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Explore how the theme of hunting is used in "Lord of the Flies" and why this is central to the boys' changing behaviour. How do ralph and jack respond to these changes?

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Introduction

Explore how the theme of hunting is used in "Lord of the Flies" and why this is central to the boys' changing behaviour. How do ralph and jack respond to these changes? The theme of hunting is recurrent throughout the novel, and is used to track the boy's descent into savagery. It starts as a necessity and simply a means of getting food, a common need that the boys all share and benefit from. However, it soon turns into a cultish way of life which divides the ultimately kills members of the group. The restraints and rules of society are taken away from the boys quite abrubtly and without warning, and at the beginning it is apparent that they do not really know how to react to this sudden change of lifestyle. ...read more.

Middle

This descent from civilization into savagery is tracked by the progression of hunting, and the transformation of characters in the novel. While Ralph and Piggy remain civilized embassadors of law and order, Jack and the other boys progressively become more and more deranged with every hunt. At the beginning Jack and Ralph were morally and ethically much more similar, but he soon becomes obsessed with the violence and glory that hunting entails, and his appearance and behaviour mirror this descent into savagery. For example, Jack's once innocently "freckled" face becomes obscured by a mask that "repelled them". This indicates a loss of identity, and sheilded by the mask he feels at ease to commit deeds of faceless malevolence against those with which he was once friends. In addition, Jack's identity evidently disappears completely when he loses his name. ...read more.

Conclusion

Unknowingly to him and the rest of the group, this initial taste of power and violence will lead to the formation of his savage tribe and the barbaric way of life they end up adopting. Opposingly, Ralph's negative response to the idea of hunting is an indication as to how he will retain his level head and his sanity throughout the book. The idea that Jack and his boys hunt to kill pigs is very indicative of how events will unravel, and when Jack's thirst for violence can no longer be satisfied by the killing of a pig, they move onto who they deem as the most unhuman and unworthy member of the group, Piggy, who after weeks of being compared to a pig, is killed in the same manner as one. There are parallels drawn between most of the main characters and the progression of hunting, and Golding uses this to help the reader to track the development of them and the novel. Suzanne Hornsby 11H ...read more.

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