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What causes Ralph to understand the thrill of the hunt? Do you think his attitude...

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vivart12 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 14, 2011 at 7:35 AM via web

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What causes Ralph to understand the thrill of the hunt? Do you think his attitude toward hunting will change in the future?

in The Lord of the Flies

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted July 16, 2011 at 3:48 AM (Answer #1)

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Ralph has tried to maintain a civilized nature, but even he gets caught up in an attempt to kill a pig:

The boys pursue the pig, and none notice Ralph’s excitement at hitting the pig. They lose the pig’s track and in the break Ralph again speaks excitedly of his hitting the pig.

Later, he finds himself exhilarated in the frenzy of the hunter's dance. Before Ralph realizes it, he is taking part in savagery instincts. As much as Ralph has tried to keep order on the island, he too loses control and takes part in acting out to kill a wild boar using Robert as the boar.

Ralph finds himself stabbing at Robert with his spear. He gets caught up in the frenzy of the hunt to kill. Ralph finds himself jabbing at Robert. The boys nearly kill Robert before they come to themselves:

Soon their play turns rough and they are actually hurting Robert, hitting him too hard with their spears. Jack grabs him by the hair and brandishes his knife. ‘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.

Also, Ralph is right there when the boys attack Simon, thinking he is the beast. When they realize what they are doing, it is too late. They kill Simon with their bare hands and teeth. Ralph in all his dignified civilization loses control and becomes part of the hunters' murderous frenzy.

Only after the naval officer rescues him does Ralph break down crying for what he has done as well as what has been done to him. Had the naval officer not appeared, Ralph would have been the next hunted and murdered victim by Jack and his hunters. I dare say his attitude toward hunting has changed.

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