When we first read Animal Farm by George Orwell we find it to be an amusing fairy tale, although it has a much deeper meaning. In Orwell's novel the animals revolt against their human rulers talk and harvest crops. This whole idea of the revolt is based on the Russian Revolution, in which the revolt started of as a foundation of an idealistic society but as time flew by dictatorship returned [Animal Farm: http://downtown.ala.net].
Like the Russian Revolution the revolt in Animal Farm gave rise to pure communism where every body or rather animal was equal. At the same time they had votes too, to decide on matters, which is not communism therefore Animal Farm followed communism in a differently. They followed the democratic version of it, 'Democratic Communism.' The two main leaders of Animal Farm, Napoleon and Snowball are compared to two leaders of The Russian Revolution, Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky respectively. Later Napoleon gets rid of Snowball just as Stalin gets rid of Trotsky and then switches to Dictatorship [Animal Farm: www.globalserve.net][Animal Farm: http://downtown.ala.net] [Signet Classics, Animal Farm's Introduction].
The opposing leaders in Animal Farm Napoleon and Snowball were always contrary to each other and had nothing in common other than the fact that they were both good leaders. Snowball has some lead over Napoleon in the sense that he was a much better speaker than Napoleon was and he knew how to convince the animals. He was an altruistic leader who showed courage and gave moral support to the animals. For an example, when Boxer had injured a stable hand and everybody thought he was dead Snowball cheered them saying, "No sentimentality, comrade Ã¢â‚¬Â¦War is war"(Orwell pg. 49). He really believed that all animals are equal and acted and worked for the comfort of his 'comrades', he was a hero.
Napoleon on the other hand was a quite a contrary image, he was selfish cruel and corrupt. He would think of his and the pigs interest first and then that of the other animals and the farm. His way of ruling was inequality, completely contrary to the teachings of the Old Major and the 'The Seven Commandments' (Orwell pg. 33). Napoleon can be equated to Napoleon Bonaparte for his high ambition and his rule by fear and force.
The most important difference between these two animal leaders is not their behavior but their beliefs, Snowball believing in what could be described as 'Democratic Communism' and Napoleon following Dictatorship. This major discrepancy between the ideas of these to 'pigs' led to the abolishment and defaming of Snowball by Napoleon and his dogs. The time when Snowball was in 'Animal Farm' the animals saw prosperity and peace, for 'their leader' wanted to give the animals a better life than in that of Jones's time. But "Our Leader, comrade Napoleon"(pg. 69) cared for no one else but himself and power, he gave the lower rations to the animals than what they received when Jones was their master. Earlier the animals used to vote on issues but with the expulsion of Snowball their voting rights and also the meeting on Sunday's were abolished, their inspiration "Beasts of England" was forbidden, the animals were brought under slavery again without their knowledge. Behind all this was Napoleon, the one boar who made a difference.
Napoleon proved that the old way worked just as Stalin did, Napoleon was not a desirable leader but his way of ruling and stopping revolt is truly admirable. While on the other side of the coin Snowball was a leader of the people and a caring one too, though he was not as successful, he was more honest than Napoleon was. "Our Leader, comrade Napoleon" brought back slavery. Democracy fled with Snowball.
. "Animal Farm, Comparison of characters to Russian Revolution."
http://www.globalserve.net/~glamont/afrmruss.html (Nov. 5, 1998.)
. "Animal Farm" Introduction and chapter summaries 1- 10.
http://downtown.ala.net/~bstrick/animal.htm (Oct. 27, 1998.)
Woodhouse C. M. "Introduction" to Animal Farm.
Animal Farm. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. 1946.
Orwell George. Animal Farm. New York:
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. 1946