A Boy With Fair Hair, and a Very Fat Boy
A boy with fair hair, getting down to the foot of the rock, began to walk towards the lagoon. He was soon joined by a very fat boy, wearing thick spectacles. The fat boy started a conversation with the fair boy.
The fair boy said that they were on an island on which there were no grown-up persons. The absence of grown-ups on the island was a source of much delight to the fair boy. The fat boy asked where the pilot of the aeroplane was. The fair boy replied that the pilot must have flown off after having detached the passenger-tube from the plane and permitting it to drop to the earth. The pilot must have found it impossible to land and he must therefore have flown away. The fair boy asked what might have happened to the passenger-tube out of which they had both managed to come out. The fat boy replied that the storm had dragged the passenger-tube into the sea and that there might still be some boys trapped in that passenger-tube.
The Circumstances Under Which the Two Boys Met
The fair boy’s name was Ralph, while the fat boy’s name was Piggy. These two boys were among a large number of boys who were being evacuated from England to some safer country because a nuclear war had broken out in Europe. On the way the aircraft carrying them had been attacked by an enemy plane and had caught fire. The pilot had thereupon detached the passenger-tube carrying the boys and had allowed it to crashland on the island below while he had himself flown away to meet whatever fate might be in store for him. Most of the boys in the passenger-tube had escaped from it when it crash-landed and had run away helter skelter. The boys had thus got scattered on the island and none of them knew where he was and where the others were. It was under these circumstances that the fair boy called Ralph met the fat boy called Piggy and that the two entered into a conversation. The fat boy told Ralph that he did not want his name Piggy to become known to anybody else on the island. He also said that he suffered from frequent attacks of asthma and that he had been wearing spectacles since the age of three because of his extremely weak eyesight. Both Ralph and Piggy now wondered where the other boys might be.
The Coming Together of All the Boys in Response to the Conch
Just then Ralph discovered a strange object lying among the weeds. Piggy told him that this object was a conch-shell and that one could blow upon it and produce a loud sound. Piggy then taught Ralph how to blow upon the conch-shell. Ralph went on blowing upon the conch and producing several short blasts of sound. A large number of boys now appeared at the spot where Ralph had blown the conch. All these boys, having got scattered on the island and having now heard the loud sounds of the conch, came in response to those sounds and were glad to have got together. Among this large group of boys some were very small, being hardly above six years, while others were older, their age being on an average about twelve years. Ralph himself was just a few months over twelve years. Among the boys who had thus gathered in response to the sounds of the conch were several choir-boys whose leader was Jack. The boys also included a pair of twins called Sam and Eric. When the boys learnt the name of the fat boy, they all burst into loud laughter because they found the name Piggy to be very amusing. Jack, the leader of the choir-boys, addressed Piggy as “Fatty”, and this name also amused the boys.
Ralph, Elected as the Chief Exploration of the Island
Ralph suggested that they should choose a chief to guide them all and to give orders. Jack offered himself as the chief, but Ralph said that the chief should be elected by vote. The majority of the boys were in favour of Ralph. Accordingly, Ralph declared that he would function as the chief. However, Ralph said that Jack could continue to be the leader of his choir-boys. Jack accepted the verdict of the boys and also Ralph’s suggestion that he should continue to be the leader of the choir-boys. Jack said that his choir-boys would henceforth be known as “the hunters”. A little later, Ralph, Jack, and a boy called Simon undertook to explore the island and to climb up to the top of the mountain in the distance in order to verify if they were really on an island and also to make other discoveries about the island which might prove useful to them. The three boys then went on an expedition, feeling very elated. They climbed to the top of the mountain and found, by looking around them, that they were really on an island. They had also found that the island was totally uninhabited. On their return journey they saw a pig caught among the creepers, and squealing. Jack took out his knife and felt like stabbing the pig but he checked himself and did not stab the animal. However, he told his companions that next time, if he got an opportunity to stab a pig, he would not hesitate to do so. In order to give point to his resolve, he slammed his knife into a tree-trunk.
