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Lord of the Flies - Chapters 7 & 8

Literary Analysis of Chapters 7 and 8 of the Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
by

J V

on 5 September 2012

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Transcript of Lord of the Flies - Chapters 7 & 8

CHAPTERS 7 & 8 Lord of the Flies Chapter 6 ends with Ralph exercising authority amongst the hunting group, and reminding them of their main duty, which is maintaining the signal atop the mountain in order to attract the attention of any passing ships. Ending of Chapter 6 The "biguns", except Piggy, go on a pig-hunt, and are chased by a boar, but lose it.
In an attempt to lighten the mood, Robert begins to act like a pig, but the act goes too far when the boys are over-excited and start prodding Robert with their spears. This ends the game, but sets the tone for the grotesque situations to come.
Later, the boys agree to go up the mountain to check if it is clear and if it is possible to start a fire in order to keep a signal going.
Simon volunteers to go across the island alone to tell Piggy and the littleuns that the hunting group won't be returning until after dark.
Jack, Ralph, and Roger decide to go up the mountain to find the beast.
The other boys return to the shelter.
Chapter 7 - Shadows and Tall Trees
Plot Summary Jack decides to go deeper to check things out himself.
He returns back, frightened, saying that he had actually seen something.
The three boys go up to see, and find an ape-like creature with its head bent between its legs, which suddenly throws its hands up in the air as the wind blows.
With this, the boys run away in fear. It is around mid-day for the first half of the chapter.
The atmosphere is tropical and pleasant, and Ralph forgets about his woes of being rescued for a little while.
The boys are on the other side of the island, away from the shelters.
Later, they go into the jungle to catch a boar, and then rest in an open space by the sea.
When Jack, Ralph, and Roger venture on to find the beast alone, Jack and Roger are at the edge of the burnt patch of the jungle.
When they see the "beast", they are on the mountain top, and it is dark.
By the end of the chapter, they run back to the shelters. Setting "Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!" Symbols The play-fight shows the dramatic decrease in the boys' sanity and civility, especially Ralph's (momentarily). As they got over-excited, they wanted to kill the "pig", which was actually Robert in their game. But, they stopped just in time. The Shelters The shelters, where Piggy is, seems to have become a sort of fear-free place. It has become a safe haven for the boys to return to, which they feel is the only place free from the beast, or free from the fear of the beast. The Ashes The ashes on the mountain top remain as a permanent reminder of the boys' gravest mistake, which cost them their rescue. It is also a reminder that similar negligence caused the missing of the young boy with the birthmark, and maybe several others as they had not bothered to heed Piggy's advice and count the initial number. Tone The fear of the beast has become so great that even the mountain, which was previously seen as a safe place with a constantly running fire, seems dangerous. The only relatively safe place left are the shelters. Fear The boys' minds have taken a turn for the worse and have become uncontrollable and unmaintainable as was exhibited by the play-killing. They are now consumed with killing. Insanity There is a lot of hate between Jack and Ralph. Ralph even expresses his desire to confirm Jack's hatred of him when he asks Jack if he hates him. There is also jealousy over leadership. Hatred Ralph reminisces about his time with his parents, which he now thinks as a perfect time, almost like heaven. He longs for various items that he would've otherwise thought trivial, like soap. Longing Ralph - He longs for his home. He doubts the possibility of them ever being rescued. He finds himself consumed with killing when he manages to slightly maim the boar during their hunt. Momentarily, he is no different from the other boys in their mutual descent to insanity from civility.

Jack - He becomes more frustrated with everyone, mainly Ralph, and shows outright disregard for his chieftainship.

Roger - He is uncommunicative mostly.

Simon - He is calm and reassuring. He does anything he is capable of in order to avoid conflict.

Robert - The first signs of actual blood lust for any living form are shown on Robert, when he decides to play victim to their play-killing. Characters -The rivalry between Ralph and Jack escalates up to the point where Jack blatantly disregards any authority that Ralph holds, and storms off from the rest of the group when nobody agrees to remove Ralph as chief.
-Jack forms his own group with all the hunters including Maurice, Roger, and Bill.
-Ralph's group is made up of the littluns, Piggy, Simon, and the twins- Samneric.
-Ralph and Piggy are more concerned with keeping a fire going in order to be rescued. Piggy comes up with the brilliant idea of maintaining a fire by the beach, so as the avoid the beast on the mountain top.
-Jack's group hunts down a sow very savagely, and places its head on a stick as an offering to the beast.
-Simon encounters the 'Lord of the Flies'.
-Now, obvious conflict between Jack and Ralph's groups. Chapter 8 - Gift for the Darkness
Plot Summary -Ralph seems to have lost his initial fervor for being rescued off the island.
-He doesn't seem to have any remaining spirit in him to fight off Jack's savagery.
-He expresses his concern about forgetting about keeping a fire going and being rescued to Piggy.
-He seems to find Piggy's company comforting, and finds a sort of anchor in Piggy. Characters - Ralph -He still manages to come up with brilliant ideas in spite of the conflict with Jack.
-He is more comfortable with the group, now that Jack and his judgement have left.
-He takes up more initiatives and leadership responsibilities now that he doesn't have Jack being negative about his every action. Piggy -He is extremely savage now and lives to hunt. This is proved when he laughs at the sow's blood smeared across his palms. He finds joy in his blood lust.
-He has now openly showed his enmity towards Ralph.
-He is beyond rescuing his civility, and would probably not want to be rescued off the island if given the opportunity.
Jack "The sow staggered her way ahead of them, bleeding and mad, and the hunters followed, wedded to her in lust, excited by the long chase and the dropped blood." [pg 151-152]

-This shows just how savage and wild the hunting party is now. This foreshadows the future events. The boys do not have even an ounce of civility left in them, and are comparable to predators in the wild. Important Quotes This is perhaps the most important scene in the entire novel. The hunting party leaves the sow's head on a stick as an offering to the beast, and Simon has an encounter with this 'Lord of the Flies'. It tells him what he'd believed since the beginning- that the beast wasn't a tangible being, but a growing savagery in every single one of the boys. This increasing roughness and incivility is the real fear on the island. "There isn’t anyone to help you. Only me. And I’m the Beast. . . . Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! . . . "
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