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Lord of the Flies: Chapter 12

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Hajra A

on 16 June 2015

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Transcript of Lord of the Flies: Chapter 12

Other Literary Devices
Character Critic
Literary Device Decoder
Lord of the Flies: Chapter 12
Person vs Nature:

Now the fire was nearer; those volleying shots were great limbs, trunks even, bursting. The fools! The first must be almost at the fruit-trees what would they eat tomorrow” (Golding, 220)

Ralph must survive his wounds, as he is injured and they may be infected. This poses a problem.
While Ralph is running through the forest and staying on dirt, there is no knowing which poisons the plants contain. Ralph can't do anything to fight the health issues. It could either kill him or contribute to his death.
Also, there is the fact that nature is what drove Ralph out of the forest. If there was not a fire, then Ralph would be able to hide in the forest forever. He could have moved to other places, and managed to survive.
The grid-plan that was used to hunt Ralph would have had flaws and holes, and essentially could have gone forever.
However, conflicts arose when the fire took place and none of these events could happen. This was a fight against nature, Ralph couldn't win.

Summary: Chapter 12
Conflicts Contd....
Person vs Person:
“Who's boss here’/ I am, Ralph said loudly/ A little boy who wore the remains of an extraordinary black cap on his red hair and who carried the remains of a pair of spectacles at his waist. started forward, then changed his mind and stood still” (Golding, 224)

The person vs person conflict throughout the book is mainly between Jack and Ralph.
The rest of the characters are implied as secondary characters, while the fate of the Island rests between Jack and Ralph. In this chapter, Jack has the full support of the tribe, while Ralph is all alone.
Ralph has nobody to reason with now that Piggy is dead and the conch is shattered so he can't call for a meeting and now he has a hard time deciding what to do with himself. Ralph tries to figure out how the conflict between Jack and Ralph was created, but he can't see this. He does not see how he is a threat, as he has earlier dismissed Jack as just a “trouble maker”. The fight for leadership is between Ralph and Jack.
Ralph follows the value as a democratic government, he believes in unity. While on the other hand, Jack wants power, wants to be leading the group himself.
In the previous chapters it's seen how Jack has the desire to get power and hunt, he puts his own needs above others, while Ralph does not. Ralph believes in caring for others needs rather than his.

Conflicts Contd...
Person vs Society:
“He felt the point of the spear with his thumb and grinned without amusement. Whoever tries that (attacking Ralph) would be stuck, squealing like a pig.” (Golding 214)

Ralph is enraged from society, as the rest of the boys are living without him and all of his companions are either part of the other group or dead.
Any actions that Ralph takes are against society that has been formed upon the island. Since Ralph does not join the tribe, he is quietly defying society with a passive resistance.
Also, Ralph sees the others boys uncivilized, as they do not follow the structure of lie that occurred before they were all wrecked on the Island. Ralph believes that if he can gather a group of followers, namely Sam and Eric, that by passively defying the tribe, the will combat the belief that Ralph has labeled the others with. However, Sam and Eric don’t join him, and he continues his fight against society on his own.
In the end, Ralph wins as he joins Western society that holds his beliefs and does not hold the beliefs of the society on the island.

Big Picture
In this chapter you witness, how Jack has taken all the power in his own hands, all of the tribe members are obeying him.
As further analyzed Jack has caused enormous amount of corruption to society. Jack represents evil and violence, the dark side of human nature. A former choirmaster and "head boy" at his school, he arrived on the island having experienced some success in exerting control over others by dominating the choir with his militaristic attitude.
Now his militaristic attitude has caused the tribe the lack of sense in terms of logically justifiable attitudes and behaviors. Similarly, I relate this to, one of the most corrupt dictatorship leaders known as Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler and Jack share many similar traits of leadership.
Adolf Hitler had led such a big corruption, by killing 6 million Jews, and invading other countries. Adolf Hitler was also a reason why World War 2 started.
Ralph goes into hiding in the jungle thinking about the chaos and conflicts taking place; Jack starts torturing the twins, trying to get to know where Ralph is; the tribe goes on a hunt looking for Ralph; Jack lights the jungle on fire, Ralph lands on the beaching looking in front is a naval officer and the officer is disgusted how a bunch of kids have lost the reverence rules of civilization, at the end all return to the western civilized world.