The Importance of the Conch
Ralph, Jack and Simon were now back at the place where the boys had previously assembled and discussed their situation. Ralph blew the conch again, in order to summon all the boys to another meeting. Ralph then informed the gathering that they were on an uninhabited island, that there were no houses, no boats, and no people to be seen anywhere. Then Jack spoke and said that he had wanted to kill a pig on the way but had refrained from doing so. He added that next time he would not fail to kill a pig. He then slammed his knife into a tree-trunk in order to confirm what he had said. Ralph then said that they must have certain rules to conduct these meetings. He said that anyone wanting to address the gathering should first ask for the conch. Anyone wanting to speak would be given the conch, and he could then start speaking, with the conch in his hands. Ralph then offered a word of comfort to his listeners by saying that it was a good island and that it was a wonderful island because there was plenty of food and water available here and because they could all have a good time. The boys felt happy to hear this and said that their adventure reminded them of such novels as Treasure Island, Swallows and Amazons, and Coral Island.
The Need to Light a Fire on the Mountain-Top
At this point, a small boy, having a birthmark on one side of his face, said that he had seen a beastie or a snake-thing and that he had felt scared. But Ralph declared that there could be no beastie or snake-thing on a small island like this. Ralph then said that they were sure to be rescued from this island but that they must adjust themselves to the conditions on the island where they might have to stay for a long time. The rescue would come, but it might not come very soon. They might be rescued by a passing ship, he said. He then suggested that, in order to attract the attention of the sailors of a passing ship, they must light a fire on the mountain-top so that the smoke rising from it could catch the notice of the sailors. At this point Jack, wresting the initiative from Ralph, shouted to the boys to follow him to the mountain-top so that they could light a fire there. The whole crowd of boys thereupon followed Jack who hastily walked away towards the mountain. Ralph and Piggy now found themselves alone. They had no choice but to follow Jack.
Jack’s Promise of Cooperation With Ralph
After climbing to the mountain-top, Jack ordered the boys to collect some fuel-wood from, the forest on the other side of the mountain. Accordingly, a huge pile of fuel-wood was made by the boys. But nobody had a match-box to light the fire. By this time Ralph and Piggy had also arrived at the mountain-top. Suddenly Jack suggested that Piggy’s spectacles should be used as “burning glasses” to light the fire. Now Ralph once again assumed the leadership and, taking Piggy’s spectacles from Piggy, focussed the sun-rays on some dry wood and succeeded in lighting a fire. The spectacles were then quickly taken back by Piggy because his eyesight was so weak that without the spectacles he could see nothing. Ralph now said that this fire must be kept burning all the time because a ship might pass close to the island at any time and because the ship would come to their rescue only if the sailors on that ship saw the smoke rising upwards from somewhere on the island. Jack then made a speech in response to what Ralph had said. Jack expressed his agreement with Ralph, saying that, as they were all civilized persons, they must have rules and must obey them, as had been suggested by Ralph. They were English boys, he said, and the English were best at everything. So they must do the right things. After all, they were not savages, he said. Then, turning to Ralph, he said that his hunters would undertake the responsibility for keeping the fire burning all the time. Piggy spoke next. He said that they must take care that the fire which they had lighted should not spread to the whole forest because a burning forest would pose a grave danger to the lives of the boys, especially to the small ones.
A Disagreement and a Clash of Opinions
Jack now began to spend much of his time roaming through the forest in search of pigs. Having failed to spot a pig he was feeling very frustrated. In the meantime Ralph was feeling very disappointed with the behaviour of most of the boys. At Ralph’s suggestion it had been decided to build a number of huts or shelters along the beach. After two huts had been erected, the boys had lost all interest in this task. The result was that only Ralph and Simon had been working to build the third hut. Ralph now expressed his dissatisfaction to Jack. Ralph pointed out that even Jack was taking no interest in the building of huts. A clash of opinions now took place between Ralph and Jack. Jack insisted that in order to get meat to eat it was necessary for him and his hunters to find pigs and hunt them down. Ralph insisted that their main priorities should be, first, to keep the fire on the mountain-top burning all the time and, secondly, to build the huts. Meanwhile, the little boys who had come to be known as “Littluns” continued to feel afraid of the existence of a beastie or a snake-thing on the island. Simon, who had originally been a member of Jack’s choir, had started going alone into the forest, sometimes at night, and sitting down at a secluded spot to spend some time in complete solitude. He was a boy with a philosophical or mystical temperament.
