How are the hunters shown to be more like animals than boys in Lord of the Flies?

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As he puts on his war paint for the hunt, Jack explains that, like an animal, he wants to camouflage himself, and, not being able to come up with a better simile, likens himself and the other hunters to "moths on a tree trunk."

The hunt symbolizes the descent away from civilization into a form of being more primal, atavistic, and animalistic.

Jack paints a black slash on his face with charcoal, which is like an animal's stripes. When he looks at himself, he sees not "himself but at an awesome stranger."

Even Ralph is tempted toward animalism of the hunt as he accepts the cooked pig meat and "gnawed it like a wolf."

The boys then replay the hunt, with Maurice playing the part of the pig:

Maurice pretended to be the pig and ran squealing into the center, and the hunters, circling still, pretended to beat him.

The boys are more like animals as they give up reason and give into to their more irrational, id-like passions, living in the moment and not thinking about the future, as letting the fire go out symbolizes. Golding uses animalistic imagery to emphasize this point.

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In a number of ways. Observe how they attack and kill the pig. They don't put the beast of its misery; they make it suffer a needlessly painful, drawn-out death. It's pretty clear early on in the story that the boys don't simply kill for food; they do so because they get a sadistic thrill out of it. This would make them animals in most people's eyes, although ironically animals only ever kill because they have to.

The boys also get fiercely territorial. All traces of cooperation vanished not long after they fetched up on the island. Instead of working together for the common good, they split up into separate groups, like lion prides or wolf-packs, determined to stake their claim to the island territory.

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In The Lord of the Flies, the hunters are shown to be more like animals both in how they are described and the actions they perform. Noting the distinction between description and action allows readers to realize that the hunters are being perceived as changing by other characters and being commented on as being animalistic by the narrator. 

In description alone, the narrator frequently uses language to reference the hunters that can just as easily be used to describe an animal as a preteen boy. Consider this description of Jack: "[Jack] began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling" (Chapter 4). The narrator's specific use of the word snarling is both describing what Jack is doing while relating it to the behavior of an animal. Over the course of the story, this animal-themed diction increases to talk about Jack and the hunters.

It is also important to realize that other characters are looking in on the hunters transforming into more base creatures. The hunters' interactions with other characters become dangerous, both because of the influence they have on leading the majority of the boys away from the civilized and organized group that lives on the beach, and because the hunters become more dangerous in their actions. In Chapter 4, the hunters' influence begins to seep in to affect Ralph:

"As they danced, they sang.

'Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Bash her in.'

Ralph watched them, envious and resentful." (Chapter 4).

Toward the end of the novel, the hunters turn deadly as they become so consumed with the hunt:

"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. The chant rose ritually, as at the last moment of a dance or a hunt." (Chapter 7)

In both description and action, the hunters move from a state of boyish fun to deadly killers.

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