Big Picture Contd...
I also, relate Jack characters to one of the most famous tragic heroes in Shakespeare, Macbeth. Jack shares a special traits, the desire for power, and not thinking beyond himself. Similarly, Macbeth shares the same traits, Macbeth also desire for power. But when both gain power, and the ability to lead, it turns into a bloody, horrific tragedy leading to corruption.



loyalty when they warn Ralph about Jack’s plan and the danger he's in. “You got to go because it’s not safe-.....Roger sharpened a stick at both ends...” (Golding. 209). They also gave Ralph a small ration of meat .

They show that they still fear Roger as they describe him as a terror.
Act of betrayal: Made the decision to tell Jack where Ralph was hiding. The twins are still afraid of Jack that at this point their fear has consumed them and taken control of them

Naval Officer
Ralph embodies the orderly and civilized nature in human beings(e.g. use of conch)
His composure starts to crack and for a moment sinks into savagery like the other boys. As soon as he’s all alone he becomes frantic.
Relationship with Jack is shown continuous rivalry
“Won’t you come with me? Three of us—we’d stand a chance.” (Golding. 210) Represents his character becoming desperate. If the twins join him they’d have a chance to go against Jack or retain civilization
He turns to his most carnal instincts which represents his descent into beast hood away from civilization .
When he runs into the naval officer, he weep with the other boys realizing the loss of sense of his innocence.

At the end of the chapter, they boys escape the island and fall to the feet of a naval officer
The officer is baffled to see such young civilized boys acting in such a riotous manner
The officer symbolizes a colder perspective of civilization.
I should have thought that a pack of British boys-you're all British aren't you?- would have been able to put up a better show than that..." (Golding. 224)
The officer is embarrassed when the boys begin to cry and is disgusted of what they've become.

Thematic Statement
The way civilization is governed, whether it be democratic or authoritarian, directly impacts the mentality of the citizens and causes complications in the order of society.
Leadership (Democracy VS. Dictatorship)
Leadership: The process in which one person can rely on and organize a group of people in order to accomplish a common task.
Democracy: A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state partake in making decisions, typically through elected representatives.
Dictatorship: A form of government in which the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life, the individual is subordinated to the state, and opposing political and cultural expression is suppressed.
Leadership in Lord of the Flies
How are the citizens impacted?
Prioritized the signal fire
established rules of civilized society
Relied too heavily on others to perform tasks
How were there complications in the order of society?
People took advantage of Ralph
Ralph was too trusting of others which caused him to delegate inappropriately
Leadership in Lord of the Flies
How are the citizens impacted?
Citizens become more watchful and aware
People began participating together in unison
Acts of savagery emerge in the tribe
How were there complications in the order of society?
Fear increasingly became the reason for actions
Citizens lost control of rational decision making and acted on impulse
Naval Officer:
Symbolizes civilization and social order to the boys but not necessarily to the reader.
Symbolizes freedom and return to the civilized world.
Symbolizes maturity and authority, which makes the boys realize they are young and powerless.
Symbolizes technology and that if there is an abundance, it can cause destruction and despair.
Symbolizes connection to the outside human civilization and a sign of hope

Literary Devices:
Biblical Allusion:
Mountain/Other side of the island:
Stairway to salvation (Goes up, where the fire is located that will save them.)
Because the "Beastie" is there, salvation is hindered.
Ralph says the other side of the island is "greener" and "safer" but Golding is stating that it's all a mirage - he believes there won't be any real salvation for mankind.
the fire
"The breaking of the conch and the deaths of Piggy and Simon lay over the island like a vapour" (Golding,204)
Simile and Imagery:
"There were miles of vague water at his right and the restless ocean lay under his left hand, as awful as the shaft of a pit." (Golding, 207)

*Fact* Hebrew translation of Jack means supplanter- to take the place of another through force
In the beginning of the novel his aggressive behavior foreshadows his hunger for power
Lust for power drives him insane (e.g. planning a man hunt and sets forest on fire to out run Ralph)
His leading skills are similar to a dictatorship.