A Golden Opportunity, Lost On Account of Jack’s Pig-Hunting
The boys had now become accustomed to the rhythm of life on the island from dawn to dusk. However, their thoughts often went back to their old life in England. Among the big boys who had come to be known as the “Biguns” were Roger and Maurice, both of whom often took pleasure in teasing the small boys. These two big boys would have done a lot of mischief in order to harass the small ones; but their memory of their disciplined and civilized life in England prevented them from going too far in their mischief-making. In the meantime Jack had been able to track the pigs in the forest and had evolved a strategy to hunt them down. He had decided to paint his face with red clay, white clay, and charcoal, in order to mask his face so that the pigs should not be able to recognize him as an enemy when he approached them in order to attack and kill them. All Jack’s efforts and attention were now directed to pig-hunting. One day he did succeed in his effort and was able, with the help of his hunters, to kill a pig. But just when Jack and his hunters were chasing pigs, a ship had happened to pass close to the island. Ralph looked hopefully towards the mountain-top, thinking that the smoke from there would attract the attention of the sailors on the ship. But, to his dismay, Ralph found that there was no fire on the mountain-top and no smoke. The ship continued on its course and soon afterwards was lost to view. Ralph now felt very angry with Jack who had failed to keep his promise of maintaining the fire on the mountain-top all the time. A golden opportunity for being rescued had been lost on account of Jack’s absorption in pig-hunting.
Jack, Scolded By Ralph and Piggy. Jack’s Reaction
When Jack returned with a slain pig, feeling exultant in his achievement, Ralph scolded him for his failure to have kept the fire burning all the time. Jack said that he had needed all his hunters to chase the pigs and that, if the fire had gone out, they would light it again. Ralph complained that a golden opportunity for their being rescued had been lost because of Jack’s negligence. But Jack hardly paid any heed to Ralph’s complaint. Jack claimed that he had been able to get meat for the boys to eat. Now Piggy also scolded Jack for having been negligent in the matter of the fire. Jack, who had disliked Piggy from the very start, lost his temper and gave a blow to Piggy. Piggy’s spectacles fell off, and one of the two glasses in them got broken. Piggy complained that he had now got only one eye to see with. However, Jack soon afterwards apologized to Ralph for his failure to have kept the fire on the mountain-top burning all the time. The pig’s meat was then roasted over a fire, and everybody got meat to eat and everybody relished it. They had all been craving for meat because so far they had lived only on fruit and on an occasional crab or fish. Jack felt proud of his achievement in having provided meat to the boys. After eating the meat, the boys began to dance and started a kind of mock-hunt. Maurice pretended to be the pig, while the others formed a circle round him and pretended to beat him. As they danced, they chanted the following words ! “Kill the pig ! Cut her throat ! Bash her in.” Ralph and Piggy were the only ones not to participate in this general excitement.
The Speeches, Made at a Meeting of the Boys
Ralph now called another meeting of the boys and made a long speech. He impressed upon the boys the need to keep the fire burning on the mountain-top in order that the smoke might continue to rise from it. He also urged the boys not to feel frightened by imaginary dangers. He then deplored the fact that things were breaking up on the island. What he meant was that the sense of discipline among the boys was greatly diminishing. Then Jack spoke and declared that there was no beast on the island and that the Littluns should not feel afraid of anything. Piggy spoke next. He too declared that there was no beast and nothing to be afraid of. Life was a scientific affair, Piggy said. However, one of the Littluns, by the name of Phil, said that he had seen something big and horrid moving among the trees at night. Another Littlun, by the name of Percival, said that the beast had come out of the water. Simon now spoke and said that there might really be a beast, but that the beast was within themselves and not outside.
Jack, Defiant Towards Ralph
On this occasion Jack snubbed Piggy once again. In fact, it had become a habit with Jack to snub Piggy. Piggy always objected to Jack’s speaking out of turn. On this occasion Ralph also objected to Jack’s speaking without holding the conch in his hands. But now Jack spoke defiantly to Ralph also. Jack then left the platform and called upon all the boys to follow him. All the boys except Ralph, Piggy, and Simon followed Jack. Ralph felt like resigning his position as the chief, but Piggy and Simon urged him to continue. All these three boys wished that there were some grown-ups on the island to guide them.
