Napoleon and Snowball
Napoleon and Snowball are characters who represent Stalin and Trotsky. Explore the conflict between these two characters presented by Orwell in Animal Farm ‘Animal Farm’ is an allegory which presents George Orwell’s views on communism in the form of an anthropomorphic fable. The main characters are Snowball and Napoleon, who represent Trotsky and Stalin, are two opposing characters whose conflict is presented in a number of linguistic and structural ways. An example of this are the different ideas of ‘Animalism’ which Snowball and Napoleon have. Snowball strives for equality whilst Napoleon becomes a power-driven dictator. One of the first differences that emerge between Snowball and Napoleon are their physical differences described at the start of Chapter 2 Napoleon is described as a ‘large, rather fierce-looking’ pig which foreshadows his future violent ways of dictatorship , as well as showing that Napoleon takes more than his fair share.
On the other hand, Snowball seems to be a more suitable leader as he is ‘quicker in speech’ and ‘more inventive’. However, it appears as if Orwell is foreshadowing Snowball’s eventual inferiority by mentioning that he was not ‘considered to have the same depth of character’. In my opinion, throughout Chapter 2, Orwell is making the reader feel more inclines towards Snowball by presenting him as someone who strives for equality and seems to be on the animals’ side. The main source of conflict between Snowball ad Napoleon, especially during the first half of the novel, was due to the fact that ‘these two were never in agreement’ and this is shown through the way they utilise (or manipulate, in Napoleon’s case) their power over the other animals’. Snowball is full of plans and ideas, such as education and generating electricity which help optimise the animals’ lives. We know that Snowball is driven to spread the word of ‘Animalism’ by creating simplified maxims such as ‘four legs good, two legs bad’.
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However, Orwell portrays the idea that a lot of these plans are idealistic as many of these fail and this becomes apparent when Orwell lists them but abruptly ends the list with the sentence ‘on the whole these projects were a failure’, creating bathos and a satirical tone. On the other hand, Napoleon becomes a dictator whose only goals are to gain power for himself and the reader is aware of this when ‘the milk has disappeared’ at the end of