Lord of the Flies Summary and Analysis of Chapter Eleven: Castle Rock

On the beach Ralph, Piggy, and Samneric collect around the remains of the signal fire, bloody and injured. They attempt to revive the fire, but it is difficult without Piggy’s glasses. Ralph, blowing the conch, calls an assembly of the kids who remain with them. Piggy, squinting and unable to see, asks Ralph to advise them about what can be done. Ralph reacts that what they most need is a fire, and he advises them that if they had actually kept the fire burning they might have been rescued already. Realizing the importance of Piggy’s glasses, Ralph, Sam, and Eric think that they ought to go to the Castle Rock with spears, however Piggy refuses to equip himself. Piggy says that he is going to go discover Jack himself and attract his sense of justice. A tear falls down his cheek as he speaks. Ralph states that they should make themselves look presentable, with clothing, to resemble boys and not savages.

Ralph and his kids triggered along the beach, hopping. When they approach the Castle Rock, Ralph blows the conch, which he has actually brought with him, thinking it will remind Jack and his hunters of his rightful authority. He identifies Jack’s kids securing their camp, and he approaches them tentatively. Samneric rush to Ralph’s side, leaving Piggy alone. Jack’s hunters, unimpressed by the conch shell, toss rocks at Ralph and his companions and shout for them to leave. Suddenly, Jack emerges from the forest, accompanied by a group of hunters who are dragging a dead pig. He cautions Ralph to leave them alone. Ralph demands the return of Piggy’s glasses, and the two argue. Ralph lastly calls Jack a burglar, and Jack responds by trying to stab Ralph with his spear, which Ralph deflects.

As Ralph and Jack battle, Piggy advises Ralph what they pertained to do. Ralph breaks away from the battle and tells Jack’s tribe that they have to return Piggy’s glasses, due to the fact that they are required to keep the signal fire on the beach. He advises them that the fire is their only hope for rescue. Frustrated by their indifference to his pleas, Ralph breaks down and calls them painted fools. Jack orders the young boys to grab Samneric. The hunters wrestle Samneric’s spears from their hands, and Jack orders them to tie up the twins. Ralph again screams at Jack, calling him a beast and a swine and a burglar. As they combat again, Piggy, shouting over the kids’ jeers, needs that he address the group.

Struggling to be heard over the turmoil, Piggy asks the other boys whether it is better to be a pack of painted Indians or to be reasonable like Ralph. He asks if they would rather have guidelines and tranquil agreement or be able only to hunt and eliminate. He reminds them of the importance of Ralph’s guidelines, which exist to ensure their rescue. Above on the mountain, a crazy Roger intentionally leans his weight on the log that Robert revealed him earlier, dislodging an excellent rock, which starts to roll down the mountainside. Ralph hears the rock falling and manages to dodge it, but Piggy can neither see nor hear its tumble. The rock crashes down on Piggy, squashing the conch shell, which he was holding, en route. The rock presses Piggy down a cliff, where he lands on the beach, dead.

The group falls under an abrupt and deep silence. Just as all of a sudden, however, Jack leaps out of the group, shrieking deliriously. He shouts at Ralph that “that’s what you’ll get” for challenging his authority, and he expresses joy that the conch is gone. Declaring himself chief, Jack deliberately tosses his spear at Ralph. The spear tears the skin and flesh over Ralph’s ribs, then shears off and falls under the water. A terrified Ralph turns and runs, spears now coming at him from various instructions. He is moved by an instinct he never knew he had. In his flight, he sees the headless plant from the earlier hunt. After Ralph leaves, Jack casts his look on the bound Samneric. He purchases them to join the tribe, however when they ask for only to be released, he bullies them, poking the twins in the ribs with a spear. The other young boys cheer him on but fall silent when they see Roger edging past Jack to face the twins.


As the stress in between Ralph and Jack pertains to a violent head, Golding again establishes the dispute between the two boys as a specific struggle between savagery and civilization. The 2 continue to clash over previously established points of conflict: Ralph criticizes Jack for his absence of obligation and his ambivalence towards guidelines of order and justice, and Jack continues to blame Ralph for his lack of direct action versus the monster. Their accusations express and stress their particular visions of human society on the island: while Ralph is oriented towards a cooperative neighborhood arranged around the typical goal of getting rescued, Jack complies with a militaristic suitable and unifies his people around a shared interest in searching, self-gratification, and fear of the legendary island beast.