A “Beast”, Seen By Sam and Eric
One night the twins (Sam and Eric) were on duty to feed the fire and keep it burning on the mountain-top, but they both fell asleep. At dawn, when they opened their eyes, they saw a strange sight at a distance of about fifteen yards from them. They saw a huddled figure swaying forwards and backwards. Actually, this figure was the dead-body of an air pilot entangled in the strings of his parachute. But the twins mistook the figure for a beast and, feeling terrified, fled from the mountain-top and rushed down to the shelters.
A Futile Search For the Supposed Beast
The twins reported to Ralph and the others that they had seen the beast on the mountain-top. A meeting was called by Ralph and it was decided, at Jack’s suggestion, that the beast should be chased and hunted down. An expedition consisting of all the Biguns was then got ready to go and search for the beast. Piggy was left behind to look after the Littluns in the absence of all the Biguns. A prolonged and extensive search was then made by the group of Biguns for the beast, but the search did not yield any fruit.
Simon’s Assurance to Ralph
The search for the beast reported by the twins continued. Simon told Ralph privately that the latter would certainly get back to where he had come from. What Simon meant was that Ralph would certainly be able to return to England safe and sound. Ralph felt puzzled by Simon’s feeling of self-assurance and said that Simon was “batty”. But Simon repeated that Ralph would surely get back home. In a reminiscent mood Ralph thought of his childhood-days when he used to live with his parents. Just then Ralph saw a wild animal rushing towards him. Ralph took prompt action to defend himself by throwing a spear at the animal. The animal was wounded but it managed to run away. Ralph thought that he had killed the beast but Jack pointed out that the animal was a boar and not a beast.
Another Mock-Hunt; and the Beast on the Mountain-Top
The boys then began to play a game which was a kind of mock-hunt for a pig. Robert pretended that he was the pig to be hunted. The boys formed a circle round Robert and began to shower blows upon him, shouting : “Kill the pig ! Cut his throat ! Bash him in !” Robert had merely wanted to play a game but he found that the boys had started hitting him in right earnest. It was with great difficulty that Robert extricated himself from the crowd of violent boys. A minor quarrel now occurred between Ralph and Jack as a result of which Ralph asked Jack : “Why do you hate me ? “ But Jack gave no reply. The search for the beast was resumed. Ralph, Jack, and Roger now decided to climb to the mountain-top in order to look for the beast. When the three boys had climbed the mountain more than half way, Jack volunteered to climb to the top all alone. He then continued to climb till he had reached the top. After a little while Jack returned in a state of terror and said that he had seen something bulging on the mountain-top, and that this something must be the beast. Then all the three boys climbed to the top together. They saw a rock-like hump, and felt terrified because the hump looked like a great ape sitting asleep with its head between its knees. The three boys were now sure that what they had seen was the beast. In terror they all rushed back.
Jack’s Revolt Against Ralph
All the boys felt scared when Ralph, Jack, and Roger narrated their experience to them. Piggy was the one to feel most scared. Jack now asked Ralph if his (Jack’s) hunters could do nothing in this difficult situation. Ralph replied that Jack’s hunters were only boys armed with mere sticks and that they would be helpless in fighting against the beast. Jack felt offended with Ralph for speaking thus about his hunters. Jack now took the conch in his hands and blew it in order to call an assembly, even though he had no authority to do so. Addressing the assembly, Jack told them that Ralph had expressed an adverse opinion about the hunters. Jack then went on to say that he did not think Ralph to be a proper kind of leader, and that actually Ralph was a coward. Ralph and Jack now looked at each other angrily. Jack then told the assembly that Ralph was not a hunter and that Ralph would never have got any meat for the boys. Ralph merely gave orders and expected others to obey him without questioning, Jack said. Tears now came into Jack’s eyes. He declared that he was not going to cooperate with the boys any more if they still recognized Ralph as their chief. Jack then said that he was going away and that, in case they wanted to leave Ralph and join him, he (Jack) would welcome them. Saying this, Jack left. Piggy told Ralph that they could manage without Jack. Piggy then lighted a fire close to the platform because going to the mountain-top in order to light a fire was out of the question in view of the presence of the beast on the mountain-top. At this point it was discovered that Maurice, Bill, and Roger were no longer present at the meeting. Evidently, they had slipped away in order to join Jack. After a little while the other Biguns also left to join Jack.
