Lord Of The Flies: Chapter 9-12 Notes Essay, Research Paper
1. After Simon is killed, the next paragraph
begins, “The clouds open and let the rain down like a waterfall?” When
the boys kill Simon they not only kill him and spirituality, but what they
perceive to be the beast. Because the beast was created by them and embodied
all of their evils, one of its interpretations can be as mankind’s sin.
Simon is very similar to Jesus in this book. The Roman’s ruled the world
during Jesus’ life, and now a similar bloodthirsty society rules the island
during Simon’s life. Both are killed by such a society, and both sacrifice
themselves so that mankind’s sin can be forgiven. When Simon dies, the
rain washes away not only spirituality, but also the beast and all of the
sins that accompany it. Golding writes that the water bounded from the
mountaintop. Because the mountain top represented the peak of society,
this could be interpreted to state that all of society carries sin, even
the glorious moments of it, and that Simon’s sacrifice was extended to
the boys’ entire stay on the island and the sin that was committed during
that period of time. This is also similar to Jesus’ sacrifice that was
for all of mankind’s sins, not just the sins of the Roman society that
killed him. After Simon has been killed, the figures stagger away. By referring
to the boys as figures, they are no longer individuals, but the nameless
men who are the vehicle that society uses to carry out its evil deeds.
It is no longer of relevance who did what because it was the entire society
that killed Simon. This can be related to other societies, such as Nazi
Germany. Today Hitler is credited with most of the responsibility for World
War II. We do not like to blame German society for it because that would
mean that we are also capable of this if we had to endure the circumstances
of 1940’s Germany. We cannot blame the German race for these problems,
as they are a characteristic of humanity. We fought World War II against
the forces of racism, but we ourselves treated the Japanese very poorly
while all of this was going on. Although we too went through the depression,
we did not have the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles against us.
When any society has such horrible circumstances, they tend to look for
a scapegoat, such as a race of people. If Hitler did not enjoy such great
public support he would not have come to power. It is also very difficult
for a nation to declare war without public support. It is therefore significant
that figures staggered away because it was the whole society, and not just
Jack who killed Simon. It is also interesting to note that during the course
of this book the boys’ civilization falls from glory. They then create
a beast as a scapegoat, claiming that they can no longer climb the mountain,
and therefore return to the glory of their civilization because of it.
When Simon dies Golding refers to him as the beast. This not only can be
interpreted by the Jesus theory as stated above, but by a new theory that
establishes Simon as society’s scapegoat. It can also be interpreted to
state that the beast is all of mankind’s gifts such as spirituality, when
they are suppressed and murdered by society, crippling its ability to function.
When Simon is killed he lays still only a few yards from sea. It is important
to know that all life originates from the sea, where it arose in primitive
form. This is significant for two reasons; it tells us that spirituality
is an ancient and instinctive trait of man, and that the boys society,
that came away from the mountain (peak of society) and towards the ocean
to kill Simon, had returned from civilization to a more primitive and savage
form in doing so. Because the beast (Simon) is small, society’s problem
is not the beast itself, but the way it is dealt with. When Simon’s blood
stains the sand, his death and the savage society that killed him forever
taint the island. No matter what might happen in the future, Simon will
always be dead and because of the blood in the sand this cannot be forgotten.
The sand and ultimately the island being stained with blood also have meaning.
Because the society as inhabits the island, the island can be used to represent
society as a whole, which is has been stained by its own atrocities. During
the storm the parachute is filled with rain and swept off the island. The
parachute is a symbol of Ralph, Simon, and Piggy’s attempt to prevent the
old ways of society and civility from dying. Piggy and Ralph were part
of the savage murder; therefore this society has assimilated them and destroyed
their efforts to maintain a civilized society. Simon has now been killed
and therefore their efforts and civility can no longer be maintained. The
parachute then, tells us that civility has not only been destroyed, but
all attempts to salvage what old society values remain, have ceased and
that the entire society has become completely savage.
2. Jack’s new tribe is established at the
Castle Rock. The Castle Rock has a warlike connotation; the word castle
makes us think of war and fortresses, and the word rock brings the ideas
of cold and hard to the reader. The spot was also chosen by Jack to be
a fortress as the name might suggest. This tells us that Jack and his new
society have returned to civilization in a sense, but a lower form of it.
Instead of being a society based upon debate and knowledge, Jack has established
a militaristic state. Jack’s new tribe can be compared to ancient Sparta.
In Sparta young boys were trained to be warriors. Knowledge was not valued
in Sparta, only war. In Jack’s tribe the boys are trained to be hunters,
and this makes them very similar to warriors. Jack’s tribe also does not
value knowledge, only hunting and killing. Sparta was a very hard and strict
place to live and therefore the new tribe would probably be under the same
circumstances. These hard conditions are symbolized by the “Rock” part
of the name “Castle Rock”.
