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

The ritual dance in chapter 7 of Lord of the Flies is different from the others because it is openly sadistic and could have ended with Robert's murder.

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In chapter 7, the ritual dance takes a dark turn for the worse as the boys experience bloodlust and become lost in their desire to maim and harm Robert. Initially, the boys chanted about killing the pig and spilling its blood when they returned from a successful hunt. Although their...

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In chapter 7, the ritual dance takes a dark turn for the worse as the boys experience bloodlust and become lost in their desire to maim and harm Robert. Initially, the boys chanted about killing the pig and spilling its blood when they returned from a successful hunt. Although their original chant is menacing and sinister, the violent outburst in chapter 7 is particularly unsettling and reveals their complete lack of civility.

Shortly after Ralph narrowly misses killing a pig, Robert enters the middle of the circle and begins to squeal in "mock terror." The boys surrounding Robert respond to his squeals by viciously attacking him. Ralph is even caught up in the excitement and begins to stab Robert with the butt of his spear as he screams in pain. Golding writes,

Ralph too was fighting to get near, to get a handful of that brown, vulnerable flesh. The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering.

While the boys struggle to tear at Robert's flesh, Jack brandishes his knife and threatens to slit his throat. During the chaotic ritual, the boys constantly chant, "Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!" Once Jack instructs the boys to end the chant, Robert snivels in pain and complains about his minor injuries.

The frenzied ritual in chapter 7 is significantly more ominous considering the violence and bloodlust involved. The intensity of their aggression and desire to maim Robert emphasize the absence of civility and barbarism among the group. Even Ralph, who is considered a level-headed, sympathetic boy, allows his primitive instincts to consume him. The harmless ritual has changed into a dangerous game, which will rapidly transform into something more sinister. Their violent outburst and untethered rage foreshadow the brutality of Simon and Piggy's murders.

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In chapter 7, the ritual dance is different from the others because it becomes openly sadistic and threatens to go out of control.

Jack and Ralph are still working together at this point and have just missed killing a wild boar. Full of an unfulfilled desire to kill, Jack seizes a younger boy, Robert, and hurts him as he force him into the role of pig:

All at once, Robert was screaming and struggling with the strength of frenzy. Jack had him by the hair and was brandishing his knife. Behind him was Roger, fighting to get close.

Ralph, as well as Jack, begins to lose control as blood lust takes over. Ralph jabs dangerously at Robert with his spear, though he does not touch him. Nobody is concerned about Robert's pain and fear. In their desire for a kill, the boys seem willing to step over a line and do in one of their own. Even Ralph has a:

desire to squeeze and hurt [that] was over-mastering.

Jack ends the ritual dance without a murder by symbolically killing the "pig," Robert, while the boys in the circle enact the pig's death with dying noises.

Ralph tries to brush this off, as do the others, as merely a "game," but he is uneasily aware that this is more than a game. Robert lies "sniveling" at the end, hurt and humiliated. He could easily have been killed. The dance represents another step in ripping off the veil of civilization that prevents the boys from descending into barbarism. Their decency struggles against their desires.

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As was mentioned in the previous post, the boys' ritual dance in Chapter 7 is much more violent and disturbing than their earlier chants. In Chapter 4, the hunters painted themselves and successfully killed a pig. When they returned to camp, they were chanting "Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood" (Golding 96). As the novel progresses, the boys descend further into savagery and begin acting like barbarians.

In Chapter 7, the boys narrowly miss an opportunity to kill a pig and Ralph demonstrates how he threw his spear. Robert then begins to act like a pig as the boys make a ring around him. The boys then begin to hit and stab Robert with the butt end of their spears. They then grab Robert while Jack holds his knife up to Robert's neck. The boys begin to chant, and Golding describes their desire to maim Robert. Jack finally puts an end to the game but suggests that the next time they should kill a littlun. This ritual scene in Chapter 7 differs greatly in intensity when compared to their previous rituals. The boys have become so savage that they actually contemplate killing a littlun in their next ritual. 

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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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