The Lord Of The Flies: The Hunts

The Lord Of The Flies: The Hunts

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A running theme in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is the hunts and their progression, as well as symbolic meaning it possesses as the hunts continue. The hunts always ultimately revert back to an evil and primitive nature. The cycle of man’s rise to power, or righteousness, and his inevitable fall from grace is an important point that Golding proves again and again. Lord of the Flies, is a story of a group of boys of different backgrounds who are marooned on an unknown island when their plane crashes. As the boys try to organize and formulate a plan to get rescued, they begin to separate and as a result of a decision a band of savage tribal hunters is formed. Eventually the boys almost entirely shake off civilized behavior.


Jack has always been an ill-natued boy even from the start of the book when he told Piggy to "Shut up, Fatty." (p.23). Dispite Jack’s unpleasent personality, his lack of courage and his conscience preventing him from killing the first pig they encountered. "They knew very well why he hadn’t; because of the enormity of the knife decending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable blood." (p.34)

When Jack was chosen to keep the fire going, he decides to get meat instead of tending to the fire. His pursuit for killing a pig is symbollizing a sexual desire built into human nature. While he was out pursuing the pig, the fire went out. This symbollized the fact that Jack's sexual desires led him away from hope and deeper into despair.

Jack represents a Satan like, deathly force. The blood that he wallows in is a further representation of deathliness. After his first kill, "Jack transferred the knife to his left hand and smudged blood over his forehead as he pushed down the plastered hair," he unconsciously imitates the ritual of the tribal initiation of the hunter, whose face is covered with the blood of his first kill.

Jack then successfully convinces many big'uns and little'uns to come along with him and join a tribe of savages. These savages have face-paint on, which makes them anonymous. This anonimity allows for each tribe member to do things he would not have normally done because of the fear of being judged by society. They basically had no shame left. So they went out, killed a pig, acted as if they were raping it, and cut off its head.

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They put the head onto the end of a spear and stuck it into the ground.

When Ralph went to Samneric and they told him that he better run, because tommorrow they were going to conduct a large man-hunt, and because Jack has prepared a spear sharpened at both ends for Ralph. This symbolizes the fact that Jack wants Ralph's head to be sacrificed to the beast as they had done with the Pig's head. Ralph and the pig have a lot in common if one sits down and thinks about it.

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