A Gift For the Beast ; and Simon’s Hallucination
Simon, who had no liking for Jack, now quietly left and went into the forest to spend some time in solitude at the secluded spot which had become his favourite haunt. Ralph and Piggy were left alone, with only the twins and the Littluns on their side. Jack had now weaned most of the Biguns away from Ralph. Jack led his hunters to the spot where the pigs were resting and attacked the largest sow of the whole lot. Jack and his hunters succeeded in killing the sow. Jack cut off the head of the slain sow and stuck it on a stick. He then stuck the stick into a crack among the rocks. He then said that this head, stuck on the stick, was meant as an offering to the beast. He said : “This head is for the beast. It’s a gift.” Jack and his boys then left this spot, taking the slain pig with them to be roasted. As Jack had no means of lighting a fire, he took two of the hunters with him and raided Ralph’s camp from where they snatched away two burning branches from the fire which Piggy had lighted close to the platform. Jack and his hunters then returned to their own camp where they roasted the meat of the pig which they had killed. In the meantime Simon, who had witnessed, from his hiding place, the killing of the pig and the offering of its head to the beast was staring at the pig’s head. It seemed to Simon that the pig’s head had assumed the form of the Lord of the Flies and was now speaking to him. The Lord of the Flies told Simon that he was part of all the boys and that he would not permit anything to go right with them. The Lord of the Flies then warned Simon to go away from this spot and to join the other boys. Simon was so scared by this terrible hallucination that he fainted.
Simon’s Discovery of the Parachutist’s Dead-Body
When Simon recovered consciousness, he decided to climb to the mountain-top in order to ascertain whether there really was a beast there. He took this decision because he did not believe that any beast existed on the island. Simon’s view was that the beast existed within the boys themselves; and this view of Simon’s had been confirmed by the hallucination which Simon had experienced. Accordingly, Simon climbed to the mountain-top where he saw a humped thing. Flies had collected around this humped figure. Simon crawled forward and saw the bulky figure of the dead parachutist. He then understood the situation. He looked at the body which had already decayed and decomposed. He realized that this dead-body had been mistaken by Ralph and the others for a beast. Simon now felt it necessary to convey his discovery to the others as soon as possible in order to free them from their fear of the beast. Accordingly, he started down the mountain even though he was feeling extremely tired.
Jack, Now the Head of a “Tribe”
In the meantime Jack and his hunters had roasted the pig-meat and were now eating it with great relish. Jack had invited Ralph and Ralph’s supporters also to come and partake of the feast. Accordingly, Jack, Piggy and the twins had also come to eat the meat for which everyone had been craving. When everybody had eaten to his fill, Jack addressed the meeting and spoke of his achievement in having tracked and killed a pig and having obtained meat for everybody. He was now experiencing a sense of power and a feeling of superiority. He then asked the gathering how many of them were going to join his tribe. He said that he had already given meat to everybody and that in future his hunters would protect them all against the beast. Ralph at this point spoke and claimed that he was the elected chief of the whole group and that it was necessary to keep the fire burning on the island so as to produce smoke. Running after pig-meat was not the first priority, said Ralph. Jack ignored Ralph’s objection and repeated his question as to how many of the boys would join his tribe. Some of the boys spoke, expressing their willingness.
Another Mock-Hunt. Simon, Killed
The rear of thunder was now heard, whereupon Jack declared that they would have a dance. The dance began, and with it a mock-hunt. The boys formed a circle, and this time Roger pretended that he was the pig. The boys began to chant the usual words “Kill the beast ! Cut his throat ! Spill his blood !” The mock-hunt of the pig continued till at last Roger ceased to be the pig and himself became one of the hunters. The centre of the circle was now vacant. Just at that time a figure was seen crawling out of the forest. This was Simon coming from the mountain-top to inform the boys that there was no beast and that what they had seen was only the dead-body of a parachutist. But, before, he could break the news to them, the boys surrounded him continuing their chant. Simon tried his utmost to shout some thing about a dead man lying on the mountain-top, but the chan, went on and now the boys began to attack Simon violently thinking him to be the beast. Blow after blow fell upon Simon’s body. Simon struggled to break free of the crowd, but the blows continued till Simon was killed. The boys thought that they had killed the beast, although Jack, Ralph, Piggy, and a few others realized that it was Simon who had been killed. The same night the dead-body of the parachutist and the dead-body of Simon were carried by the wind and the waves respectively into the open sea.
