Who is Robert in chapter 7 of Lord of the Flies?

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rmhope's profile pic

rmhope | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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In chapter 7, Ralph, Jack, Simon, and the other biguns are walking the island in search of the "beast" that Samneric saw. Piggy has been left behind with the littluns. Robert is one of the boys in the group, so he is one of the older boys, but not in the top tier for size or age. As they are walking, a wild boar crashes though the brush ahead of them, and Ralph hits it with his spear. Although it squeals, it isn't really wounded, but Ralph has gotten a taste of hunting that he hasn't yet experienced. He begins to describe his action with the spear, and Robert begins to play along, acting in the role of the boar.

Soon the boys all join in the mock pig hunt; Robert "squealed in mock terror, then in real pain." As the play acting continues, Ralph stabs at Robert with someone's spear. The boys start chanting, "Kill him," and Robert screams and struggles "with the strength of frenzy." The play becomes all too real, with Jack brandishing his knife and Ralph finding that "the desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering." Robert ends up crying, and the boys discuss ways to enhance the game in the future. Robert says it should only be done with a real pig "because you've got to kill him." The whole scene is an eerie foreshadowing of what happens to Simon two chapters later—resulting in his death.

In chapter 10, Robert is acting as sentry at the new Castle Rock camp. When he reports on Wilfred, who is tied up awaiting a beating from Jack, Robert "giggled excitedly." Perhaps it gives Robert a bit of satisfaction to know that he will not be on the receiving end of the violence this time.

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ladyvols1's profile pic

ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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"Robert is one of the medium-sized boys on the lower end of the biguns' spectrum. In the stripped-down world of the island where the physical assumes more weight, Robert finds his niche guarding Castle Rock. Robert is more comfortable taking orders than giving them. The one time he takes any initiative, pretending to be the pig in a ritual game, he is quickly reduced to a sniveling child. He also serves with Jack and Maurice on the committee that welcomes Ralph's group to Jack's feast."

In chapter 7 Robert is the boy in the middle of the circle of hunters who is being roughed up by the boys.  He becomes scared, especially when Jack puts a knife to his neck and screams "kill the pig, kill the pig!"

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