Lord of the Flies Summary and Analysis of Chapter Six: Beast from Air

Later that night, Ralph and Simon get Percival and bring him into a shelter. Overhead, beyond the horizon, there is an aerial battle while the boys sleep. They do not hear the surges in the sky, nor do they see a pilot drop from a parachute, sweeping throughout the reef toward the mountain. Unbeknownst to the kids, the dead pilot arrive on the mountaintop, his flapping chute throwing weird shadows across the ground, with his head appearing to float in the wind.

Early the next morning, there are noises from a rock falling down the side of the mountain. The twins Samneric, the 2 young boys on duty at the fire, awake and include kindling to the fire. Simply then they spot the dead pilot at the top of the mountain and are debilitated by worry. Ultimately, they rush down the mountain to wake Ralph. Samneric claim that they saw the monster. Ralph calls a conference, and the group puts together again at the beach. Eric announces to the other young boys that he and Sam saw the monster. He describes it as having teeth and claws and states that it followed them as they escaped.

Jack calls for a hunt, however Piggy says that they must stay there, for the beast might not wish to approach them on the beach. In response to Jack’s belligerence, Piggy points out that just he can speak since he is holding the conch. Jack responds that they no longer require the conch. Ralph becomes exasperated at Jack, accusing him of not wishing to be rescued, and Jack takes a swing at him. In spite of Jack’s hostility towards Ralph and the rules of the island, Ralph not just enables Jack to lead the hunt however likewise decides that he will accompany the hunters to look for the monster.

Simon, wanting to prove that he is accepted, travels with Ralph, who wishes only for solitude. Soon, they reach a part of the island that they had actually not yet found. It is a thin course that results in a series of caves inside a mountain face. While the other kids are afraid to pass through the sidewalk and check out the caves, Ralph accomplishes the feat and is motivated by his own bravery. He gets in among the caverns and is soon joined by Jack. The 2 experience a short reconciliation as they have a good time together exploring the new mountain area.

They continue along a narrow wall of rocks that forms a bridge between parts of the island, reaching the ocean blue. At this moment, however, some of the young boys get distracted and spend time rolling rocks around the bridge. Ralph again gets frustrated and after that asserts that it would be much better to climb up the mountain and revive the fire. He implicates the kids of losing sight of their original objective, finding and eliminating the beast. Contradicting Ralph, Jack mentions that he wishes to stay where they are since they can develop a fort.


The landing of the dead pilot on the mountain is a critical event in Lord of the Flies. The pilot represents a real symptom of the monster whose presence the kids had actually feared however never verified. None of the young boys is immune to the implications of the dead pilot’s existence on the island. Even Piggy, faced with some evidence that a beast in fact exists, begins considering procedures the kids must take to protect themselves. In contrast to the “monster from water” of the previous chapter (at the same time figured as a monster, squid, and ghost), the monster from air is a concrete item towards which the boys can direct their worry. Considerably, nevertheless, the beast from air proves no risk to the boys. The dead body is nothing more than a safe item left to be analyzed in greatly different methods by the various kids.

Provided his progressively violent behavior, intensified even more by his effective slaughter of a forest pig, Jack unsurprisingly analyzes the look of the beast from air as a cause for war. The possibility of a dangerous presence on the island is essential to Jack’s gaining authority over the other kids, for he verifies their fear and gives them a focus for their violence and anger. Jack thus continues his authoritarian behavior with a strong focus on demagoguery. Jack requires a concrete opponent in order to assume dictatorial authority, and he discovers one in the dead pilot in spite of its apparent inability to harm them. This foreshadows later advancements in which Jack will focus his vitriol against other possible enemies. Like many tyrants, Jack assumes power by directing public fear towards scapegoats, in this case, the body of the dead pilot.

