Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

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How does Ralph react when he hits the boar in the snout with his spear in chapter 7?

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In Chapter Seven, "Shadows and Tall Trees," Jack and ralph lead the hunters to the mountain in search for the beast.  Along the way, a tusked boar bounds out from the under brush; Ralph flings his spear and strikes it in the snout.  Golding characterizes Ralph's immediate reaction as beign "full of fright and apprehension and pride" (113). 

Ralph is proud to have hit the boar, probably feeling that his success validates him in the eyes of the hunters, who so openly admire Jack for his hunting prowess.  Ralph boasts of his triumph to the other boys and "sunned himself in their new respect and felt that hunting was good after all" (113).  In fact, Ralph is so enthusiastic about his success in striking the boar that Jack feels threatened by the other hunters' deference to Ralph.  Jack instantly deflects attention away from Ralph's boasting to his own injury from the boar.  The adrenaline rush coupled with the new respect from the other boys gives Ralph a new perspective on the rewards of hunting.  Finally, he can appreciate Jack's feelings on the subject and understand the feeling of power associated with the hunt.

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