What happens when Ralph wounds the boar in The Lord of the Flies?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Ralph tries to hunt out of necessity, but gets a rush from it too.

Ralph is very methodical in hunting, but he also feels silly about it too. Ralph tries to be businesslike, but he also gets excited. 

The boar was floundering away from them. They found another pig-run parallel to the first and Jack raced away. Ralph was full of fright and apprehension and pride. (Ch. 7)

He wants the other boys to acknowledge his deed.  All he does is fling the “foolish wooden stick” at the boar.  It barely grazes him, but Ralph insists that the speaker “stuck in” and he was wounded.  In his mind, the accomplishment was greater than it was, and Ralph was part of the pack.

He sunned himself in their new respect and felt that hunting was good after all. (Ch. 7)

Ralph even goes so far as to say that it might have been the beast, and not a boar.  He builds it up in his mind.  Jack scoffs at him.  He even scolds him for throwing the stick too early, diminishing Ralph’s deed, trying to keep the hunting gig and the power that goes with it for himself. He does not want Ralph encroaching on his territory.

Ralph has always focused on the more civilized pursuits.  It was more important to him that shelters be built, rules made, and turns taken when speaking.  He appointed Jack as in charge of hunters, and not much else mattered.  Jack was the savage one, and Jack was the one that cared about the less civilized things in life—like hunting.  Here, Ralph gets a taste of the pleasure of taking blood.  He sees what things are like in Jack’s world, and why most of the boys are drawn to Jack’s activities.  Although Jack is brutal, he is more exciting.  He has hunting, and he has meat.  That is enough.

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yshaw's profile pic

yshaw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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When Ralph spears the boar he is filled with excitement. This is the first time he has been hunting with the boys, and truly feels included. Ralph has felt torn between Jack and Piggy, and finally feels like he can relate to Jack, which at the exact moment is a positive feeling. Ralph is also enjoying the natural energy exuded from the process of hunting. 

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