Chapter Six also verifies the increasing tension in between Jack and Ralph, whose opposing ideas of social organization resurface. While he dislikes Piggy, Jack’s most threatening enemy is Ralph, who insists on guidelines and self-control over wild adventures and hunting. Ralph remains concentrated on the clear objective of keeping the fire burning to alert possible passing ships, while Jack is dedicated to only those pursuits that allow him to act in a damaging way. Previously, Jack was devoted to the guidelines of order that would allow him to penalize others; in this chapter, nevertheless, Golding presents Jack as accepting anarchy when it serves his purposes. His assertion that the boys no longer need the conch shell in conferences represents Jack’s specific rejection of the democratic rules established in the young boys’ first conference. Jack emerges in Chapter 6 as driven less by totalitarian or anarchist ideology than by self-interest, although the anarchy makes room for a new order led absolutely by Jack.

Jack’s increasing trustworthiness amongst the group isolates Ralph from the other boys, who discover Jack’s focus on the video games of hunting and structure forts more appealing than Ralph’s commitment to keeping the fire burning and staying safe. After all, what is so bad about a life on the beach with a lot of fruit and fun? Throughout the chapter, Golding establishes this rift between the more fully grown Ralph and the other young boys. Ralph discovers he needs to ally himself with the intellectual Piggy and the reflective Simon. As the other boys narrow their focus to pure self-interest, with a minimal concentrate on survival (killing the beast) and a higher goal of satisfying their boyish desires (playing as hunters), the 3 boys represent three facets of distinctly human thought. Ralph, who makes every effort to balance top priorities successfully, represents practical reason and democratic principles. Piggy the problem-solver represents pure intelligence. Simon, in contrast, is a spiritual thinker who shows the capability to go beyond individual interests in order to accomplish not just peace but consistency with others and with the natural environment.

Significantly, Golding begins Chapter Six with a description of an aerial fight that, unlike most of the narrative, is not filtered through one of the boys’ viewpoints. The reader learns of the events of the battle while the boys stay sleeping and unaware. This special knowledge calls our attention to the dramatic paradox here, the gap in between truth and the boys’ analysis of that reality. The group’s hysterical response to the “beast from air,” which the reader knows is a dead parachutist, underscores how distorted, illogical, and fear-driven the kids’ reasoning is. Rather than leaving readers with the young boys’ viewpoint, which would need readers to find out the truth of the situation by themselves, Golding briefly provides the reader an objective viewpoint in order to assist readers view the threat of the kids’s installing irrationality.

Furthermore, the chapter’s opening description of the aerial fight highlights one of the book’s objectives, that is, as a political allegory rooted in the Cold War. The war described here is imaginary and accords with no genuine historical events; however, the rhetoric Golding uses in this section evokes the conflict of the Cold War. The battle is in between England and “the Reds,” and an atom bomb-the primary weapon at issue in the arms race-is accountable for leaving the children from the House Counties. Golding uses the worries of Cold War America and Great Britain to enhance his cautionary tale about the superiority of democracy. That the war again threatens the young boys, through the misinterpreted figure of the dead parachutist, likewise draws the reader’s attention to the fact that the kids are mainly victims of war. From this point of view, the awful events to follow are consequences of a worldwide crisis rooted as much in war as in human nature.

Again in Chapter Six, Golding utilizes spiritual meaning to express the underlying styles of the book. The dead parachutist appears to the boys as a supernatural creature; Golding imposes the twins’ interpretation by describing the dead body with magical images and language. The body appears to raise and drop its own head, and the flapping parachute opens and closes in the wind. Samneric explain it as a “monster,” but Golding’s opening description, which follows the parachutist as he drifts across the island-as well as the wing-like quality of his torn parachute-implies that he is more comparable to a fallen angel. In Judeo-Christian folklore the first fallen angel was Lucifer, who later ended up being Satan, the incarnation of evil. The parachutist hence acts as a sign of, and motivation for, the evil that is now manifesting on the island. The Hellish function of the dead body is compounded by the violent, awful action that arises from the confusion surrounding its identity.

You Might Also Like