Lord of the Flies Summary and Analysis of Chapter Four: Painted Faces and Long Hair

The young boys end up being familiar with the pattern of their days on the island although it is difficult to adjust to the new rhythms of tropical life, that include the weird point at midday when the sea increases and appears to contain flickering images. Piggy discount rates the midday impressions as mere mirages. While early mornings are cool and comfy, the afternoon sun is oppressively hot and intense, which incites fatigue amongst much of the young boys. The northern European custom of work, play, and food right through the day is not forgotten, making the transition difficult.

As the young boys settle into life on the island, factions establish. The smaller kids are now known by the generic title of “littluns,” consisting of Percival, the tiniest kid on the island, who had actually previously stayed in a little shelter for 2 days and had just recently emerged, red-eyed and miserable. The littluns spend most of the day searching for fruit to consume, and given that they pick it indiscriminately they experience chronic diarrhea. They sob for their moms less often than anticipated, and they spend time with the older young boys only during Ralph’s assemblies. The littluns occupy themselves by constructing castles in the sand, complicated structures whose fine information are just obvious from close range. The littluns remain collectively troubled by nightmares and visions of the “beastie” described at the very first conference. They fear that the creature hunts the young boys after nightfall.

2 older young boys, Roger and Maurice, come out of the forest for a swim and, expressing their superiority over the littluns, start to kick down the sand castles on the coast. Maurice, keeping in mind that his mother chastised him for such behavior, feels guilty when he gets sand in Percival’s eye. While this dispute unfolds, Henry-a littlun who is related to the young boy who disappeared-is preoccupied by some small creatures on the beach, which he discovers fascinating. Roger picks up a stone to throw at Henry however deliberately misses him when he throws it, recalling the taboos of earlier life.

Jack thinks of why he is still unsuccessful as a hunter. He believes that the animals see him, so he wishes to discover some way to camouflage himself. Jack rubs his face with charcoal and laughs with a bloodthirsty snarl when he sees his reflection in a swimming pool of water. From behind the mask, Jack appears liberated from pity and self-consciousness.

Piggy thinks of making a sundial so that they can inform time and better arrange their days, but Ralph dismisses the concept. The idea that Piggy is an outsider is tacitly accepted. Ralph believes that he sees smoke along the horizon originating from a ship, but there is not enough smoke from the mountain to indicate it. Ralph starts to run to the up the mountain, however he is too late. Their signal fire is dead. Ralph screams for the ship to come back, however it passes without seeing them. Annoyed and unfortunate, Ralph positions the blame on the hunters, whose task it was to tend the fire.

From the forest, Jack and the hunters return covered in paint and humming an unusual war chant. Ralph sees that the hunt has actually finally succeeded: they are bring a dead pig on a stick. Nonetheless, Ralph advises them for letting the fire head out. Jack, nevertheless, is pleased by the kill and overlooks Ralph. Piggy starts to cry at their lost chance, and he also blames Jack. The 2 argue, and lastly Jack punches Piggy in the stomach. Piggy’s glasses fly off, and among the lenses breaks on the rocks. Jack eventually does say sorry about the fire, but Ralph resents Jack’s wrongdoing. Jack thinks about not letting Piggy have any meat, but he purchases everyone to eat. Maurice pretends to be a pig, and the hunters circle around him, dancing and singing, “Eliminate the pig. Cut her throat. Slam her in.” Ralph promises to call an assembly.


Golding starts the chapter by describing a sense of order amongst the boys on the island, and he concludes it by explaining the order’s disintegration. Even the smallest kids appear to have accepted their fate on the island, and they have established methods, such as the building of sand castles, to decrease and include their distress. The secret to the preliminary serenity on the island is the upkeep of customs from the society in which the kids were raised. Yet, as the chapter’s opening passages imply, these customs are threatened by the natural forces at work on the island. The regular schedule of work, play time, and meal time is difficult in the unstable tropical environment. That the young boys do not know whether the motion of the mid-afternoon sea is real or a “mirage” suggests how ill-adjusted to the island they still are.

