What does blood symbolize in The Lord of the Flies?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Blood in Lord of the Flies has a deep figurative and of course, a literal meaning as blood is shed over and over.

Jack's leadership style is revealed as his wish to be leader is selfishly motivated and his bloodthirsty nature can only lead to trouble. Jack wants to hunt. He is fascinated by the thoughts of killing an animal and ,even though it is for food purposes, Jack's intentions are definitely questionable. He is not disappointed when he makes his first 'kill.'

 smudged blood over his forehead as he pushed down the plastered hair.

After that, there is no going back. Jack's lost innocence is revealed by the bloodshed 

Then Jack found the throat and the hot blood spouted over his hands

Roger is particularly dangerous, relishing torturing the pig and not seemingly that interested in its use as food. Spilling blood is indicative of the complete transformation from civilized, well-educated, English school boys to savages chanting

kill the beast!

No one is safe from the bloodlust that engulfs all the boys.

We close in and beat and beat and beat

sounds like a good plan to Jack.

Even Ralph and Piggy are swept along. The approaching storm is a good foreboder of what is soon to come.  

Simon, in his excitement to reveal the nature of the beast to the boys, falls victim and his blood is shed, 

the vessel broke in Simon’s nose and the blood gushed out

and far more. His death at the hands of these young boys cements Golding's belief that ultimately it is the innate cruelty and barbarity of humankind that will tiumph.

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