Snowball was a young pig who vied for power against his rival, the Berkshire boar Napoleon, after the death ofthe wise Old Major. After Old Major's death, he was the only animal who counteracted Napoleon's speeches in the debates they held each Sunday. His ideals focused more intensely on obtaining luxuries, such as electricity and a lamp in every stall, and also set about planning the construction of a power-providing windmill. This plan meant more work and less food during construction of the windmill, but after completion there would be luxury, power, plentiful food, and short, three-day weeks. Napoleon, however, grew to feel envious and challenged; setting his nine hounds on Snowball, who was driven away permanently, Napoleon used his wiser rival's absence to institute himself as the leader of a military state. Later ills on Animal Farm were attributed to Snowball by Napoleon, but he truly did not do any of the things he was blamed for. He was forgotten as a person by the time Napoleon became an open dictator. Although he was likely deceased by this point, Napoleon used his memory to unite the people under a common enemy.
His real-life Soviet counterpart is Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Lenin's second-in-command. After the Russian Revolution, Trotsky served as the People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs. During the Russian Civil War, Trotsky helped lead the Red Army to victory. In Animal Farm, Snowball leads the animals to victory in the Battle of Cowshed. Trotsky wanted to spread the Communist Revolution to the rest of the world, but his rival, Josef Stalin, wanted to consolidate his power on the Soviet Union. After Lenin's death, Trotsky's political party criticized the hierarchical and close nature of Stalin's Communist Party. In response, Stalin kicked him out of the Communist Party and then exiled him from Russia. Trotsky ended up in Mexico, and in 1940, Stalin sent KGB agent Ramón Mercader to assassinate him.