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Besides the meat, what attracts the others, even Ralph, to Jack's life?Lord of the...

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mrgates | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 10, 2011 at 9:25 AM via web

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Besides the meat, what attracts the others, even Ralph, to Jack's life?

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 11, 2011 at 1:01 AM (Answer #1)

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The activities of Jack and his hunters appeal to the primal urges of man that reside in the boys.  For, the act of hunting engages the boys in an aggressive action and appeals to the hunter/gatherer savage instinct that yet resides within them.

As the boys climb the mountain to hunt the "beast," Jack finds pig droppings and says to Ralph,

"Ralph--we need meat even if we are hunting the other thing."

"If you mean going the right way, we'll hunt."

Then, when Ralph is able to strike a pig with his spear, he is "full of fright and apprehension and pride" as he now has done what the others have not been able to do.   He tells the others that he struck the pig and wounded it;

"He sunned himself in their new respect and felt that hunting was good after all."

Telling the others what he has done, Ralph attempts to regain his position of authority and he "tried for their attention." And, as the boys gather in their mock hunt, Ralph is "carried away by a sudden thick excitement" and grabs Eric's spear, jabbing at Robert who plays the pig.  But, after Robert is hurt, Ralph gathers himself, rationalizing his and the others savagery uneasily by comparing it to one of their rougher sports played back home,

"Just a game...I got jolly badly hurt at rugger once."

However, his remark is ignored by the others who discuss how the ritual should really be played out:  Roger says that they need a real pig "like a real hunt," and Robert, who has been hurt by the "game," says that a boy could be dressed like one and they could "pretend to knock me over and all that."  But, Jack interjects, "Use a littlun," and everybody laughs, denoting how savage they truly have become.  This laughter makes Ralph sit up.  He gathers himself and attempts to think through what has occurred and what should be done.  Ralph is ashamed of what he has done and tries to return himself to the rational leader that he has been.

 

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