What happens to all the animals who confess to crimes at the assembly?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is at this point in the narrative where Napoleon's brutality is on display.  In Chapter 7 of Orwell's work, when the animals confess their crimes at the assembly, Napoleon promises no retribution.  Yet, he commands the dogs to rip the throats out of those who confess.  The symbolic action becomes fairly clear in how Napoleon silences voices of dissent in the most brutal manner possible.  The animals who confess to their crimes at the assembly end up being slaughtered.  At this point, Napoleon's power is beyond anything originally envisioned in Old Major's speech about Animalism.  Old Major is operating entirely on his own.  He is functioning without any regard for comradeship amongst the animals.  Instead, he is more concerned with displaying and consolidating his own power.  It is in this sense where any animals who speak out, believing the authenticity of Napoleon's words, end up paying the worst of prices.  For this reason, Clover finds herself stunned and bewildered at the conditions of life on the farm and how far off Napoleon's vision of leadership is from the original vision of Animalism.