Snowball was a young pig who vied for power against his rival, the Berkshire boar Napoleon, after the death of the 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. He was also removed from power, expelled from the Communist Party, and subsequently deported.