Analyzing The Character of Snowball in George Orwell's "Animal Farm"

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 805 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Jun 6, 2024

Words: 805|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Jun 6, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Snowball's Vision and Contributions
  2. Conflict and Expulsion
  3. The Aftermath and Legacy
  4. Conclusion
  5. References

George Orwell's "Animal Farm" is a potent allegory that translates the events of the Russian Revolution into the microcosm of a farmyard. Among the various characters that populate this narrative, Snowball emerges as a particularly complex and dynamic figure. Representing Leon Trotsky, Snowball's character is integral to understanding the ideological conflicts and power struggles that define the story. This essay seeks to explore Snowball's role and significance in "Animal Farm," examining his contributions, the conflicts he encounters, and his ultimate expulsion, all while drawing parallels to historical events and utilizing reputable sources to substantiate the analysis.

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Snowball's Vision and Contributions

Snowball is introduced as one of the leading pigs who spearheads the rebellion against Mr. Jones. His character is depicted as intelligent, passionate, and articulate, qualities that make him an effective leader and visionary. Snowball's contributions to the farm are substantial, particularly in the realm of education and innovation. For instance, he organizes the construction of a windmill, which he believes will dramatically improve the efficiency and quality of life on the farm. This mirrors Trotsky's advocacy for rapid industrialization in the Soviet Union to modernize the economy, as noted by historian Robert Service (Service, 2009).

Snowball's vision extends beyond mere technological advancement; he is also committed to the principles of Animalism, which promotes equality and collective ownership. His efforts to educate the other animals about Animalism and his initiatives to form various committees underscore his dedication to these ideals. According to Orwell biographer Bernard Crick, Snowball's actions reflect Trotsky's emphasis on education and his belief in the proletariat's ability to govern themselves (Crick, 1980). Snowball's forward-thinking and his commitment to the farm's democratic principles establish him as a leader who genuinely seeks the betterment of the community.

Conflict and Expulsion

Despite his contributions, Snowball's leadership is fraught with conflict, primarily with Napoleon, who represents Joseph Stalin. The ideological rift between Snowball and Napoleon becomes increasingly pronounced as the story progresses. While Snowball espouses the importance of collective welfare and innovation, Napoleon is more concerned with consolidating power. This clash culminates in Snowball's expulsion from the farm, orchestrated by Napoleon and his loyal canine enforcers.

The expulsion of Snowball can be interpreted as a representation of Trotsky's exile from the Soviet Union. Trotsky's expulsion was a result of his opposition to Stalin's policies and his support for "permanent revolution," which contrasted sharply with Stalin's "socialism in one country" approach. As noted by political scientist Isaac Deutscher, Trotsky's exile marked the end of genuine ideological debate within the Soviet leadership and signaled the rise of authoritarianism (Deutscher, 1963). Similarly, Snowball's expulsion signifies the end of democratic discourse on the farm and the beginning of Napoleon's tyrannical rule.

The Aftermath and Legacy

Following Snowball's expulsion, Napoleon systematically rewrites history, portraying Snowball as a traitor and saboteur. This revisionist history serves to legitimize Napoleon's regime and discredit any opposition. The demonization of Snowball is akin to the Stalinist propaganda that vilified Trotsky, branding him as an enemy of the state. This manipulation of truth underscores the theme of power and corruption that pervades "Animal Farm."

Despite his absence, Snowball's legacy endures in various forms. The windmill project, which was initially Snowball's brainchild, becomes a central focus of the farm's efforts, albeit under Napoleon's distorted vision. The windmill's construction, fraught with challenges and setbacks, symbolizes the betrayal of Snowball's ideals and the perversion of the original revolutionary goals. According to literary critic John Rodden, Snowball's legacy in the story serves as a reminder of the lost potential and the dreams that were sacrificed for the sake of power (Rodden, 1999).

Moreover, Snowball's character invites readers to reflect on the nature of leadership and the ethical responsibilities that come with it. His commitment to education, innovation, and democratic principles contrasts sharply with Napoleon's authoritarianism, highlighting the moral dimensions of governance. As Orwell himself noted in his essay "Why I Write," the ethical implications of political actions are a central concern in his works (Orwell, 1946).


In conclusion, Snowball's character in "Animal Farm" serves as a multifaceted representation of Leon Trotsky and embodies the complexities of revolutionary leadership. His vision, contributions, and eventual expulsion illustrate the ideological conflicts and power struggles that define the narrative. Through Snowball, Orwell not only critiques the corruption and betrayal of revolutionary ideals but also underscores the importance of ethical leadership. By examining Snowball's role and significance, readers gain a deeper understanding of the broader themes of power, corruption, and the cyclical nature of history that Orwell so masterfully portrays. The enduring relevance of these themes, particularly in the context of contemporary political discourse, attests to the timelessness of Orwell's work.

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Crick, B. (1980). George Orwell: A Life. Little, Brown and Company.
Deutscher, I. (1963). The Prophet Outcast: Trotsky 1929-1940. Oxford University Press.
Orwell, G. (1946). Why I Write. Gangrel, 4.
Rodden, J. (1999). George Orwell: The Politics of Literary Reputation. Transaction Publishers.
Service, R. (2009). Trotsky: A Biography. Harvard University Press.

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Analyzing the Character of Snowball in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. (2024, Jun 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from
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