Lord of the Flies Summary and Analysis of Chapter Twelve: Cry of the Hunters

Ralph conceals in the jungle, fretting about his wounds and the inhuman violence into which the boys on the island have devolved. He thinks of Simon and Piggy and realizes that civilization is now difficult among the kids. Ralph, who is not far from the Castle Rock, believes he sees Bill in the range. He concludes that the boy is not Bill-at least not any more. This young boy is a savage, entirely different from the boy in shorts and shirt he once understood. Ralph is certain that Jack will never ever leave him alone. Noticing the Lord of the Flies, now just a skull with the skin and meat eaten away, Ralph chooses to fight back. He knocks the skull from the stick, which he takes, planning to use it as a spear. From a distance, Ralph can still construct out the young boys’ chant: “Kill the beast. Cut his throat. Spill his blood.”

That night, equipped with his makeshift spear, Ralph crawls undetected to the lookout near Castle Rock. He contacts us to Sam and Eric, who are now protecting the entrance. Sam gives Ralph a chunk of meat but does not accept join him again. Sam informs Ralph to leave. The twins tell Ralph that Roger has honed a stick at both ends, and they alert him that Jack will be sending out the whole people after Ralph the following day. Dejected, Ralph crawls away to a thicket where he can safely sleep. When he wakes up in the early morning, he can hear Jack abusing among the twins and speaking with Roger outside the thicket where he hides. They are looking for out where Ralph is hiding. Several other young boys are rolling rocks down the mountain, trying to break into the thicket. More young boys are trying to climb up in.

Simply as Ralph decides to find a brand-new hiding location, he smells smoke. He recognizes with scary that Jack has set the forest on fire in an effort to smoke Ralph out of hiding. He also acknowledges that the fire will ruin all the fruit on the island, once again endangering the kids’ fundamental survival. Terrified, Ralph bolts from his concealing place, combating his way past numerous of Jack’s hunters, who are painted in wild colors and carrying sharpened wooden spears. Wielding their spears menacingly, they chase Ralph through the forest. Weaving through the dense underbrush, Ralph finally escapes to the beach, where he collapses in exhaustion and terror. He understands that Jack’s hunters are close behind.

When Ralph looks up, he is shocked to see a figure looming over him. He understands that the figure is a man-a marine officer! The officer tells Ralph that his ship saw the smoke and chose to investigate the island. Ralph understands that the officer is under the impression that the young boys have actually been only playing video games. The other boys start to appear from the forest, and the officer starts to understand the mayhem and violence amongst the stranded boys. Percival attempts to inform him his name and address however finds he can no longer remember it. Ralph, notifying him that he is manager, is sad to find he can not address the officer when asked the number of boys are on the island. The officer, aware that they have not been acting according to the rules of civilization, scolds the boys for not knowing exactly the number of they are and for not being arranged, as the British are expected to be.

Ralph firmly insists to the officer that they were arranged and good at first. The officer says he envisions it resembled the “program” in The Coral Island. Ralph, not comprehending his recommendation, starts to weep for the early days on the island, which now seem impossibly remote. He weeps for the end of innocence and the darkness of guy’s heart, and he weeps for the deaths of Simon and Piggy. All of the other kids start to weep too. The officer turns away, embarrassed, while the other young boys attempt to regain their composure. The officer keeps his eye on the cruiser in the distance.


The dynamic of interaction in between Ralph and the other young boys modifications considerably in the opening scenes of the final chapter. Ralph is now a challenge the other kids as he runs away Jack’s hunters, who seem not able to make the distinction between searching pigs and hunting each other. As Ralph observes, the other young boys on the island bear no resemblance to the English school children very first stranded there; they are complete savages without either moral or rational perceptiveness. As they stop to exhibit the qualities that define them as civilized human beings, they no longer certify as young boys. This shift from human to animal identity is noticeable now in Ralph. No longer thought about human by the other kids, he should depend on his primitive senses to leave the hunters. Because Ralph can no longer safeguard himself through any sense of justice or morality, he should use his animal instinct and cunning to endure.

The final chapter emphasizes the self-destructive quality of the kids’ actions. Throughout the novel, Golding has actually suggested that the boys are devastating not just to their enemies, however to themselves, a style that culminates drastically in this chapter. Images of decay permeate the final scenes, particularly in the Lord of the Flies, which decomposed till it became only a hollow skull. Significantly, Ralph dismantles the Lord of the Flies by pressing the pig’s skull off of the stick it was impaled on, an act that mirrors and completes Roger’s damage of the conch in the previous chapter. The damage of both things signals to the reader that the kids have been plunged into a brutal civil war. Ralph takes apart the Lord of the Flies-a totem for Jack’s tribe-to usage the stick it is impaled on as a spear with which to attack Jack. Ralph’s action hence shows that he has actually accepted Jack’s savage terms of war, a dispute he had previously approached with reason and nonviolence, but it is far too late for that. Ralph’s decision to attack Jack or at least to defend himself with a weapon suggests that he too has actually devolved into savagery. All vestiges of democratic civilization on the island are gone, and it is uncertain if Jack’s monarchy keeps any civilization at all.