Jack, Now the Chief. Piggy’s Spectacles, Snatched Away
Ralph and Piggy had left Jack’s camp after the ritual dance and the death of Simon. The twins too had returned to Ralph’s camp. Jack had now become the acknowledged leader of all the boys except Piggy and the twins who were still loyal to Ralph and who remained with him. The Littluns too were now Ralph’s responsibility. Raph and Piggy found it very difficult to keep the fire, which Piggy had lighted, burning all the time because they did not have enough boys to collect fuel-wood from the forest. While going to sleep that night Ralph had all kinds of fancies floating through his head. On their side, Jack and his hunters bad no means of lighting a fire in order to roast pig-meat. Jack, accompanied by Maurice and Roger, now raided Ralph’s camp once again. This time they snatched away Piggy’s spectacles and went away feeling proud of their having come into possession of the means of lighting a fire. Ralph and Piggy at first thought that the raiders had come to take away the conch but soon Piggy realized that his spectacles had been taken away. Without his spectacles Piggy could hardly see anything.
When Ralph and his companions got up in the morning, they found that their fire had gone out completely. They faced a real problem now because, with Piggy’s spectacles taken away, they were in no position to produce any smoke which could serve as a signal to the sailors of a passing ship. The other problem was that Piggy could not see beyond a couple of feet without his spectacles. Now all the boys in camp treated Jack as the chief. Ralph deplored this fact not only because Jack had been responsible for the death of Simon and for having taken away Piggy’s spectacles but also because Jack did not bother about the possibility of rescue and did not maintain any fire and smoke to attract the attention of the sailors of a passing ship. As Piggy was feeling desperate without his spectacles, one glass of which had already been broken on a previous occasion by Jack’s violence, Piggy said that he would go to Jack’s camp in order to get back his spectacles. Ralph and the twins agreed to accompany Piggy and support him in his demand. All the four then trudged to Jack’s camp, even though Piggy, who could not see anything beyond a couple of feet, had to be led by the others. Reaching Jack’s camp, it was first Ralph who demanded the return of Piggy’s spectacles. Ralph called Jack a beast, a swine, and a bloody, bloody thief. Jack reacted violently to Ralph’s denunciation, and the two boys grappled with each other, giving and receiving blows. Soon afterwards Piggy said that he wanted to speak his mind to Jack and his tribe. Piggy took the conch in his hands and wanted everybody’s attention. Piggy told Jack and his savages that they should realize that they were behaving like “a pack of painted negroes”. Piggy said that they should follow the rules and take the necessary steps which could lead to their being rescued, instead of merely hunting pigs and creating confusion. Piggy’s speech, infuriated Jack. Overhead stood Roger with his hand on the lever which Jack had devised as a means of releasing a huge rock which would go crashing downwards. Seeing Jack in a furious mood, Roger released the rock. The monstrous rock went down with great fore and struck Piggy. The conch in Piggy’s hands was shattered into a thousand fragments. Piggy fell down forty feet and landed on his back in the sea. His skull was split open, and the water turned red with the blood. In a few moments Piggy’s dead-body was carried by the waves far into the sea. Jack now shouted wildly to Ralph to realize what had happened. Ralph was no longer the chief, add Jack. Saying these words, Jack hurled his spear at Ralph, wounding him. Jack had already got the twins seized and tied up. The twins lay helpless. Seeing his own life in danger, Ralph fled from where he stood. Roger then turned to the twins and told them in a threatening manner that they had no choice but to join Jack’s tribe.
