. Snowball encouraged the other animals to spread their revolution to other farms throughout the communit, going from farm to farm and helping the animals to secure freedom. Napoleon starts out as Snowball's fellow revolutionary, committed to the cause of a iMac freedom. However, as the story progresses, Napoleon becomes an opportunistic leader. He begins to favor pigs above the other animals. He starts to create special privileges for the pigs. Napoleon becomes more and more tyrannical as the story progresses, until, eventually he's indistinguishable from the farmer himself.
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How are Snowball and Napoleon different in Animal Farm?

Snowball is more interested in having all animals collectively maintain the farm and benefit from it, while Napoleon just wants power. 

From the beginning, Napoleon is scheming and Snowball seems clueless about it.  Snowball seems to have bought in to Old Major’s vision of the farm, and is trying to make it happen.  Napoleon, on the other hand, does nothing but create division and try to benefit himself. 

Snowball also busied himself with organising the other animals into what he called Animal Committees. ... On the whole, these projects were a failure. The attempt to tame the wild creatures, for instance, broke down almost immediately. (Ch. 3) 

Snowball wanted to get all of the animals educated. He succeeded in getting the pigs to read, and some of the other animals learned to read or learned the alphabet.  The animals become divided on whether they agree with Snowball’s plans to build the windmill or Napoleon’s idea that it is a waste of time and effort. 

Snowball and Napoleon become increasingly at odds.  Eventually, Snowball can’t even make a speech without the sheep blurting out “Four legs good, two legs bad” to interrupt him.  Napoleon and Squealer support them doing this. 

Napoleon takes the puppies and trains them secretly to be his guard dog force.  He uses them to run Snowball off, and then uses Snowball as a scapegoat for everything.  Snowball never saw it coming.  Napoleon goes from opposing the windmill to announcing it will be built. 

On the third Sunday after Snowball's expulsion, the animals were somewhat surprised to hear Napoleon announce that the windmill was to be built after all. He did not give any reason for having changed his mind, but merely warned the animals that this extra task would mean very hard work, it might even be necessary to reduce their rations. (Ch. 5) 

Squealer, Napoleon’s mouthpiece, tells the animals that Napoleon was never opposed to the windmill.  Snowball was a traitor, working with Jones.  If the animals do not work hard, Jones will come back.

In short, Snowball is idealistic and cares about all of the animals.  Both Napoleon and Snowball are ambitious, but Napoleon's ambition is directed at getting power for himself.  He knows how to use other animals, such as Squealer and the puppies, to make that happen.

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How are Snowball and Napoleon different in Animal Farm?

Snowball and Napoleon are very different. The only thing that they share is the fact that they are pigs. Immediately after the revolution, Snowball proved to be a vigorous leader in many ways. First, he was a great intellect. For example, he studied the works of Julius Caesar to learn military techniques. Second, he was quick to create committees and other groups to get work done on the farm. Here is a quote:

Snowball also busied himself with organizing the other animals into what he called Animal Committees. He was indefatigable at this.

Finally, Snowball was also a visionary. He thought of building a windmill.

Napoleon, on the other hand, did not see eye to eye with Snowball. He did not see the need for committees and organizational structure. In fact, he dismissed all of these things. Instead, he believed that the education of the young was most important. So, he took the puppies of Bluebell and Jessie and raised them for himself. Later they became his guard dogs. He used them to control the farm and even drive out Snowball. Here is what the text says:

Napoleon took no interest in Snowball’s committees. He said that the education of the young was more important than anything that could be done for those who were already grown up.

In the end, Napoleon was more successful, because he introduced a reign of terror.

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In Animal Farm, what are the similarities and differences between Snowball and Napoleon in their treatment of the other animals?

At the beginning of the novel, Napoleon and Snowball both feel a sense of superiority over the other animals. We see this through their assumption of leadership in the plans for the Rebellion. They work together to develop Animalism, for example, and teach themselves how to read and write so that they can run the farm once Mr Jones is overthrown. 

After the Rebellion, however, the differences between Napoleon and Snowball become apparent. Snowball, for instance, tries to help the other animals and demonstrates a high level of patience. He sets up committees, like the Egg Production Committee and the Clean Tails League, and offers lessons in reading and writing.