Another ominous image in this chapter is Roger’s spear. As Samneric notify Ralph, Roger has actually sharpened a spear at both ends, a tool that symbolizes the risk the young boys have actually produced for themselves. The spear all at once points at the one who wields it and the one at whom it is directed; it can harming both equally. The significance of the double-edged spear is shown in the kids’ hunt for Ralph. That is, in order to discover Ralph, the kids start a fire that might overwhelm them and ruin the fruit that is vital for their survival. Golding hence notifies the reader to the disadvantageous effects of vengeance: worldwide of the unique, the ultimate price of damaging another is hurting oneself.

Despite the seemingly helpless situation on the island, however, the kids are lastly saved by a marine officer whose ship noticed the fire on the island. This ending is not only unforeseen but deeply paradoxical. It was not the signal fire that attracted the navy cruiser. Instead it was the forest fire that Jack’s people set in a severe gesture of irresponsibility and self-destruction. Ironically and even unfortunately, it is Jack and not Ralph who is ultimately responsible for the young boys’ rescue. The implications are grim: it was not cautious planning and insight that brought the kids to safety, but a coincidence. The effects of savagery, not civilization, are what saved the kids. With this abrupt narrative gesture, Golding overturns the logic he had actually established throughout the novel. Obviously, poetic justice is not needed, but the issue is vexing. Maybe, he recommends, savagery and civilization are less unlike than we believe. By casting Jack as the young boys’ unintentional savior, Golding ends the unique prior to the action can correctly climax. The reader is denied a chance to see a final battle in between Ralph and Jack, although we can quickly picture that Ralph is doomed. Since the dehumanization is total, there is practically nothing more to be said.

The unexpected appearance of the naval officer at the beach reduces the impacts of the boys’ hostility. The officer is a deus ex machina (an unanticipated figure who shows up practically out of no place and who appears just to conclude the plot and bring it to a quick conclusion). His arrival on the island frees Golding from having to explore the final implications of the hunters’ suicidal attack on Ralph and Ralph’s own descent into violent cruelty.

In another unlikely gesture, the marine officer repeats to the kids the lessons that, throughout the unique, Ralph and Piggy had tried to impart to the other boys. He stresses the importance of order simply as Ralph and Piggy had, thus retroactively calling attention to the maturity and sensibility of Ralph’s guidance to the other boys. Nevertheless, the naval officer can not understand the complete reach of the kids’ experience on the island. He interprets the searching and painted faces as a childish video game, uninformed that their dress carries more than symbolic meaning. The kids have not been playing as savages; they have become them. The officer’s mention of the nineteenth-century experience unique The Coral Island highlights his lack of knowledge of the cruelty that is controling the island. While the young boys in The Coral Island had carefree, childish adventures, the kids in Golding’s narrative in fact came down into unimaginable depths of violence and cruelty. Through the officer’s naivete as informed by The Coral Island, Golding again implicitly critiques the idealistic portrayals of children in popular literature. Still, these unlikely concluding occasions feel abrupt and unfulfilling after so much richness in the narrative.

Another substantial element of the naval officer’s character is his admonition to the boys that they are not behaving like correct “British young boys,” which recalls Jack’s patriotic claims in Chapter 2 that the British are the very best at everything. The officer’s declaration symbolically connects him to Jack and underscores the hypocrisy of such a military character. While the officer condemns the violent play of the young boys on the island, he is himself a military figure, participated in an ongoing war that itself necessitated the boys’ evacuation from their homeland and (unintentionally) caused the occasions on the island. Again, the concern is unclear: maybe the violence amongst the young boys was not an expression of an unrestrained inner instinct but a reflection of the relatively “civilized” culture they were raised in, a culture taken part in an unsightly and fatal war. In any case, the officer echoes Ralph rather than Jack, duplicating a lot of the warnings about rules and order that Ralph had actually revealed to the young boys throughout the book. By associating the officer with both Ralph and Jack, in different methods, Golding calls into question the distinction in between civilization and savagery that he traced with increasing focus in the book’s earlier chapters and after that erased in later chapters.

If the naval officer conserves the kids from their self-destruction, he might have come too late. The last scenes of the novel stress the permanent emotional damage that the kids have actually caused on themselves. With the possible exception of Ralph, the young boys are no longer accustomed to the society from which they came. Golding highlights this fact by providing Percival as unable to specify his name and address as he could when the boys initially arrived on the island. More notably, Ralph views their experiences on the island as completion of their innocence. He has seen the topple of reasonable society as represented by Piggy in favor of the barbarism and tyranny of Jack. His final ideas: “Ralph wept for completion of innocence, the darkness of guy’s heart, and the fail the air of the true, sensible pal called Piggy.” These ideas show a play of the Eden misconception with which Golding began. If there was an Eden on the island, it was the special location discovered by Simon that none of the other young boys wished to experience. They began out of Eden instead of inside it. Any paradise they hoped for on the island came to an end when the boys chose nature and instinct over rationality and awareness-compare, however, the rise of rationality and awareness in Genesis, which seems to occur most of all after the Fall. Ralph loses his innocence when he realizes that the violence inherent in humankind is constantly under the surface of the order and morality that civilization imposes on individuals.

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