To what did Boxer attribute the frightening slaughter of his fellow animals in Chapter VII of Animal Farm?
In Chapter Seven of Animal Farm, Napoleon sets his dogs on the animals who previously questioned his authority. This unexpected and brutal slaughter leaves many of the animals questioning Napoleon's tactics, but Boxer, the dedicated cart horse, believes it is evidence of a personal failure:
I would not have believed that such things could happen on our farm. It must be due to some fault in ourselves. The solution, as I see it, is to work harder.
Through this statement, we see that Boxer clings to the spirit of the Rebellion and the principles of Animalism. He represents the unfaltering loyalty of the working class, even in the face of extreme violence and oppression. He also represents the exploitation of the working class by the ruling elite, as witnessed by Orwell in Communist Russia.
This statement also symbolizes the inherent dangers of propaganda: Boxer blames himself and the other animals because he has fallen prey to Napoleon and Squealer's ideology. As a result, he will never blame Napoleon, despite the brutality he has witnessed. In Boxer's eyes, the animals are to blame because he is not intelligent enough to realize that Napoleon is a self-centered dictator.
Though his loyalty to the regime is unfaltering, Boxer learns too late the truth about Napoleon: in Chapter Nine, he is injured and sold to a glue manufacturer, which is evidence that his loyalty was all for nothing.
Boxer remained faithful to the cause of his fellow animals on the farm even as he was led away to the glue factory, and his reaction to the slaughter of the animals was no exception. Boxer reasoned simply, as only he could, that the murders were partly the fault of the other animals, perhaps because they had not worked hard enough. Boxer, who often pronounced that "Napoleon is always right," decided that
"The solution, as I see it, is to work harder."
He decided he would get up earlier each morning and put in an extra hour's work before the regular work day began, still maintaining his motto, "I will work harder."