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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Lord of the Flies by William Golding-Free Summary
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When Jack appears, naked except for his mask, they mistake him for the beast. Jack is now addressed as "Chief," which indicates a loss of name and personal identity. He invites them to the feast.

Ralph tries to hold an assembly with the few remaining boys. He speaks of the importance of the fire over the feast, but "a shutter... flickered in his brain," and he loses his train of thought. His self-doubt and the loss of his role as leader cause Ralph to lose his grip on reality. It's as if his mind wants to sink into the void so that he no longer has to be human and can exist mindlessly, like an animal. The little ones want to have fun, and Ralph can't convince them not to go. Thunder seems to announce the coming tragedy.

The final scene of the chapter is Simon's. He is talking with the mounted pig's head, now called the Lord of the Flies. That title is a translation of the word Beelzebub, another name for the devil. Here is the very core of the story and the answer to Ralph's question about why things break down.

The Lord of the Flies says to Simon, "You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you? Close, close, close! I'm the reason why it's no go? Why things are what they are?" What Simon realizes is that evil does not exist outside man's nature. There is no beast in the jungle; evil comes from within man's heart. We ourselves generate the evil in the world. We are what's in the jungle.


No one else, not Ralph or Piggy or Jack, sees the full picture. Each for his own reasons cannot understand the true nature of evil. And the Lord of the Flies warns Simon not to bother telling them because they will never understand.

Simon battles mentally with the Lord of the Flies and refuses to be persuaded by his tactics. "Pig's head on a stick," he says. Because Simon refuses not to tell the truth, he will die a hero.

"We are going to have fun on this island," the head says, ironically echoing Ralph's words when they first landed. Simon looks into the vast mouth of the pig. "There was blackness within, a blackness that spread." Again there is the equation of evil, darkness, and the unknown within and without.

The Lord of the Flies' final words echo Ralph's words when he struck the boar and experienced the thrill of hunting. "We shall do you. See? Jack and Roger and Maurice and Robert and Bill and Piggy and Ralph." The Lord of the Flies names them all and foretells Simon's inevitable end.

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