The pighunts are used throughout Lord of the Flies to symbolize not only man’s capacity for destruction and violence, but the basic idea of bloodlust, mass hysteria, and ritual. In the most important pighunt scene, we are given a vivid description of the slaughter of a mother pig, and we see that the boys have taken on a new viciousness in their desire to hunt. This is no longer about just having meat to eat – the boys are obviously enjoying the power that they feel over the helpless animals and are excited by the blood spilling over their hands. Many critics describe this as a rape scene, with the excitement coming partly from the blood and partly from their newly emerging feelings of sexuality. As the story continues, we see the boys acting out this pighunt over and over, in a sort of ritual, using various boys to act as the pigs, and this “play-acting,” takes a horrifying turn when, in a frenzy of violence, Simon is beaten to death by the mob of excited boys.