In Lord of the Flies, why is it that all the pigs that the boys kill are female? What does it represent?

In Lord of the Flies, the fact that all of the pigs that the boys kill are female represents that the boys are metaphorically killing, within themselves, all of the stereotypically feminine traits that might ameliorate the stereotypically male traits of selfishness and aggression.

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There are no female characters in William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Perhaps the closest we come to female characters are the female pigs, or sows, that the boys kill.

In chapter 8 the boys, led by Jack, hunt and kill a sow while she is feeding her piglets. The sow emits "a gasping squeal" and runs away into the forest with "two spears sticking in her fat flank." The boys then chase the sow to a covert in the forest. They fling another spear into her flank, and the sow stumbles into a tree, driving one of the spears "still deeper" into her flesh. Eventually the boys manage to fall upon the sow. Jack straddles the sow and repeatedly "stab[s] down with his knife." The other boys jab their spears into the sow's flesh wherever they can. The sow emits a "terrified squealing" which becomes "a high-pitched scream." Eventually Jack slits the sow's throat.

This slow, excruciating, and cruel death for the sow and the corresponding bloodthirsty aggression of the boys represents the stereotypically masculine traits within the boys overwhelming the stereotypically feminine traits. Throughout the novel, the boys are governed more and more by their primal, violent impulses and by their own egos. These impulses overwhelm their supposed feminine traits, such as empathy and compassion.

The hunting scene described above symbolizes this process. The fact that in this hunting scene, the sow is attacked while feeding her piglets emphasizes the cruelty of the boys and the maternal love of the sow. In such a way Golding emphasizes the worst aspects of what might now be called the toxic masculinity of the boys, and also the best aspects of the feminine traits within the boys that that masculinity is so aggressively attacking and killing.

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