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In the book Animal Farm, all the main characters are animals. The book starts with all the animals of the farm, gathering to hear the old wize pig, Old Major, telling the other animals of a dream that he has had. Not so long afterwards, Old Mayor dies. The story of Showball starts when the pigs Napoleon, Squealer and Snowball listen to the Commandments of the Old Mayor. They have just thrown out the humans, and are now very excited about their future.
The Commandments have the purpose to save Animal Farm from the human rulers like the previous farmer Mr. Jones. All the animals should be equal and no one is allowed to do anything that seems like human behaviour. Napoleon takes on a leading role, supported by Squealer.
Why is Snowball the biggest competitor for the power over the farm? Snowball is also a pig. All the other animals already look up to the pigs, and they are in control of the farm.
When Mr. Jones is removed from the farm, Snowball thinks they should put the ideas of Old Major in to practice, and the new Seven Commandments is the main priority. He paints the Commandments on a wall of the barn and says : `Let us make it a point of honour to get in the harvest more quickly than Jones and his men could do.Вґ Snowball also is a very good public speaker. He soon realizes that the Seven Commandments need to be made easier, so that more of the animals can understand them.
He therefore sums up all of Animalism in `four legs good, two legs badВґ which he teaches to the sheep, and writes on the barn wall. This sentence is easy to learn, but it also distorts the ideas given by Old Major, so they can be easily manipulated.
Instead of trying to teach all the farm animals the meaning of the Commandments, Snowball gives the other animals a slogan that they can repeat without thinking. He doesnВґt think that the other animals are capable of learing all the commandments. Snowball is a very carismatic speaker and therefor is the biggest competitor to Napoleon for the power over the farm. The other animals listen to him, and he seems to think more about the other animals than himself. The other animals look up to the pigs, because they are in control of the farm. Snowball has several ideas to make life easier for the other animals, like the windmill. Snowball works to help the other animals, which Napoleon does not. Snowball wants the farm animals to build the windmill. This will be very hard work, but will benefit the farm animals so that they will not have to work so hard in the future. The windmill is a very big project, and it will take a long while before they earn back all their hard work. Napoleon does not agree with building it, and therefore starts to loose some power to Snowball.
Snowball demands more food than the other animals, claiming that pigs need milk to for their brains, because they do the intellectual work. The commandments of Old Mayor are not so practical, so Snowball takes them more like moral guidelines he should try to live up to. In comparison to Napoleon, Snowball is more intelligent and a quick thinker. Napoleon knows very well how to make the other animals look upon him as a leader, and Squealer joins Napoleon helping him compensate the difference in his and SnowballВґs speaches. The farm inhabitants start thinking that Snowball is less suitable for the leader role, because he is always friendly to everyone, and has a cheerful personality. This makes him seem less of a traditional leader to the other animals.
Snowball sees that animals are different. He considers pigs to be smarter than the other animals, but he respects all animals. He sees that a horse is stronger than a pig, and that the horses, because of that, are equally important to the farm. The horses need more straw than the other animals, because they are bigger and work harder. He also has positive thoughts of the other animals on the farm. Napoleon looks upon himself as being above the other animals, he sees him and the other pigs as being superior. Napoleon transforms Snowball into an enemy of the farm. He becomes a traitor that everything that goes wrong on the farm, can be blamed upon. Every success on the farm, Napoleon gets the credit for, and every thing that goes wrong is blamed upon Snowball.
Animals who even dream of Snowball are executed as traitors. Snowball was the biggest competitor for the power over the farm, because of his personality, his good speaches, and his thoughts that all animals should have a better life. Unfortunately Napoleon managed to convince the animals that he was a traitor. Eventually, showball was forgotten, as well as his dream that the animals would for ever live a good life.
Orwell, G. (1977). Animal Farm. Harmondsworth, Penguin Books Ltd. (Original work published in 1945) Moran, Daniel. CliffsNotes on Animal Farm. 09 Feb 2020
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