Lord of the Flies: Chapter 8 By: Eric Albrecht
themes • Power • (127) Jack calls a meeting himself, and directly challenges Ralph’s power. • (140) Fire is stolen by Jack’s “Demoniac” accomplices. • (140) Jack attempts to persuade the littleuns by using a cooked sow. • Loss of Identity • (143) Lord of the Flies refers to Simon as just a silly, ignorant, little boy. • (142) The coined term for anyone following Jack is the hunters. • (134) Killing the pig, the hunters lose their individual identity and take on the idea of a savage. • (138) Samneric is considered to be the workmanship of one person.
Themes • Fear of the Unknown -(129) The boys are afraid of retrieving the fire atop the mountain and opt to start another one. -(143) Simon cowers in shelter as he views a mirage of the Lord of the Flies. Development of Civilization -(127) The dictatorial and democratic leaders part ways to allow the individual growth of their societies in their own beliefs instead of conflicting ones. -(140) The dictatorial government flourishes in it’s own way now that the leader (Jack) isn’t restricted by Ralph’s presence in leadership. -(141) A constant part of civilization is competition. Now that a rival is present for Ralph and his democracy, he must learn to adapt so that not everyone joins Jack and they survive sufficiently at the same time. It is the competition to stay alive.
Symbolism • The Sow • (134) The sow itself in its natural habitat where it’s young are suckling represents tranquility on the island, and this is quickly ruined through Jack’s savage attack, just as peace on the island is disturbed by him as well. • -(135) The fact that Jack could capture the sow after chasing it so long with his men, symbolizes the social resources Jack has. The fact that he kills the pig so easily signifies that he has the resources to unify his men under one cause inexplicably. This could be a powerful tool for Jack to use in the future. • -(141) The huge, viable amount of meat this pig gives symbolizes the influence Jack has because the masses will be drawn to the source which satisfy their needs to the highest of standards, not a place where inferior mediocre standards are acceptable.
Symbolism • The Rescue Fire • (130) Under Ralph, the rescue fire was a symbol of escape and hope because the fire would be their notification system in case a ship passed by, and having the fire lit helped reassure the general population that there was hope to live for. The fire’s influence worked so well that even Piggy was willingly doing manual labor to aid the fire’s new beginnings and existence. • The Lord of the Flies • (143-144) This is a huge symbol of the fear within the island, obviously showing Simon’s innocence on trial against the judgmental spirit. But it also represents smaller fears such as the littleuns’ fears of the beast and the fear of the dead body by the rocks. The only unanswered question here is what were to happen if fear were to be overtaken by things such as hope and courage.
Conflict • Man vs. Man • Jack and Ralph show direct conflict numerous times, including Jack’s democratic challenge of Ralph’s power at the meeting he called (127), and the dictatorial challenge of Ralph’s power through bribery of the littleuns using meat from the sow as bait (141). • Man vs. Nature • (144) Simon’s inexplicable run-in with the Lord of the Flies raises many questions as Simon is confronted with his own personal life in review. He must face his actions and fears head on. Whether it is really a mirage or a hallucination, it effectively compares Simon’s thoughts to other applicable places. • (135) Jack and the sow are a major part of the conflict of man vs. nature because it seems as if Jack is attacking the tranquility of the island, and the island responds by vilely messing with Simon’s thoughts.
Conflict • Man vs. Society • (131,135,136) Maurice shows that his original remorse for doing bad things is clearly not present anymore, as he willingly joins in the savage pig hunting and agrees to help steal the fire from the beach. While the littleuns may be oblivious, the biguns realize that it is their democratic-like society against people like Roger, Robert, and Jack who seek individualized power. • Man vs. Self • (130) Piggy has always had trouble accepting the idea of manual labor, and in the past has avoided doing it because of his own self choice and by motivation not to help Jack succeed. Now that he realizes his motivation will only benefit Ralph, and seeing Ralph’s current understanding of Piggy, he participates in manual labor such as wood gathering and starting a fire without a push from others.
