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Is it a coincidence that the only type of female in the story is the sows? Does it have...

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hardreader | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 30, 2012 at 4:00 AM via web

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Is it a coincidence that the only type of female in the story is the sows?

Does it have some significance in the plot that those pigs are treated that way?

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William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 30, 2012 at 7:50 AM (Answer #1)

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I think there must be some confusion here. The characters in Lord of the Flies are all boys. There is one boy they call Piggy who is abused by the other boys, but there are no girls or women on the island. I suspect that you have the story confused with George Orwell's allegorical tale Animal Farm. It would be hard to discuss your question unless the commentator was sure of which book you are talking about and specifically what kind of treatment these sows are receiving. Please check your books and ask your question again.

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susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted January 31, 2012 at 9:33 AM (Answer #2)

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In Golding's Lord of the Flies, there is one hunt that involves a sow-- a female pig.  It occurs in Chapter 8.  The sow has piglets about her, and the hunters attack her mercilessly. From the way Golding describes the incident, the attack seems almost sexual in nature.  The hunters are "wedded to her in lust, excited by the long chase and the dropped blood." After the hunters kill the sow, they are described as being "heavy and fulfilled upon her."  The past hunts have involved boars, but the pathos that is invoked in this hunt is intense.  We see that the boys are not truly hunting for food; rather they are excited by the prospect of killing.  The fact that the pig in this case is a sow increases the readers' disgust for the boys' actions that are becoming more and more savage as the novel progresses.

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hardreader | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 30, 2012 at 9:26 AM (Answer #3)

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I meant the pigs as in the sows that were being hunted, we all know piggy was named after an unpopular character that was also abused and in a sense being hunted in the story, but I was wondering if it had some sort of purpose that the pigs that were being hunted by Jack and his tribe were female pigs instead of male, - I was wondering a kind of significance behind that.

But many thanks for putting your time in for me to try helping me out.

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William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 31, 2012 at 9:18 AM (Answer #4)

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I'm sorry. It has been some time since I read the book, and I didn't realize that the pigs being hunted were all sows. I hope somebody can answer your question better than I did. My impression, for what it's worth, is that there isn't any special significance to the fact that the pigs were all female. I would speculate that the boys would have found it a lot harder to deal with feral male pigs. I guess they should be called boars. The boys had to hunt something. They had to eat. I don't think there is a good feminist angle here.

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susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted January 31, 2012 at 9:32 AM (Answer #5)

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In Golding's Lord of the Flies, there is one hunt that involves a sow-- a female pig.  It occurs in Chapter 8.  The sow has piglets about her, and the hunters attack her mercilessly. From the way Golding describes the incident, the attack seems almost sexual in nature.  The hunters are "wedded to her in lust, excited by the long chase and the dropped blood." After the hunters kill the sow, they are described as being "heavy and fulfilled upon her."  The past hunts have involved boars, but the pathos that is invoked in this hunt is intense.  We see that the boys are not truly hunting for food; rather they are excited by the prospect of killing.  The fact that the pig in this case is a sow increases the readers' disgust for the boys' actions that are becoming more and more savage as the novel progress.

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hardreader | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 7, 2012 at 6:54 AM (Answer #6)

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Thank you for your contributio of helping me. :)

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