Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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In Lord of the Flies, explain Jack's statement in Chapter 7: "Use a littlun."

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After the boys narrowly miss an opportunity to kill a pig during a hunting expedition, the boys circle around Robert and begin simulating a hunt. Robert begins to act like a pig in the center of the circle and the boys start to jab Robert with their spears as they chant "Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!" (Golding, 164). The game becomes intense and Ralph even experiences the desire to hurt Robert during the frenzy. After Jack puts an end to the disturbing game, several boys offer suggestions to make the game more realistic and fun. Maurice suggests that the boys use a drum and Roger suggests that they use a captured pig. When Robert mentions that Jack wants to use a real pig so that he can kill it, Jack responds by saying, "Use a littlun" (Golding, 165). Jack's suggestion that the boys use a littlun to reenact a hunt and eventually kill the littlun at the end of the game illustrates his maniacal, savage personality. He has no regard for human life and is willing to murder an innocent littlun for fun.

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Let us remind ourselves what leads up to this statement. The boys have just played a rather disturbing "game" where Robert pretends to be a boar and the boys pretend to hunt him. Of course, the game turns into something else completely as the boys seem to be overpowered by the desire to wound and kill. Even Ralph, the character who tries to maintain civilisation amongst the boys, shows how this blood-rage overpowers him. Note how he responds as the game develops:

Ralph, carried away by a sudden thick excitement, grabbed Eric's spear and jabbed at Robert with it.

Even when the game turns nasty, with Jack trying to cut Roger's throat and thereby "kill the pig," Ralph fights to get near, wanting a "handful of the brown, vulnerable flesh." This "desire" is "overmastering" to him. According to the boys, this was a "good game," and as they talk about actually using pigs, Jack's suggestion to use a littlun instead eerily foreshadows the violence that the boys will enact on each other and their descent into savagery.

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