analysis • Piggy: As you can see, the past seven chapters of the Lord of the Flies have presented Piggy as more of a thinker than a doer, and he hugely doesn’t appreciate manual labor and prefers to retain his possessions. In Chapter 8, Piggy is making milestones appear in opposition to the first seven chapters. All it seems to have taken to trigger this reaction was the removal of Jack from the island’s governmental equation. This symbolizes the separation of dictatorship and democracy, and democracy’s strengthening without immediate competition. Piggy is very receptive to this idea, and even engages in manual labor. He helps to gather wood to restart the massive signal fire (129-130), and voluntarily used his one remaining glass to light the fire. • Jack: The poor sap seems to be becoming more and more desperate in the world for power. He seems unsatisfied, and will do whatever unnecessary deed is required to complete his mission. To start, he directly challenges Ralph by calling him out in a group meeting he purposely called (127). Second, he leaves to form his own survival group, so that he may feel the power of being the ultimate leader, accompanying the fact that he has utter control over the choir/hunters and now anyone who joins him (127). Finally, he returns to Ralph’s group’s fire later that night, to steal the one resource Ralph has, fire, and bribe many littleuns to sway to his side using a sow he previously killed that morning (140).
Analysis • Maurice: Up to this point in the novel, Maurice has been a part of Jack’s choir’s antics on a few occasions, and the pangs of society remain in the grasp of his clutch. At this point in the book though, his reluctance to proceed with harmful ventures has seemingly subsided. He does numerous inhumane actions such as joining Jack’s dictatorial regime of boys instead of remaining in Ralph’s democratic coalition (131). He also thoughtlessly joins the group of boys in the savagery of hunting down the sow and later mocking it (135) and agreeing to aid Jack in his theft of the power of fire and personnel from Ralph through bribery (136).
Troubling Words • Indignant (128)- Feeling, characterized by, or expressing strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, insulting, or base. • Sensuously (134)- Perceived by or affecting the senses. • Bough (134)- A branch of a tree, especially one of the larger or main branches. • Taboo (140)- Proscribed by society as improper or unacceptable: Taboo language is usually bleeped on TV. Synonyms: • Misogynistic- Reflecting or exhibiting hatred, dislike, mistrust, or mistreatment of women.
Sodom and Gomorrah • The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is a detailed bible reference about the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord has sights to demolish the two cities, but Abraham convinces him otherwise. He convinces the Lord to let the cities stand if he can find ten good people in them. He harbors two angels one night, and not long after they arrive, there is a mob of men waiting to violate the angels. The man promises his two daughters in return, but they aren’t enough. The family leaves the town and departs for Zoar, a nearby village. They were soon after destroyed by sulfuric rain from the skies as the man and his family and angels were safe in Zoar.
Why is this Important? • This is important for a few ways. The first, is that the main focus of the story is the mistreatment of women, as the man of the house automatically was willing to give the daughters up before the angels. Mistreatment of women is also shown in the novel through the killing of the sow and attempted killing of her young ones. The world is trying to harm the small amount of good people left in each environment, just as the angels were almost hidden. • The second way is how violently the situation was taken care of. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah turned to violence to enter the house, only to find the angels gone, through a secret passageway. Jack turned to violence to kill the sow and open it up. • The final way is how inhumanely and savagely the situation was handled. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah wished to kill/torture the angels by personally violating them in sexual ways. The spear Robert used to help kill the pig was shoved through the rear end of the pig.
Looking Ahead… • The other part of the Sodom and Gomorrah reference that is applicable to this book is applied to a part which we have not read yet. If the book were to continue in a pattern like the biblical reference itself, then the good people will be given a chance to save themselves before the bad people are terribly hurt for their actions. This could possibly happen to Jack and his savage ways, where Ralph and the others may be rescued before Jack and the hunters are destroyed, or something similar to those lines.