Unfortunately, Ralph’s criticisms fall on deaf ears, for they are based upon the presumption that Jack and his hunters are members of a society with moral codes and guidelines. Ralph is appealing to requirements Jack no longer thinks in, as is symbolized by his glee when the conch shell is squashed. The shift in the struggle in between Ralph and Jack is subtle but considerable. Previously Jack and Ralph debated over the kind of civilization that need to predominate on the island: the former promoted a militaristic culture and the latter a liberal community. Now, with Jack’s repudiation of any reasonable system, the two now argue over whether there ought to be any bought society at all on the island. One may consider Jack as Plato’s Callicles from the Gorgias or Plato’s Thrasymachus from the Republic.

The political subtext of the chapter is most apparent, however, in the final fight between Ralph, Piggy, and Jack. As Ralph and Piggy face Jack and the other kids, Golding plainly marks the tension in between civilization and animalistic savagery. Prior to they deal with Jack, Ralph and Piggy intentionally readopt the manners and customs of English society, grooming themselves and dressing themselves as correct English boys. They do so to overemphasize their differences from the hunters, who use little if any clothes and who embellish themselves with “native” makeup. When Piggy speaks to the kids, he explicitly reveals the major question the unique explores, asking whether it is better to live sensibly according to guidelines and standards of habits or to live in a state of anarchy (once again, one might rely on Plato’s Republic for assistance on this question and others raised by Piggy and the occasions of the book). It is significant that the most informative, reasoned statement in the novel is the one that provokes the most dreadful catastrophe on the island: the murder of the reasonable Piggy by the harsh and amoral Roger.

With his death, Piggy signs up with Simon as the 2nd martyr amongst the kids. There are several parallels between their particular murders. The 2 castaways both pass away when they shatter the impressions held by the other young boys. Simon dies when he exposes the truth about the nonexistent monster, while the hunters eliminate Piggy when he requires them to see their behavior as barbaric and irresponsible. The murder of Piggy, nevertheless, is a more chilling occasion, for the kids eliminated Simon out of an instinctual panic. In contrast to the crazy hunters, Roger has a clear understanding of his actions when he suggestions the rock that eliminates Piggy. This occasion therefore completes the progression of behavior that Golding developed in the previous two chapters: the young boys have actually moved from unintentional violence to completely premeditated murder. The chapter’s last image, in which Piggy’s killer, Roger, edges previous Jack to approach the bound twins, suggests that Roger’s cruelty surpasses even Jack’s. While Jack condones and takes part in violence against animals and human beings alike, it is Roger who manages and carries out the murder of Piggy. Significantly, he does not look for permission from Jack for the murder or for the indicated abuse of Samneric. Rather, his sadism seems completely self-interested, and it recommends that he is a possible hazard to Jack’s authority.

The book’s major sign of civilization, the conch shell, appears in this chapter only to be destroyed after Roger pushes the stone onto Piggy. This essential act provokes and foreshadows Ralph’s damage of the Lord of the Flies, the main cultural sign of Jack’s tribe, in the next and final chapter of the novel. The gesture will suggest Ralph’s own descent into savagery and violence. The conch, a recognized marker of Ralph’s authority and a constant symbol for liberal democracy throughout the novel, has actually lost power; Jack and his hunters long ago declined to acknowledge it as a symbol of authority. In this chapter, the conch is lastly ruined in a presentation of the victory of Jack’s will over Ralph’s.

As Ralph flees from the spears of Jack’s hunters, Golding once again draws the reader’s attention to the lower, unethical, animalistic humanity that prowls inside every person. Ralph is actually being hunted like the pigs on the island, a moment that was foreshadowed in previous chapters when Roger pretended to be a pig in the searching dance, and when Jack recommended to the group that they should hunt a littlun. Kid and animal become indistinct, and as Ralph flees he is moved by a primitive subhuman impulse. His horror is that of a hunted animal: instinctual, unthinking, and primal. Ralph, the character who throughout the unique meant pragmatism and civilization, has actually been minimized to an animal of prey, just as Jack and his hunters have actually reduced themselves to predatory monsters. (For more on the theme of people and animals, compare The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells.)

Note likewise the presence of animals in this penultimate chapter. Throughout the novel, Golding has actually used animal imagery and metaphors to call the reader’s attention to the delicate line in between human and animal nature, along with to highlight the hostile relationship in between civilization and the natural world that civilization subdues in order to guarantee human survival. As Ralph leaves the spears of Jack and his hunters, the last thing he registers is the headless body of the sow that Jack’s tribe had actually just butchered. The image of the sow’s body evokes both the Lord of the Flies, a pig’s head on a stick that has actually represented evil, and Piggy, whose ruthless murder marks the final destruction of civilization on the island.

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