What is the purpose and the effect on the killing of the sow incident? Please support your answer with direct quotes from the text. Thanks!

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This scene is probably the most horrific scene in the book.  It begins with the mother sow feeding her piglets.  "Sunk deep in maternal bliss, lay the largest sow of the lot.  She was black and pink; and the great bladder of her belly was fringed with a row of piglets that slept or burrowed or squeaked."

In the middle of this "maternal bliss" the boys attacked her.  They became frenzied with her squealing and staggering and all of the blood. "And the hunters followed, wedded to her in lust, excited by the long chase and the dropped blood." At the end of this same paragraph, Golding has the sow stagger into an open space.  It is a place of innocence.  "Bright flowers grew and butterflies danced around each other and the air was hot and still."

This is the first kill the boys have made.  They are excited by it.  Words like "lust" are used.  They are young boys, yet the scene can be viewed as a rape scene.  Roger uses the spear and shoves it up her anus.  Then they repeat their actions over and over.  This scene, more than any other, shows their loss of innocence.  That is why it is an important chapter in the book. 

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Lord of the Flies

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