We start to concentrate on the boys’-especially Jack’s-transgression of the bought rules of their developed society. Golding highlights how life on the island has begun to mirror human society, with the young boys organizing themselves into cliques according to age and positioning these inner circles in a social hierarchy. The littluns have their own regimens and different themselves from the older boys. The elaborate sandcastles the littluns develop on the shore represent their ongoing regard for-even idealization of-human civilization, and their continuing existence at Ralph’s meetings signifies the littluns’ investment in purchased island life, despite the fact that they do not contribute straight to the group’s survival. Golding uses the littluns as signs for the weak members of society that a successful democracy aims to safeguard.

The episode with Roger and Maurice kicking down the sandcastles therefore indicates the disintegration of ordered life on the island, and it foreshadows the end of Ralph’s democratic plans. The sandcastles are a miniature civilization on the coast. By ruining the sandcastles, Roger and Maurice not only reveal an abusive power over the more youthful kids however suggest their increasing disrespect for civilized order and human institutions. Still, Golding suggests, they have not yet degenerated into total savagery. Maurice, remembering his mother’s discipline, feels guilty about kicking sand into Percival’s eye, and Roger avoids tossing a stone at Henry. The ramification is that the impacts of human society are challenging to eliminate from the human psyche; they stay internalized even in the lack of rules, and conscience retains its hold. Whatever lessons the boys’ past had instilled in them show critical to maintaining some semblance of peace on the island. Regardless of the stirrings of anarchy, the kids comply with ideas of suitable habits without any real external authority to determine what they can and can refrain from doing. It is only when the boys completely transgress these civilized standards that they suffer.

Jack is the very first to seriously overstep the limits of civilized society. His efforts to become a successful hunter are in result efforts to succumb completely to his animalistic nature. His painted face, reminiscent of some less developed societies, allegedly makes him identical from the animals of the forest. When Jack finally does eliminate a pig, as he has actually intended to do considering that the start of the novel, he satisfies a violent blood-lust that, till then, had remained frustrated. The other hunters share this quality; when they dance and sing about killing the pig, they show that they have succumbed to the excitement of violence. They relish the slaughter, a satisfaction that goes beyond pride and signifies pure lust. As they cheer on the ways by which they mutilate the pig, their painted skin, shouting, and craze suggest they have actually developed their own sub-society, one based on rituals and a practically spiritual praise of blood, violence, and slaughter.

Maurice’s impression of the pig during the dance calls attention to the progressively indistinct line between violence versus animals on the island and violence among the boys. Significantly, this chapter consists of the first circumstances of specific aggression between two boys. Jack, now accustomed to damaging others with his current kill, punches Piggy, who, as Golding reminds us, stays an outsider. The chapter further establishes Piggy as a martyr. He has actually the most grounded concerns of all the young boys, and he provides the sensible proposition that they build a sundial, however he is also hated by the others. Only Ralph, the most mature and grounded of the characters, has compassion with Piggy and agrees with him that Jack made an egregious error by letting the fire go out. Piggy differs from the other young boys, for he retains the goal of living in an increasingly civilized society. His hair does not even appear to grow, assisting him retain the look of a typical English schoolboy while the others grow more disheveled and neglected.

Jack likewise clashes with Ralph in this chapter, and the stress between their viewpoints enhances the novel’s worry about the 2 opposing political ideologies the young boys represent, specifically, totalitarianism and democracy. Ralph, whose overarching issue is the upkeep of the signal fire, is devoted to the welfare of the whole group. He utilizes his power for the good of all. Jack, nevertheless, is concerned with ending up being a successful hunter, less for the great it will bring to the other boys than for the excitement of the hunt and the increased social status he will have on the island. He looks for power since it will permit him to gratify his impulses and abuse others without punishment. The 2 boys’ treatment of the littluns-Ralph is ensuring, while Jack buffoons and chews out them-demonstrates their various techniques to power.

The concurrent sighting of the ship and killing of the pig contribute to the disintegration of the relative calm on the island. These two occasions represent the various strands of human habits intrinsic on the island. The ship is a pointer of the civilized society to which the young boys belong, restoring the possibility that they may eventually leave the island. The killing of the pig is an example of their descent from civilized behavior into animalistic activity. This explains the dichotomy dividing Ralph and Piggy from Jack and the hunters. The former have a higher issue for going back to society while the latter enjoy their freedom from civilization (a group that, once again, imposes its own totalitarian order under Jack). This conflict between the two forces at work among the young boys on the island will guide much of the following dispute in the book.

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