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Is the scene in which the hunters re-enact the pig hunt a foreshadowing to Simon's death?

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abroader | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 14, 2009 at 4:43 PM via web

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Is the scene in which the hunters re-enact the pig hunt a foreshadowing to Simon's death?

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robertwilliam | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted June 14, 2009 at 10:29 PM (Answer #1)

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In a word, yes.

The boys group together and perform a 'mock-hunt', with Robert used as the unfortunate 'mock-pig' at the center of everything. And the passage has lots of key similarities to Simon's murder, not least that Ralph - the Everyman, the boy we think of as the one most like us, the reader - joins in. And he wants to join in more. This is the 'darkness of man's heart' in action.

Here's the passage you're referring to:

Jack shouted.
“Make a ring!”
The circle moved in and round. Robert squealed in mock terror, then in real pain.
“Ow! Stop it! You’re hurting!”
The butt end of a spear fell on his back as he blundered among them.
“Hold him!”
They got his arms and legs. Ralph, carried away by a sudden thick excitement, grabbed Eric’s spear and jabbed at Robert with it.
“Kill him! Kill him!”
All at once, Robert was screaming and struggling with the strength of frenzy. Jack had him by the hair and was brandishing his knife. Behind him was Roger, fighting to get close. The chant rose ritually, as at the last moment of a dance or a hunt.
“Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!”
Ralph too was fighting to get near, to get a handful of that brown, vulnerable flesh. The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering.

What are the similarities to Simon's death here, directly?

  • The boys form a circle, under the leadership of Jack and close in.
  • A boy stands in for a 'pig', or 'the beast'.
  • Ralph finds himself, against his will and better judgement, involved with the pig hunt.
  • Someone gets hurt - Robert screams here in 'real pain'.
  • The boys act as a group hunting down an individual.
  • The boys seems to know that they are hurting another human.

Hope it helps!

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