Leaders are the individuals who are in charge of making decisions which have a lasting impact on the future of their followers. With this in mind, not all leaders qualify to possess the power that they wield; especially when it comes to the interests of the public. George Orwell’s Animal Farm portrays differing types of leaders between Napoleon and Snowball, the two main rulers of the Manor Farm. Throughout the novella, Snowball’s superiority of leadership in comparison to Napoleon’s is established by the differences between their styles of leadership, their true intentions for the animals, and their moral uprightness.
An individual’s type of leadership can result in the failure or success of a leader. In the text, it is depicted that Snowball is an exceptional leader through his use of transformational leadership techniques. Snowball forms “the Egg Production Committee for the hens, the Clean Tails League for the cows, the Wild Comrades’ Re-education Committee…, the Whiter Wool Movement for the sheep, and various others, besides instituting classes in reading and writing. (Orwell 20)
Through Snowball creating the different committees for the farm animals as well as educating them, especially in literacy, it is demonstrated that Snowball attempts to create positive relationships with the others, and in addition, treats the animals equally and respectfully by not only creating committees for each of them, but also by not selectively choosing who receives education. With this, Snowball becomes a relationship-oriented leader as he tries to work with his subordinates and not treat them as the bourgeoisie.
On the other hand, Napoleon falters in comparison to Snowball as a leader due to his brutal and harsh leadership when ruling over the farm. “His totalitarian leadership serves the pigs’ junta but leaves the other animals in abject poverty. While Napoleon makes all decisions, the pigs enjoy all the benefits of the farm. Day by day the lives of all the other animals are being jeopardized by the ruthless decisions he makes. There is no more room for debate and discussion, and all those so-called democratic proceedings vanish. (Fonseka 6)
Napoleon uses his authority to enforce his ideologies, giving the bourgeoisie many luxuries and depriving the proletariat of the same comforts that the higher class receives. Napoleon also determines the fate of the farm with no consultation from the other animals, leaving all the decisions to be made by with his own motives. Napoleon fails as a leader in comparison to Snowball because instead of consulting with the other animals and treating them as equals, he neglects to think of the well-being of the proletariat and is only devoted to pleasing his own ideologies and desires.
By applying a leadership style that engages with the farm animals instead of dividing and bestowing unequal treatment, Snowball is recognized to be a more distinguished leader of the two. A distinctive attribute that determines whether a leader’s worthiness for possessing authority is found through examining their genuine concerns for their subordinates. Snowball’s goals for the farm are to give the inhabitants a higher quality of living, and thus, prompts him to be an outstanding and charismatic leader.
Snowball passionately drives the idea of creating a windmill with a dynamo “which would do [the animal’s] work for them while they grazed at their ease in the fields or improved their minds with reading and conversation. ” (Orwell 32) Instead of creating a means of production that would increase wealth and generate an issue with conspicuous consumption, it is shown that Snowball intends to use this means of production to establish a more prosperous future in addition to raising standards of living for the animals. Furthermore, Snowball surpasses Napoleon as a leader because of Napoleon’s true motive being his greed for material wealth.
When the windmill is built, “the luxuries of which Snowball [teaches] to dream… [are] no longer talked about. Napoleon [denounces] such ideas… the farm [grows] richer without making the animals themselves any richer- except, of course, for the pigs and dogs. ” (Orwell 86) Instead of using the windmill to increase the farm’s prosperity and its material circumstances, Napoleon shows little to no regard for all the animals and uses the means of production to once again, divide the farm into the proletariat and bourgeoisie, leading to unequal distribution of goods between the classes.
By striving for a better and healthier future for the farm and not for his own material gain, it is evident that Snowball is the more suitable leader and visionary of the two. The most successful leaders are individuals who are of good moral character as they act with honorability when leading their followers. Snowball is depicted as a loyal and courageous animal when overseeing the farm, and this allows him to be seen as the proper choice as the head of the farm. During The Battle of the Cowshed, Snowball dashes “straight for Jones.
Jones [sees] him coming, [raises] his gun and [fires]. The pellets [score] bloody streaks along Snowball’s back… Without halting for an instant, Snowball [flings] his fifteen stone against Jones’s leg. ” (Orwell 27) Snowball is devoted to protecting the farm and gallantly fights against their enemy to preserve the animal’s new found freedom. Even when injured, Snowball is persistent and advances toward the enemy. This shows that Snowball is righteous as he is loyal to his cause and adamantly fights for his beliefs.
In contrast, Napoleon is dishonest and lacks the same integrity that Snowball wields, causing his inferiority. During the battle, Napoleon is missing. Nonetheless, he deceives the animals, informing them that Snowball did not fight and “when panic was spreading and all seemed lost, that comrade Napoleon sprang forward with a cry of ‘Death to Humanity! ’ and sank his teeth into Jones’s leg” (Orwell 54). Interpellation occurs when the proletariat of the farm are manipulated to accept the idea that Napoleon courageously fought for the farm instead of Snowball.
Napoleon is deceitful and influences the animals to maintain his authoritative position, displaying poor morality as a leader. It is then evident that Snowball is proven to be the superior ruler of the farm between the two as he maintains good moral standing. It is recognized that Napoleon is the subsidiary in comparison to Snowball as shown by the type of leadership they choose to govern with, their genuine motives for the farm, and the moralities of the two.
The novella Animal Farm illustrates the contrasts between individuals with the same level of authority and how not everyone is able to use the same power in an altruistic fashion. The role of being a leader comes with great difficulty that not everyone is capable of withstanding; whether it is the urge to maintain their position, the hunger for wealth, or other desires. Whether successful or not, it is certain that a leader influences the future for the society; regardless if they are fit or unfit to rule.