Lord of the Flies Summary and Analysis of Chapter Nine: A View to a Death

On the humid, dark mountaintop, Simon’s fit enters the weariness of sleep. Getting up, Simon speaks aloud to himself, questioning what he will do next. His nose bleeding, he climbs farther up the mountain, and in the dim light, catches sight of the Beast. This time, however, he acknowledges it as the body of the guy who parachuted onto the island. Overwhelmed with disgust and fear, Simon vomits. He realizes that he needs to notify the other boys of their error, and he staggers down the mountain toward Jack’s camp to tell them what he has actually discovered.

Ralph notifications the clouds overhead and approximates that it will drizzle once again. Ralph and Piggy play in the lagoon, and Piggy gets mad when Ralph squirts water on him, getting his glasses wet. They question where most of the other kids have actually gone, and they realize that they should have gone to Jack’s banquet for the childish fun of pretending to be a people and putting on war paint. They decide to discover them to make sure that the occasions do not spiral out of control.

When Ralph and Piggy reach Jack’s camp, they find the other boys being in a group together, laughing and consuming the roasted plant. Jack, now a leader, rests on a terrific log, painted and garlanded as an idol. When he sees Ralph and Piggy, he orders the other young boys to give them something to eat, then orders another boy to bring him a drink. Jack asks all of the kids who among them will join his people, for he gave them food and demonstrated that his hunters will protect them. Ralph is distressed to see most of them consent to join Jack’s tribe. Trying to convince his kids otherwise, Ralph provokes yet another argument with Jack, and the 2 yell at each other about who should have to be primary. Feeling that he is losing ground, Ralph interest his sign of authority, the conch shell. Jack, however, does not acknowledge the conch’s significance and informs Ralph that it does not rely on his side of the island.

Interrupted by the hostile turn of occasions, Piggy urges Ralph to leave Jack’s camp before there is serious problem. It starts to rain. Ralph alerts the group that a storm is coming and points out that Jack’s people is unprepared for such catastrophes, considering that they do not even have any shelters. The littluns end up being scared, and Jack attempts to reassure them by ordering his group to perform its routine pig searching dance. The kids begin dancing and shouting hugely, and they are quickly taken in by craze. The storm starts, and a figure emerges unexpectedly from the forest. It is Simon, going to tell the others about the dead parachutist. Captured up in the madness of the dance, nevertheless, they do not acknowledge him. As Simon cries out about the dead body on the mountain, the young boys rush after him with violent malice. They fall on Simon, striking him repeatedly up until he is dead.

Meanwhile, on the mountain, the storm heightens and spreads across the island. The boys go to the shelters, looking for security from the increasingly violent wind and rain. The strong winds lift the parachute and the body attached to it and blow it throughout the island and into the sea, a sight which again terrifies the young boys, who still error the body for a monster. At the very same time, the strong tide, propelled by wind, cleans over Simon’s body and carries it out to sea, where a school of radiant fish surrounds it.


In this particularly considerable chapter, Ralph finally loses his leadership over the other kids, who catch Jack’s increasing charisma and the opportunity he provides to indulge their violent and childish interests. Golding underscores the catastrophe of this shift in power with the violent storm that devastations the island, a storm for which the shortsighted Jack was not prepared. Just when Ralph’s calm judgment and practicality is most needed, he lacks the authority to bring the young boys to safety. The storm on the island serves as a reminder of the dangers they deal with; while Ralph has actually built shelters for the young boys and is prepared for this circumstance, Jack has actually focused simply on searching and captivating the kids, to their hinderance. Golding once again directs the reader’s sympathy towards Ralph, whose issue remains for the good of the group.

Jack’s authority over the other boys ends up being progressively disturbing and unsafe in this chapter. When Ralph finds Jack, he is painted and garlanded, sitting on a log like an idol. This noticeably pagan image is at odds with the purchased society from which Jack came and is the last manifestation of his rejection of civilization. We may keep in mind once again the existence of shouting and dancing among the boys in his group and recall that, prior to their arrival on the island, Jack and his young boys were members of a choir. Traditionally, boys’ choirs sang Christian spiritual tunes and hymns. Jack and his tribesmen still sing, however they sing chants that highly stimulate the animistic spiritual traditions of native cultures. Their option of ritual and tune, coupled with Jack’s appearance as an “idol,” suggests the young boys’ total and last rejection of the civilization of the Home Counties.

