In Lord of the Flies, why do the boys refuse to kill the pig at the start of the chapter?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of the novel, the boys are exploring the island, and they come across a piglet that is caught in between vines and roots. As the piglet is trying to escape, the three boys get closer, and Jack draws his knife. However, Jack hesitates and thinks about what he is about to do. His hesitation allows the piglet to run free from the creepers, and Jack makes several excuses as to why he did not kill the piglet. He tells Ralph that he was looking for the right spot to stab the pig, but the reality is that he never killed anything before and was afraid of the massive amounts of blood. The reason Jack did not kill the pig reveals that the boys are still under the influence of the civilized world. As the novel progresses, Golding portrays their descent into savagery. Initially, the boys are civilized and think twice before engaging in violent acts, but as the novel progresses, they begin to follow their primitive instincts.

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Lord of the Flies

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