Notes on Lord of the Flies Themes

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Lord of the Flies Topic Tracking: Pig

Chapter 1 "The Sound of the Shell" & 2 "Fire on the Mountain"

Pig 1: Jack attempts to kill a piglet here and fails, shirking at the thought of spilling blood on himself. However he does go so far as to withdraw his knife and tries to cut its throat, though something stops him. Also there is a boy on the island left behind to watch the littluns whose name calls reference to this topic as well: Piggy.

Chapter 3 "Huts on the Beach" & 4 "Painted Faces and Long Hair"

Pig 2: Jack follows his obsession to kill a pig and fails yet again after the pigs run off in a stampede, sensing his presence. He insists to Ralph that before they are rescued, he needs to kill a pig, insisting that fruit alone cannot sustain them--they need meat.

Pig 3: Jack finally succeeds in his goal, leading the other boys on a pig hunt and carrying a pig's lifeless body dangling upside-down from a stick. As they walk they chant "Kill the pig, Cut her throat, Spill her blood." However, the attainment of the pig also means a lost opportunity to be rescued since, with the boys all off hunting, no one was on the mountain to tend to the signal fire and a ship passed them by.

Pig 4: Having killed a pig, a ritual is made from the hunting process as Maurice pretends to be the pig surrounded by a ring of hunters and they repeat again their earlier chant of "Kill the pig..." excitedly reliving the hunting episode. They relish the thought of killing it with glee. The pig is roasted and devoured hungrily by the boys, including Ralph.

Chapter 7 "Shadows and Tall Trees" & 8 "Gift for the Darkness"

Pig 5: In searching for the beast, the boys are turned astray with thoughts of hunting a pig again, and examine pig droppings on the ground. The ritual song from earlier is repeated with even Ralph taking part, except instead of "she" the pig is now "he," with Robert mimicking the pig. "Kill the pig, Cut his throat...Bash him in." Their desire for a hunt is turned aside by Ralph who finally urges them onwards in their search for the beast.

Pig 6: After separating from Ralph's democracy, Jack and his hunters succeed again in murdering another pig, this time a nursing sow. Her piglets flee as the hunters draw near and she is slain in an obscene manner, with a stick jammed "up her ass," violated by Roger's spear. Happily, Jack now smears her blood on his face like war paint, and they cut the sow's head off, leaving it on a stake in the woods as an offering to the beast. They plan to celebrate again that night with another feast.

Chapter 9 "A View to a Death" & 10 "The Shell and the Glasses"

Pig 7: After feasting on the dead sow, Ralph and all the boys take part again in another ritual dance to relive the thrill of the hunt, the thrill of murdering a living thing. Now however the word of "pig" from their earlier chant has become replaced by "beast": "Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" Roger now represents the pig/beast in the dance. Simultaneously, the decapitated sow's head left in the forest, buzzing with flies, has become a physical embodiment of the beast to which Simon speaks.

Chapter 11 "Castle Rock" & 12 "Cry of the Hunters"

Pig 8: Jack emerges from the forest after yet another hunt, dropping a headless sow on the ground as he prepares to confront Piggy and Ralph. It was a headless sow that was devoured the night Simon was murdered. Upon seeing Jack and the pig's carcass, Piggy also begins to yell and cry out to Ralph for help.

Pig 9: Piggy is murdered and his after-death is also compared to the dying twitches of a pig. Not a direct victim of spears as the pigs killed by the hunters, Piggy dies instead by a boulder dropped on his head from Roger.

Pig 10: Ralph learns that Samneric must throw their spears at him the next day "as if at a pig" when speaking to them under the secrecy of night. Even though a boy like the others, Ralph suddenly has become reduced to the primal level of a pig at Jack's command--simply a thing to be hunted.

Pig 11: Ralph runs from the hunters and begins to display behaviors similar to those of a pig, attempting to think and rationalize yet this attempt fails with no Piggy there to advise and give him reason. He settles instead on comparing his own thoughts to those of a pig, wondering "if a pig would agree."

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