Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

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In Chapter 7, what happens when Ralph wounds the boar?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In Chapter 7, Ralph joins Jack and his hunters for the first time and successfully wounds a boar. Ralph gets caught up in the emotion of the hunt and allows his primitive instincts to take over. During the hunt, Ralph spots a boar running directly at him on the pig-run. Ralph throws his spear, which hits the boar in the nose and forces the animal to divert its path by running into the forest. Unfortunately, the boys are not able to kill the boar, but Ralph rejoices nonetheless at his accomplishment of wounding a boar on his first hunt. Golding writes,

"He [Ralph] sunned himself in their new respect and felt that hunting was good after all" (88).

Up to this point in the novel, Ralph has been a proponent of civility and has refrained from engaging in any savage behavior. However, participating in the hunt excites Ralph's primitive instincts, and he understands the thrill of hunting for the first time. Later on in the novel, Ralph will once again indulge in his primitive desires by participating in Simon's murder. 

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Elinor Lowery eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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When Ralph wounds the boar, he feels the excitement of hunting for the first time.  Up until this time, he has left the savagery of the hunt to Jack and his gang of hunters.  When Ralph throws his spear in a split second decision, he is elated by the feeling of the hunt and the victory of having hit the boar.  Unfortunately, Ralph only wounded the boar and it got away.  Because of this fact, he is still not accepted by the group of hunters.

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oliviagem123 | Student
When Ralph's spear comes in contact with the boar, internally, he has likewise come in contact with his inner bestiality. This was his first initial hunting attempt, and to see his manuever make a difference in the hunt has impacted him strongly. Ralph has always possessed the intelligence of leadership, and keeps his morals closest to his heart. However, the primitive nature residing within him broke through when his victory was made known. Ralph has had the chance at last to emulate the savagery of a successful hunter, and he appreciates this emotion.
royalxqueen | Student

The fact that Ralph wounded the boar develops the theme of an internal beast. The hunting lust shown by Ralph shows that he has a dark side within him. Furthermore, Ralph's victory has not recieved much attention from the boys unlike Jack's triumph of coming close to killing a boar. At this time, Jack was still somewhat civilized thus the reason why he couldn't completely kill the pig. Similarly, Ralph's incapability to kill the boar symbolizes his civilized soul, but savage instinct.