Ralph had now hidden himself in the forest. His whole body had been scratched and bruised during his flight through the forest. He was not at this time very far from the Castle Rock where Jack had his headquarters in a den. Some of Jack’s savages were now scouring the forest to look for Ralph. It seemed to Ralph that he could save himself only by coming to terms with Jack. He wanted to tell Jack that he wanted truce and a peaceful relationship. Accordingly, he limped his way through the forest towards Jack’s camp. In the course of this journey, he saw the pig’s head which Jack had stuck on a stick. Ralph wondered what it was. Fiercely he hit out at the skull which seemed to be grinning at him. The skull was broken into two pieces. Ralph pulled out the stick on which the skull had been stuck and held the stick as a spear in his hand. Then he moved away from this spot. He felt his isolation bitterly. His loneliness now seemed to him a source of greater fear than Jack’s savages. Strange sounds were coming from behind the Castle Rock. Ralph realized that Jack’s savages were chanting the familiar words : “Kill the beast ! Cut his throat ! Spill his blood !” Evidently, the tribe were dancing and rehearsing a pig-hunt or a hunt of the beast. Then Ralph saw two shapes on the top of the rock. He recognized them as Sam and Eric. It was evident that the twins too had become part of Jack’s tribe and were now guarding the Castle Rock against Ralph. Sam and Eric had become savages like the rest Piggy was dead; and the conch had been shattered into fragments. Ralph now climbed up to the Rock and spoke to the twins. The twins felt startled by the sudden appearance of Ralph so close to them. They warned Ralph that his life was in danger because Jack had ordered a search for him in order to seize him. The twins said that Jack was a terror and that Roger too had become a terror like his master. However, the twins gave a chunk of pig-meat to Ralph because he was feeling very hungry. Thus, warned by the twins, Ralph parted company with them and stole into the thicket below.
Ralph on the Run
Ralph was now feeling extremely weary. He longed for a bed. Then he fell asleep. When he woke up at dawn, he found that Jack’s savages were carrying out a search for him. Then he heard the sound of a big rock crashing down to the ground from above. Evidently the rock had been pushed downwards in order to crush Ralph if possible. Fortunately, Ralph was not hit by the rock. Ralph now ran to escape being seized by Jack’s savages. But he did not know where to go. Should he climb a tree or should he wait to force his way through the cordon which Jack’s savages would form in order to encircle him? Either way, the choice was terrible. If only he could have a truce with the tribe ! He wanted time to think, but time was short. Once again he heard the savages approaching. He began to run once more till he was breathless. Perhaps, if Piggy had been with him, Piggy would have suggested some way out because Piggy could always devise some scheme. He now felt afraid lest his mind should become paralyzed and he be rendered incapable of thinking altogether. Then suddenly he found that the forest had been set on fire. Evidently Jack’s intention was to smoke Ralph out of the forest. The fire was coming nearer and nearer. Ralph then wondered what Jack and his savages would do to him in case they caught him. One of the savages came so close to Ralph that Ralph had no choice but to hit the fellow and throw him down on the ground. But there were others coming towards him, all shouting. Then a spear flew past him. He began to run desperately, with the savages chasing him. He forgot his hunger and his thirst, and became an embodiment of fear. The savages continued their chase. The fire was now spreading all over the forest. Then Ralph, who had already emerged from the forest and had run close to the beach, stumbled and fell down, crying for mercy.
A British Naval Officer to the Rescue
Looking up, Ralph saw, not the savages, but a British naval officer in full uniform. The officer was the commander of a cruiser which was sailing past the island. The officer had seen the smoke rising from the forest (which had been set on fire by Jack’s savages) and had come to the island in a small boat to find out if anybody was in distress. By this time several other boys too had arrived there and halted close to the officer. The officer could not imagine what had been happening on this island. On being told that there were no grown-ups but only youngsters on the island, the officer remarked that it seemed to him that the boys had merely been re-enacting the events described in R.M. Ballantyne’s novel Coral Island. Tears began to flow from Ralph’s eyes. His whole body was shaken by shudders of grief. Infected by his tears, all the Littluns too began, to weep and sob. Ralph was weeping for “the end of innocence” and at “the darkness of man’s heart”; and he was weeping also over the death of his “true, wise friend called Piggy”. The officer told the boys that he would take them all home by his ‘cruiser. At last rescue arrived; but Simon and Piggy were no longer members of the large group of boys who would now be taken back to England.