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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Lord of the Flies by William Golding-Free Summary
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Ralph's stance is much more passive, a waiting that must be done and a very uncertain waiting. Who is it that will come for them? Rescuers or the beast? There's no wait on Jack's side, only the illusory but exhilarating feel of gaining power over the fear which haunts them.

That Jack breaks Piggy's glasses out of spite is inevitable. Piggy's link to civilization is partly destroyed, making his situation with Jack and the jungle even more dangerous. Simon returns the broken glasses, and "passions beat about Simon on the mountain-top with awful wings." With their hopes dashed, violence and blood lust simmering, and civilization receding, Simon knows they are endangered.

Power plays between Ralph and Jack fill the rest of the scene. Jack apologizes for breaking the glasses and gains the hunters' admiration. Ralph, no longer fooled by Jack's empty words, insists that he rebuild the fire immediately. But then Ralph refuses to move out of the way, which forces Jack to build the fire in a different place.

For the first time Ralph recognizes Piggy's importance. "Not even Ralph knew how a link between him and Jack had been snapped and fastened elsewhere. 'I'll bring 'em back,'" he says to Piggy as he borrows his glasses to light the fire.

New allegiances have been made. The friendship between Ralph and Jack is broken; their relationship is now that of enemies. And Ralph has bonded himself in friendship to Piggy.


More power struggles! Ralph tries not to eat roast pig and Jack tries not to give him any "as an assertion of power." Piggy the powerless leaves himself open to further ridicule from Jack when he asks for food. It's Simon who shows compassion by sharing his food.

"Inexpressible frustrations combined to make his rage elemental and awe-inspiring," and Jack begins a chantlike recitation of the kill: "I painted my face-I stole up. Now you eat-all of you-and I-" Jack's words are becoming more primitive all the time. He is an early hunter learning to grunt out the first words that represent thought. But instead of enlarging his thinking, Jack is slipping backward.

As Jack tells the story of the killing, a brutal joy infects the group. The boys join in making primitive sounds, "pig-dying noises." Jack is calling them backward into mindlessness. A reenactment begins with Maurice playing pig. They are little boys playing at a good game; at the same time, they are dangerously close to being savages. Ralph, who is part boy, part man, watches "envious and resentful." The leader side of him won't allow his little boy side to play; it makes him angry that he has to act like a man.

"I'm calling an assembly. With the conch." With his belief in the conch, symbol of communication and awareness, Ralph has no choice but to call the boys away from Jack and toward self-consciousness.

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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Lord of the Flies by William Golding-Free Summary
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