Lord Of The Flies Chapter 8 Notes

Lord Of The Flies: Chapter 8 Notes Essay, Research Paper

1. The conch being inexpertly blown and

the fact that Piggy has only one lens shows that society has begun to function

poorly. The reason for this decline in society is Jack. Jack broke Piggy’s

lens, and now Jack who has power, represented by the conch, does not know

how to blow it properly. This tells us that Jack is an inept leader who

misuses power and destroys knowledge. To become an expert at something,

such as blowing a conch or leading a society takes time, so this is also

significant because it shows that Jack has just recently come to power.

Because the conch and Piggy’s glasses are crippled, knowledge and power

are crippled, but not yet fully eliminated.

2. When Simon says, ” I think we ought

to climb the mountain.”, he means that society should conquer its fears

and reclaim the island. When the boys first founded society, one of the

first things that they did was to climb the mountain and attain knowledge

of the island. It is important to note that knowledge was a priority for

this early society. Climbing the mountain was also a task undertaken with

great enthusiasm and the offering of hope for what their society could

be. This was the peak of their civilization. Ever since then their society

has been “declining” or going “downhill”, so the mountain represents the

“peak” or “height” of their civilization. As the boys’ civilization fell

apart, it became primitive and controlled increasingly by evil elements

(Jack). Because of this the boys began to fear a beast. The beast was a

symbol of this demise and an obstacle to the return of glory. I say that

the beast is an obstacle because they now fear climbing the mountain, a

mountain that symbolizes the peak of society. When Simon says that they

should climb the mountain, he is also saying that the boys should abandon

their primitive fears and return to previous glory.

3. The new fire is symbolic because it

is Piggy’s attempt to rebuild society. Piggy believes that without Jack

(evil), he himself (knowledge and civility) can prosper. The first step

that Piggy decides to take is the construction of a new fire. The fire

represents the domination and manipulation of nature and therefore the

return to civility. It is important to note that the fire is in a new location.

The new fire represents a new society engineered by Piggy and founded upon

knowledge. The fire also represents a new hope; the hope that the new society

will prosper, the hope that Jack’s followers will rejoin society, and the

hope that they will be rescued.

4. Many people believe that the climax

of the story is when the sow is killed. When the boys kill the sow they

take the final step towards savagery. Old society’s ways and civility held

Jack (evil), back from killing another living creature earlier in the book,

but now everything changes as an entire faction of society not only kills

the sow, but celebrates the accomplishment. Society’s morals have shifted,

and the burden of guilt no longer exists, allowing them to do exactly as

they please without considering the needs of each other or anything else.

At this point Jack and his boys have become completely savage. The manner

in which the boys kill the pig is cruel and savage also; they no longer

have any respect for another living creature. The sow is most likely pregnant

and this tells us that the boys would waste the lives of its piglets and

perhaps waste the lives of its piglets and the future meat that they would

likely provide in their blind lust for blood. A civilized society would

carefully select which animals to slaughter because of moral and economic

concerns. The faction of society that killed the pig no longer discusses

and debates issues, but instead relies on its instinctive desires.

5. When the Lord of the Flies says that

the beast is part of Simon, he is saying that the beast is a part of human

nature. The beast, however, is only symbolic and therefore does not exist

as a part of Simon or in humanity. By saying that the beast is part of

Simon, the Lord of the Flies subtly states that humanity is comprised in

part by all of its evils. It is also true that the “beast” is part of Simon,

because Simon, being human, has the ability to imagine and invent his own

fears. The beast is fictitious and cannot harm the boys, yet they still

fear it. As intelligence is mankind’s gift, and perhaps it can be rational

and disregard such ludicrous ideas of beasts and other such unfounded fears

(as Piggy attempted to do earlier), it is also mankind’s burden. Other

creatures do not have the capacity to fear things that do no affect that

at a present moment in time. Only mankind invents beasts, causes evil and

harm without cause, and fears death. It is also relevant that Simon is

the spiritual aspect of this novel. Simon has known that the beast is fictitious

and perhaps even the truth about what it symbolizes. Because society has

gone so far with the concept of a “beast” and the fears and evils that

it represents, all parts of society, even Simon’s, have become infected.

6. The Lord of the Flies is the sacrifice

that the boys made to the beast. The beast, of course, represents their

own evils, fears and other undesirables, therefore the Lord of the Flies

represents the old society that has died because of these things. The last

line of chapter eight is telling us that Simon, who portrays the spirituality

in society, has now been swallowed by the fears and evils of his society

that has deteriorated to such an extent as to not only create a “beast”,

but to become it. Simon is the weakest member in this society, as is spirituality,

shown by his continual fainting. After he is swallowed by the beast and

faints, spirituality on the island is coming very close to dying. Golding

is trying to tell us that spirituality is the weakest aspect of a society.

Even as religion is predominant in many societies, it becomes dominated

not by individuals seeking enlightenment, but by corruption and tyranny,

as happened in medieval times. Religion often is manipulated by those in

power and abused as a tool to control the poor through methods such as

fear tactics. Basically, the spirituality people are born with is inevitably

controlled and manipulated because it is weak and unclear. I believe that

Simon does not so much represent a single set of religious beliefs, but

more the divine spirituality, caring, and forgiveness that we are born

with. Perhaps the book is as much about the affects of society on an individual

person as it is about society as a whole. When the plague that society

often creates infects a person, such as Simon, the person’s spirituality

is easily conquered and replaced by evils and fear. I therefore believe

that this book can be examined on two scales; the boys representing society,

and the boys each representing the individual characters which as a whole

comprise and compete for superiority of the human psyche.


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