Explain how the ritual dance in chapter 7 of "Lord of the Flies" is different from the others.

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The boys have enjoyed the chanting and dancing.  In Chapter 4, the dancing includes the violent chant of "Kill the Pig.  Cut her throat.  Spill her blood."  However, it isn't until Chapter 7 that the dance actually includes any violence.  In this chapter, after the exciting near miss with the wild boar, the boys dance around in a recreation of the hunt.  In their acting, Robert is placed in the role of the pig, and the boys antics take on a scary and inhuman reality to them.  The boys actually hit Robert, pull his hair, poke him with their spears, and he is hurt in the "dance".  Even Ralph expresses a desire to "squeeze and hurt" the "brown, vulnerable flesh".

When the dance ends, the boys act like it was nothing strange.  Even Robert, beaten and bruised, laughs it off, though his laugh is strained and uncomfortable.  However, it is here that the atmosphere on the island begins to change.  The beast inside each of the boys is starting to come alive, and it will soon take over - the next "dance" will not be even this safe.

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