In contrast, Napoleon's sense of superiority does not falter and this is combined with deception and arrogance. At the end of Chapter Two, for instance, he steals the milk so that it can be mixed into the pigs' food. In addition, he demonstrates "no interest" in the committees to educate the other animals.

Arguably, it is these differences which lead to the division between Snowball and Napoleon later in the novel.

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In Animal Farm, what are the similarities and differences between Snowball and Napoleon in their treatment of the other animals?

Although they are both strong leaders, Napoleon and Snowball have very different ideas about the revolution.  While Snowball believes in the ideals of the revolution, Napoleon sees it as an opportunity to garner power for himself.  Snowball has the brains, but Napoleon has the brawn.

After the revolution, Snowball tries to get the animals to work together, get educated, and be involved in government.  Napoleon, on the other hand, wants the farm to be governed by an elite group of pigs rather than committees of animals.   

Snowball is a strong orator, but Napoleon is a master manipulator.  Ultimately, Napoleon’s power-grabbing is successful and he is able to not only run Snowball off the farm but continue to use him as a scapegoat after he leaves.

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What are the differences between Napoleon's and Snowball's behavior in Animal Farm?

In the initial characterization of the two, the author clearly draws a contrast between Snowball and Napoleon. He gives us insight into their general demeanor and personalities. This is obviously also an indication of how they would behave. The text states:

Pre-eminent among the pigs were two young boars named Snowball and Napoleon, whom Mr. Jones was breeding up for sale. Napoleon was a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting his own way. 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. 

From these descriptions, it is clear that Napoleon was quite secretive and since he was 'fierce-looking,' one can assume that he intimidated the other animals. Snowball, on the other hand, was much more lively and a good speaker. He could generate ideas at a whim. The fact that he is described as not having the same depth of character as Napoleon suggests that he came across as somewhat shallow whilst Napoleon seemed to be a deep thinker. The significance of this contrast is expressed in the manner in which they later conducted affairs on the farm.  

Snowball was keen to educate the animals and adopted a practical approach. he tirelessly worked at creating a variety of committees so that tasks could be better organized. These, however, were a failure since the larger proportion of animals were not intelligent and could not completely relate to the purpose of Snowball's efforts. The reading and writing classes were, however, a great success.   

Napoleon, on the other hand, showed no interest in Snowball's activities. It was more important to him that the young should be educated rather than wasting time on teaching the older animals something new. Although Napoleon's approach seems to make sense initially, we discover that his motive for this approach was quite sinister. He took Jessie and Bluebell's puppies under his wing soon after they were weaned and kept them hidden. He assumed responsibility for their upbringing. Napoleon's purpose in this was not born from a generous desire to help but was informed by malicious and selfish intent. Once the puppies were grown, he used them to do his evil. At his command, they chased Snowball off the farm and executed animals during his bloodthirsty purge.

Napoleon's purpose in this was not born from a generous desire to help but was informed by malicious and selfish intent. Once the puppies were grown, he used them to do his evil. At his command, they chased Snowball off the farm and executed animals during his bloodthirsty purge. It is noticeably apparent that Napoleon realised that the young could be easily influenced and fed whatever propaganda he desired to. They could become tools and would be used as puppets in his hands.

Snowball noticeably made an effort to improve the lives of all the animals, whilst Napoleon was generally uninvolved. It was Snowball who had strategized to beat Mr. Jones and his men when they invaded the farm. He encouraged the animals and also spoke about them being prepared to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others. Napoleon remained silent.

Napoleon's only real contribution after the Rebellion came from his opposition to all Snowball's ideas. Whilst Snowball won much support at meetings, Napoleon had in the interim taken to influence the sheep to disrupt him whenever it became clear that he was winning an argument as noted in the following excerpt:

At the Meetings Snowball often won over the majority by his brilliant speeches, but Napoleon was better at canvassing support for himself in between times. He was especially successful with the sheep. Of late the sheep had taken to bleating "Four legs good, two legs bad" both in and out of season, and they often interrupted the Meeting with this. It was noticed that they were especially liable to break into "Four legs good, two legs bad" at crucial moments in Snowball's speeches. 

