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Why is Ralph mad at Jack when he killed his first pig?no

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kcolonias | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 12, 2012 at 9:12 AM via web

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Why is Ralph mad at Jack when he killed his first pig?


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susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted January 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM (Answer #1)

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In William Golding's Lord of the Flies, conflict develops as a result of different priorities.  As Jack becomes more and more obsessed with hunting, Ralph becomes more anxious to be rescued.  In Chapter 4, Jack finally is able to kill his first pig.  However, at the same time that Jack and his hunters are killing their pig, Ralph and Piggy have spotted a ship.  It is at this point that Ralph realizes how desperately he wants to get off the island.  When he looks to see if their fire is burning to signal the ship so that the boys can be rescued, he sees that the hunters have abandoned the fire to hunt and that the fire has gone out.  Their chance of being rescued has passed.

Jack's main job was to keep the signal fire going.  He neglected this responsibility, and for this neglect, Ralph is quite angry.  He keeps repeating to Jack,

"You let the fire go out."

Ralph cannot share in Jack's excitement over his first kill.  Instead, he perhaps more than ever understands his responsibility as leader--to ensure that they work together to be safe and to be rescued.


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