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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Lord of the Flies by William Golding-Free Summary
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Jack bends down to smell the warm pig droppings "as though he loved them." He does love them! They are an indication that the pig is near and something is about to happen.

Ralph lets Jack take charge of the situation and daydreams about his room at home. When the boar rushes them, Ralph's reflexes are faster than his mind; he hits the pig, and the thrill of the hunt overtakes him.

There follows an important exchange between Ralph and Jack. Ralph says, "I walloped him properly. That was the beast, I think." Like everyone else who has tried to hunt, Ralph lets his enthusiasm lend to exaggeration. By calling the boar the beast, he creates a link between the two. For now, Jack recognizes that the beast is not a boar and denies it. He doesn't want Ralph to own the glory of having killed the beast.

Ralph and Robert begin a reenactment of hitting the boar, and all the boys join in. This dance is more savage than earlier ones. Robert plays the pig, and he is hit in the rear with sticks. The game quickly gets out of hand amid shouts of "Kill him! Kill him!" Ralph, too, wants "a handful of that brown, vulnerable flesh. The desire to squeeze and hurt was overmastering."


Without the structure and the rules of civilization, the desire to kill surfaces even in Ralph. It cannot be resisted. This is Golding's view of the true nature of man. Civilization is not the corrupter; man carries the problem within him wherever he goes.

Jack says it was a good game, but Ralph's conscience, which he lost touch with when the desire to kill surfaced, now makes him "uneasy." Ralph may be just as vulnerable as the others to the lust for blood, but he is civilized. Whatever impression civilization has made on him, he carries it with him; his awareness of right and wrong can't be permanently erased. He begins to lead again.

The search for the beast resumes, but it's gotten late and Ralph is concerned about Piggy. Again Jack's jealousy is evident, and you want to shout at Ralph, "Pay attention to Jack's feelings!" Ralph doesn't, and you know something will come of this. Jack always retaliates. Simon, treating Ralph as the chief, says he will return to Piggy and the boys.

The tension between Ralph and Jack hangs in the air. Jack wants to be in charge of everything, but Ralph resumes his role as leader. He begins to think again.

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