It is obvious that Napoleon's actions were directed at serving himself, whereas Snowball acted in the general interest. This fact is pertinently illustrated by Napoleon's repeated rejection of Snowball's ideas. He, for example, urinated over Snowball's meticulous plans for a windmill.

Napoleon produced no schemes of his own, but said quietly that Snowball's would come to nothing, and seemed to be biding his time.

The difference in the two pigs' actions and thinking becomes plain in their disagreements about defence. Napoleon wanted to procure firearms for their own use whilst Snowball insisted that animals on other farms should be encouraged to rebel. Clearly, Napoleon's thinking was quite insular whilst Snowball displayed a wider perspective. Napoleon's selfishness comes to the fore when he finally has an opportunity to get rid of Snowball. At a time when Snowball wished to finally present his masterpiece (the windmill) Napoleon called upon his dogs to chase him off the farm. He barely escaped.

In the end, Napoleon became the tyrannical master of the farm. He claimed Snowball's ideas as his own and demonized him, using him as a scapegoat, in his absence, for everything that went wrong on the farm. Ultimately, Napoleon had become a much worse copy of the dictatorial Mr. Jones.

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In Animal Farm, what are the similarities and differences between Snowball and Napoleon's beliefs?

In the opening chapters of Animal Farm, Snowball and Napoleon share the common belief in overthrowing Mr Jones and taking control of Manor Farm for the good of the animals. Together, for example, the pigs develop a social system called Animalism which emphasises the equality and freedom of animals and frees them from the exploitation of Man. 

But it is Snowball and Napoleon's differences which are most prominent throughout the rest of the novel. We see lots of examples of this after the revolution takes place and the humans are driven off Manor Farm. On the subject of clothes, for example, Snowball throws some ribbons on to the fire because he believes that they are the "mark of a human being." He states that animals should never wear clothes and should always be naked. This contrasts sharply with Napoleon, who wears human clothes later in the novel. For Napoleon, then, clothes are a symbol of his power and dominance and he is proud to wear them. 

Similarly, after the revolution, Snowball believes that the animals should continue to work hard on the farm to ensure its smooth running. For him, it is a "point of honour" to work harder and more efficiently than the humans. In contrast, Napoleon does not value work in the same way and he uses this opportunity to steal the milk.

Snowball also believes in forming committees to improve the lives of the animals. While many of these efforts are failures, his reading and writing initiative is a "great success." But Napoleon believes that the "education of the young" is far more important. He does not participate in any of these committees and he instead takes Jessie and Bluebell's puppies on the (false) pretence that he is educating them privately. In reality, Napoleon is training the puppies to become his own personal guard dogs and does not value education at all. 

Finally, we see the differences in Napoleon and Snowball's beliefs at their strongest when it comes to the building of the windmill in Chapter Five. Snowball believes in the value of the windmill because of its labour-saving potential. He also believes that it can greatly enhance the comfort of the animals by giving them heating and lighting in the barn. Napoleon, however, feels very differently about the windmill. For him, the windmill is a waste of time which detracts from the animals' most important mission: boosting food production to prevent starvation. But when Napoleon loses the windmill debate, he reacts with unprecedented cruelty by setting his dogs on Snowball. What this incident really shows is that Snowball and Napoleon differ on the most fundamental level: Snowball is concerned with the welfare and equality of all animals, while Napoleon is only interested in the pursuit of personal power.

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How can I compare Snowball and Napoleon in Animal Farm?

One way to compare two characters in a story is to list their similarities and differences.  (A Venn diagram is very helpful in this situation). Start out with a list of similar physical and mental characteristics; for example, both characters are pigs and they believe in reorganizing the farm after getting rid of the farmer. They are both good leaders, out-spoken and intelligent. One can also compare characters by what choices and decisions they make, how they speak to each other, and how they speak to others. Look for specific word choices to analyze if one character is kind or unkind. Also look for how the author describes the way they walk, what habits they might have, and wha they value in life.  Making lists is a great way to find comparisons and differences between characters. For further insight, click on the links below for individual character analyses.

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