It's Time to Test your Knowledge!
Question 1: Who is Ralph running away from during this chapter? Is he afraid of anyone in specific?
A: Piggy
B: The "Beastie"
C: Everyone
D: Jack
Question 2: Why does the naval officer turn away at the end of the book when he sees the boys crying?
A: He's embarrassed for the kids
B: He decided he didn't want to save the kids anymore
C: He was running away from the fire
D: He's blind and he doesn't know where he is going
Question 3: What did they twins refer to Roger as when they spoke to Ralph?
A: A monster
B: A terror
C: An angel
D: A beastie
Question 4: Who starts the fire?
A: Ralph
B: The volcano erupted
C: Jack
D: Roger
Analysis of Setting
Question 5: Does Jack make it off the island?
A: No, he is burned alive by the volcano.
B: It does not specify.
C: Yes, he does get off the island safely.
D: He is too busy searching for Ralph that the Naval Officer leaves without him.
1. Specific Location: In a thicket in front of Castle Rock
Time of day: Night

How it affects characters:
• As Ralph hid amongst the thicket to spy on Jack and all of his followers at Castle Rock, he “…felt his isolation bitterly” (Goulding, 206).
• Ralph is unable to “…relax and fall into a well of sleep for fear of the tribe.” (Goulding, 206)
• Ralph tells Sam and Eric that “If it were light shame would burn them at admitting these things.” (Goulding, 208)

How it affects readers:
• Because Ralph is hiding in the thicket alone and injured, the readers feel concerned about his safety. He is close to the Castle Rock (where Jack and his tribe are) which makes him vulnerable.
• Pity for Ralph – he has no one to protect him for he is now considered an “outcast”.

Analysis of Setting
2. Specific Location: The forest, which is set on fire
Time of Day: Daylight

How it affects characters:
• Ralph runs from one hiding spot to another while being chased by Jack and his tribe.
• Since he is a prey in this setting, it brought out his animal survival instincts. Ralph attacks two savages and wounds another one.

How setting affects the readers…
• Brings anxiety and fear to the readers. Fire is regarded as an emergency. When the hunters put the forest on fire while Ralph was still in it, it left the readers in panic and in hope that Ralph would make it out alive.

The British naval officer says, “I should have thought that a pack of British boys[…]would have been able to put up a better show than that.” (Goulding, 290 ) How is this statement hypocritical? Do you think his hypocrisy is intended?

• He condemns the violent play of the boys on the island, but he himself is a military figure engaged in an ongoing war

• No, because he does not and will never fully comprehend the boys’ experience on the island.
 He interprets the hunting and painted faces as “fun and games” (Goulding, 288)
 He does not realize that the boys have actually become savages
 The officer mentions the novel The Coral Island where the boys had carefree adventures, which shows that he is oblivious to the violence that dominated in the island

Discussion Question
Discussion Question
What does the use of the double-edged spear and the boys’ hunt for Ralph tell us about vengeance in the world of the novel?

• The ultimate consequence of harming another person is harming the self
• The spear points at the one who is brandishing it and at the person it is directed to
• The boys put the forest on fire in order to find or kill Ralph. However, the fire will destroy the fruit in the forest that is vital for their survival

Discussion Question
When Ralph sees the pig’s skull, he knocks it to the ground and it gets destroyed. What do you think the destruction of the pig’s skull indicates?

• The Lord of the Flies is a totem used by Jack’s tribe
• Since the conch and the pig’s skull have been destroyed, it shows that the boys are in civil war
• By destroying the skull, Ralph shows that he has accepted Jack’s savage terms of war/conflict
• Democracy on the island is gone

Discussion Question
What is ironic about how the boys on the island were saved?

• The whole time, Ralph thought that the signal fire (which symbolized civilization and order) is the only way to attract rescuers to the island
• Although it is a fire that attracts a ship towards the island, it is not a controlled, signal fire
• Rather, it is the hazardous forest fire that the boys set to kill Ralph – a tool of savagery.

Discussion Question
When the officer comes to rescue the boys from the island, why do you think they react the way they do? Why don’t they instantly celebrate his arrival?

• They are at a different psychological state than the officer – they are emotionally damaged
• They are not used to civilization and have to readapt to the society they came from
• Ralph cries tears of grief because of everything he witnessed – the end of his innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the death of his wise friend Piggy
o He discovered the fragility of civilization
• Percival is unable to remember who he is – he cannot state his name and address like he did when he first arrived at the island

Analysis of Setting
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