Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

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In Chapter 7 of Lord of the Flies, what does Ralph do when the boys start to play, putting Robert in the part of the boar?

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Ralph is generally thought of as being the good guy in Lord of the Flies, yet even he's not immune to the mentality of the mob and all its horrors. It's also important to recognize that, despite everything, Ralph's still a boy, and boys will be boys. So when poor Robert becomes the boar in a game that quickly gets out of hand, Ralph is right there in the thick of the action. It seems that participating in a hunt makes him as deliriously overexcited as Jack.

But there's a difference. For one thing, Ralph has a conscience. He feels bad about how he and the other boys have treated Robert. There's no way in a million years that Jack would ever show such contrition. The contrast between civilization and savagery is one of the book's most abiding themes. And this scene involving the sadistic boar hunt "game" demonstrates the subtlety with which Golding handles the theme.

The conflicting impulses between savagery and civilized behavior don't simply exist between boys and groups of boys but within...

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