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English Chapter Analysis
Transcript of English Chapter Analysis
By: Mallory Kocher and Elizabeth Anderskow
In the beginning of the "Shell and the Glasses" (chapter 10) Ralph and Piggy are mourning the death of Simon who was mistakenly killed by Jack and his tribe. Ralph thinks of it as murder and realizes how savage Jack and his tribe have become. Ralph feels embarrassed that he witnessed such a catastrophe. He feels as though he let it happen and went along with the crazy dance/murder. However, Piggy tries to convince him it was an accident. While on Castle Rock, we get a taste of Jack's tribal life. He runs as an absolute ruler, threatening and beating all who doubt his plans. Jack and his tribe need fire to cook their meat; they cannot make a fire without Piggy's glasses. Back on the beach, Ralph and his group are brainstorming rescue ideas. Ralph tells Sam to relight the fire and Sam responds by "What's the point?". This gives a glimpse on how the boys are losing hope for rescue. Jack, Maurice, and Roger go to get the glasses and sabotage their group. In the night Ralph, Piggy, and Samneric are attacked and are in a fight with Jack and his boys. When Piggy wakes up he realizes Jack has stolen the glasses. This means no fire, no rescue, and no power for Ralph, Piggy, and Samneric.
Ralph's Power is DECREASING. This is because most of the boys are
siding with Jack. The only thing he's clinging onto is the conch, which
no longer holds power within the boys.
Ralph refuses to listen to Piggy's explanation of Simon's death. Ralph feels as though it was murder. He realizes how savage the boys actually are which makes him more focused than ever on rescue.
Jack's power is INCREASING. He now holds the loyalty of the biguns, which gives him an advantage compared to Ralph's wimpy crew. Jack's power increases even more when he steals the glasses. This means that his tribe has fire for meat, which does not allow Ralph's tribe to have cooked meat or get rescued.
To ensure that he continues to hold the loyalty of his tribe, Jack convinces everyone that Simon truly was the beast in disguise. The murder/dance makes Jack even more bloodthirsty than ever. Jack knows that he murdered Simon purposely and he does not feel guilty about it. This shows the savagery of the boys because they have taken a life and do not have any sympathy.
Ralph is focusing on rescue more than ever. He has very few followers and is losing hope of civilization for the boys and rescue. When Jack steals the glasses, Ralph has a very slim chance of being rescued because the glasses that made the fire for ships to see, were stolen. Without glasses, there cannot be a fire or meat for the boys.
In this chapter, Piggy struggles to use his intelligence to convince Ralph (and himself) that it was NOT a murder that took place... It was an accident. He refuses to feel any guilt for what happened, and tries to help Ralph rationalize it in a safer way.
Piggy knows right from the start that Jack's crew stole his glasses. He seems to be the only one who understands the full importance of them. Ralph was just afraid they took the conch. Not to mention now, Piggy is pretty much useless without his glasses.
This chapter takes places in two atmospheres:
I believe The Beach is a place of security, another link to civilization or rescue. All the shelters are on the beach, PLUS you are right there on the water which is your biggest chance of rescue. I think that's why Ralph's group sticks to The Beach. BUT, even though the beach holds civilization, it now feels slightly haunted thanks to the events that took place the night before (Simon's death).
Castle Rock is a newly discovered place, which is appropriate now that Jack and his tribe are embracing their newly full out savagery. It is in the jungle which is a dangerous, creepy place. Not to mention easy access to hunting. It puts them at a higher level above ground, just as their power is to Ralph's.
We believe this is an extremely important chapter. It relates to the theme of the book, a person's descent into savagery. In this chapter, not only do we see how savage they can be, and how savage they are still becoming, but we can see the viewpoint of the other, more civilized people who are scared to death and are wishing for rescue more than ever now. Jack's tribe has reached their high point of savagery and have actually killed somebody. Ralph's group is still most civilized out of all the other boys but even they slip into savage practices once in a while. They did join in the dance, although they might not have done the actual killing. This again, shows the boys' descent into savagery.
See for yourself....
Jack's interpretation of the beast has changed from the beginning of the book. In the beginning he believed that there was no such thing as a beast. Nothing scared Jack, plus the island was paradise at that point. Then he started believing that there could be a beast, but he would kill it. Now, he believed that Simon was the beast in disguise. Even though he killed Simon, he still thinks the beast could attack. This is an excuse to kill. He is so savage that he has tricked himself into thinking there is a beast just so he can kill something. Jack also uses fear to control his tribe. As long as there is the fear of the beast, the boys will follow and listen to him.
Ralph believes now that there is a beast,
but he knows it was not Simon. He suspects that the thing Simon had been trying to tell them right before he was attacked had something to do with the beast. For Ralph, Jack and his tribe of killers . The beast is the least of Ralph's worries right now; he is focusing on rescue.
Jack holds all the main power on the island, while Ralph only holds a couple of biguns and littluns. They have completely separate methods of running their groups: Jack runs his tribe violently (by threatening and hunting). Ralph is running his group orderly (focused on rescue). The only physical rivalry in this chapter is when Jack and two other boys attack Ralph's group (beats them up and steals their glasses). This is a conflict because it boosts Jack's already superior power. Also, Ralph needs it for rescue, while Jack only needs it for cooking meat. This will drive Ralph mad.
Simon was the only one who knew the truth about the beast, that it was actually a deceased man (attached to a parachute). Therefore there was no beast, and the Lord of the Flies explained that it was only the fear the boys had of each other.