In this chapter, Golding likewise emphasizes Jack’s increase to power and foreshadows the ruthless consequences of his authority. Once again, Jack turns down the rules developed for the island, telling Ralph that the conch yields no authority when Ralph tries to point out precedent. He symbolizes his power over his tribe with his painted body and garlands, an image that mentions Joseph Conrad’s 1902 novella, Heart of Darkness, in which a boat captain, Marlow, accepts an assignment to discover a defecting federal government agent, Kurtz, in Africa. In Conrad’s story, Marlow finds Kurtz in a remote location of the continent, coping with a group of natives who worship him as their leader and god. In this chapter of Lord of the Flies, Golding draws a deliberate parallel in between Jack and Kurtz in order to emphasize the extent of Jack’s power over the other kids and to call the reader’s attention to the severity of the stress in between Ralph and Jack which, like the stress in between Marlow and Kurtz, is strongly ideological (Marlow and Ralph representing civilization, and Jack and Kurtz representing savagery). This tension eventually leads to violent dispute.

Keep in mind the increasing significance of the beast to the kids in this chapter, and its centrality to Jack’s usurping of management from Ralph. As Ralph and Piggy discover, Jack and his tribe have actually built an elaborate mythology around the monster, to whom they now attribute numerous qualities that were not present in earlier descriptions. They think that the beast is never-ceasing and can change shape as it wishes, and they claim that it should be both worshiped and feared. Around this folklore Jack has actually developed the guidelines of his society. His boys are joined by their belief in the monster and, above this, their belief in Jack as the a single person who can secure them from the monster. Their routine dances and chants, in addition to Jack’s makeup and adornments, reveal their dedication to this mythology, within which the Lord of the Flies functions totemically.

The Lord of the Flies embodies and reveals the folklore of the beast that unites Jack’s tribe and is substantial in lots of ways. As an offering to the body of the parachutist on the mountain, which the boys (excluding Piggy) regard as the beast, it represents Jack’s recommendation of, and deferment to, the wicked impulses that reside inside the individual psyche. In previous chapters, he had actually pledged to kill the beast; here, Jack attempts to calm it, to gain its favor. As a totem, an artifact that unites Jack’s people (much like the conch functioned as a totem for Ralph’s group), the Lord of the Flies symbolizes the solidification of Jack’s group around a shared set of worths and interests which, as we have kept in mind, are self-interested and indulgent. Finally, as a memento of the hunting of the sow, the Lord of the Flies represents the imposition of human will over nature, another of Jack’s objectives for island life. The pig’s head reminds the boys of the important opposition between guy and nature, an opposition Jack deem basically hostile and one that the young boys can win.

The most crucial occasion of the chapter, however, is the murder of Simon by Jack’s people. They remain in a trance-like state from their routine dancing, although this does not excuse them. The murder continues the parallel in between Simon and Jesus established in the previous chapter by portraying the murder as a sacrifice, akin to Christ’s murder on the cross. Like Jesus, who was the sole bearer of knowledge of God’s will, it is Simon who alone has the fact about the monster. Likewise like Christ’s, Simon’s catastrophe is governed by the reality that he is misunderstood or disbelieved by those around him. For example, the other boys think Simon is insane, yet he is the only young boy to find the truth about the supposed beast. This paradox is intensified when Jack’s hunters mistake Simon for the monster himself. His murder represents the conclusion of the violent tendencies common amongst Jack’s band of hunters, who finally move from cruelty versus animals to cruelty versus each other. The change is subtle: they murder Simon out of instinct, coming down on him before they understand that he shows no risk to them. Nonetheless, this is yet another line that the boys cross on their devolution into inhuman savagery and another action towards engaging in complete and premeditated violence against one another. Simon’s murder reveals the important cruelty of the human spirit. On both metaphoric and structural levels, Golding casts Simon as a martyr, a figure whose death is instructional at least to the reader.

The parallels in between Simon and Christ continue even after Simon is dead. We might keep in mind not only the religious subtext of the chapter’s final image, however the noticeably cynical tone of this subtext. The storm at the same time gets rid of the parachutist’s and Simon’s bodies from the island. Yet, while the parachutist appears to rise on the winds, Simon is dragged under the tide. The parachutist, who represents both the war that caused the events that brought the kids to the island (he is a soldier) and, in a more general sense, the evil that is present in the human psyche (he looks like a fallen angel, a common figure for Satan), is lifted into the sky, while Simon, a Christ-like figure, appears to come down underneath the surface of the earth. The image, for that reason, reverses the conventional story, with Satan rising to the paradises and Christ coming down to the underworld. The ramification is that the perfect order of great and wicked has been reversed on the island. Evil has thrived, a tip that mirrors Jack’s increase to power and foreshadows the even more tragic events to come. Still, a vestige of optimism stays: Simon’s body, as it is carried out to sea, is surrounded by some little glowing fish, who function as a type of living halo. They do not necessarily want to eat the body; perhaps they are figuratively honoring it. The ramification is that the fact of Simon’s message, and the injustice of his death, will be recognized in time, as is the case with martyred prophets and saints.

You Might Also Like