3. If this society is left on the island
alone without hope of rescue, it shall continue to deteriorate even further.
When Jack came to power it was a revolution that ended with a militaristic
state and killed Simon (spirituality) and Piggy (knowledge and reason)
as part of its process. The final step in the completion of this revolution
was to kill Ralph, the leader of the old society. If Ralph would have been
killed and the boys would not have been rescued, the new militaristic tribe
would have enjoyed a brief period of stability, just as Ralph’s old society
did at the book’s beginning. This would be the calm after the storm so
to speak. However, if Ralph who was a qualified leader could not hold his
society intact, then how can we expect Jack, who is an inept leader to
what Ralph could not? One of the things that this book teaches us is that
human nature, and not the individuals of that society dictate certain actions
performed by society. Ralph and Piggy were individuals of good intent,
but they were present when Simon was murdered. Therefore we cannot look
to the individuals remaining on the island in search of clues about what
direction society might take. We must look for the history of what has
happened on the island to continually repeat itself. It is very likely
that Jack will eventually take his power and abuse it, like so many people
in his position do, and cause great public upheaval. Perhaps the boys will
just get sick of Jack. No matter what happens Jack will fall from favor,
and once these conditions are met the society will be ready for a new leader.
This new leader could be Roger, or perhaps on of the smaller children when
he gets older, but this does not matter. What does matter is that when
society is in upheaval, a vacuum of power is always created. Someone is
always waiting to fill the void. Eventually this person would likely fall
from power, and the cycle of stability followed by revolution would continue.
With revolution comes the potential for violence and death, and if the
remaining boys were not rescued some of them would likely be killed. Because
Piggy has died this pattern cannot be broken. If Piggy was not killed,
there would be a voice of reason on the island. It is not just that Piggy
and his voice of reason have died, but symbolically the voice of reason
has died on the entire island. The boys are quick to disregard reason after
Piggy dies which is why they hunted Ralph without second thought. Piggy’s
voice of reason would have continually attempted to influence the boys
to return to an orderly and civilized society. When Piggy died all hope
of this also died.
4. Fable- A brief tale embodying a moral
and using persons, animals, or inanimate things as characters.
Parable- A short narrative making a moral
or religious point by comparison with natural or homely things.
Myth- A traditional story, usually focusing
on the deeds of gods and heroes, often in explanation of some natural phenomenon,
as the origin of the sun, etc. It purports to be historical, but is useful
to historians principally for what it reveals of the culture of the peoples
it describes or among whom it is current.
Allegory- A story or narrative, as a fable,
in which a moral principle or abstract truth is represented by means of
fictional characters, events, etc.
When categorizing this story as a fable,
parable, myth, or allegory, one could make a good case for either of these.
Golding prefers myth. I believe that it could be categorized as a myth
because a myth creates characters and deifies them. These characters represent
all aspects of humanity and how they interact with each other. Because
the characters of this story represent these aspects of humanity and how
they interact with each other, they are not so much individuals, but the
ideologies that a myth incorporates into its gods. As a myth this story
can also be useful by revealing the peoples it describes. However, I believe
that this story is best categorized as an allegory. It carries an abstract
truth represented by fictional characters and events. Without scratching
the surface, the story is about a group of boys lost on an island. When
you dig deeper for abstract truth, you find that the story is about the
behavior society and the fictional characters that represent this are actually
personified human characteristics. The events that represent the abstract
truth of this society are less significant as events than as symbols. I
believe that categorizing this story as an allegory is more appropriate
than doing so as a myth because a myth is defined as explaining natural
phenomenon. It could be argued that the behavior of society is governed
by nature and that its bizarre results are a natural phenomenon. I would
probably have to agree with this, but the no section in the definition
of an allegory can be questioned for being less than an integral part of
Golding’s writing strategy.
5. The three boys that die over the course
of the story are; the boy with the birthmark, Simon and Piggy. Simon was
killed by the group of boys when he returned to tell them about the beast.
Simon was killed at night, and perhaps he was not recognizable. The boys
thought that he was the beast, but they surely must have known that it
was not a beast when they heard human screams. The entire society had therefore
murdered Simon. Piggy was murdered by Jack’s militaristic state. It was
Roger that dropped the rock on Piggy’s head, so he is technically responsible,
but this does not matter. What does matter is that Jack’s new society fostered
an atmosphere that made it acceptable to kill without cause. This new society
was founded by Jack, but also by public support. It was this society that
killed Piggy. The boy with the birthmark was killed by the forest fire.
The was a result of society neglecting the its responsibility for its technology
and the power it has over nature. The boy then, is not murdered, but killed
by neglect. We also know very little about this boy. Society did not care
that it set the forest on fire. This tells us that when society neglects
and abuses technology, it often kills something mysterious and unknown
without caring for what potential it might have.