What internal conflict(s) is Jack facing that has him obsessed with killing a pig in Lord of the Flies?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Jack struggles with his fear of blood, but also his fear of appearing weak to the other boys.  In the first chapter of the novel, Jack catches a small piglet but hesitates instead of killing it.  The piglet escapes, and Jack feels embarrassed by his obvious fear, "the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable blood" (31).  In the aftermath of the scene, Jack swears to the other boys, Ralph and Simon, that next time he will kill a pig. 

Killing a pig becomes a fixation for Jack; he feels as though he must kill a pig to vindicate himself in the eyes of the other boys and to prove that he is a true master hunter, unafraid of blood or anything else for that matter.  In the original moment with the piglet, Jack felt powerless, and in order to reestablish himself as a worthy leader, someone with power, he must overcome his fear of blood with a successful kill.