How does Ralph react to the first hunt in which he participates in Lord of the Flies?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While Ralph has placed the idea of hunting beneath the importance of building shelters and maintaining the fire, he becomes very excited during the hunt.

In Chapter Seven the boys climb the mountain in search of the beast. On the way, Roger detects the droppings of a pig; Jack then tells Ralph that they need meat and should pursue the pig. When a pig comes crashing through the brush, "Ralph found he was able to measure the distance coldly and take aim." When the pig nears him, Ralph hurls the "foolish wooden stick" that he has been carrying; it hits the large snout of the boar, causing it to squeal and veer into the covert off the trail. The other boys see it and begin to shout. 

Ralph was full of fright and apprehension and pride....
"I hit him all right. The spear stuck in. I wounded him!"
He sunned himself in their new respect and felt that hunting was good after all.

Clearly, Ralph has been affected by the atavistic part of his nature that loves to kill and inflict pain. This savage instinct is obviously inherent in him since he has previously demonstrated no cruelty or meanness as have Roger and Jack. This demonstration of Ralph's excitement in the hunt presages much of what is to come in Golding's narrative.

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Lord of the Flies

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