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__________________________Lord of the Flies by William Golding



Lord of the Flies


Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 10-12



Ralph, Piggy, Sam, Eric and some littluns are the only ones who haven’t joined the wild bunch around Jack Merridew. Sam and Eric are collecting wood for the new fire which they will have at the beach.

Ralph and Piggy are dispirited and afraid. Ralph is shocked when he thinks about what they did to Simon. "That was murder", he slowly says, and admits that he wasn’t scared. He doesn’t know what he or why he joined the dancing crowd. Piggy wants Ralph to stop talking about it. He fantasizes about Simon, just pretending to have died and that it was an accident or Simon’s own fault. But Ralph is frightened - frightened of themselves and what they are capable of doing. When Sam and Eric arrive, the four of them pretend that nothing happened the previous night. "We left early."

On another part of the island, Jack has made rules for his new tribe, for example they have to challenge everybody, and they obey without any questions. Robert and Roger comment that Jack is "a proper Chief". None of the boys realize that Jack is becoming a tyrant: They ignore the fact that he has beaten one of the boys for no reason. Instead, Roger (and probably the rest of the tribe) is excited over the possibilities of irresponsible authority.

Outside the tribe’s cave, Jack is sitting with the others in front of him. They have painted their faces and are becoming more and more like savages. Jack stresses the point to fear Ralph and his allies. He keeps telling his group that "They’ll try to spoil things we do." They therefore have to defend the gate against those boys, but also against the beast, whom Jack denies that they have killed. Then he decides that they have to take fire from Ralph, and when the sun sets, he goes with Maurice and Roger to accomplish this task.

Ralph tries to light the damp wood with Piggy’s glasses. They admit to themselves that the fire isn’t just a signal, but also a comfort. It is difficult for the four of them to keep it going. Ralph goes on nagging about the fire and explains that it is the only thing that can rescue them.

They go to bed in one of the shelters. After a while they hear noises outside and a horrible voice talks to Piggy. He becomes so afraid that he has an asthma attack. Then Jack, Maurice and Roger jump them and they have a hard fight.

Piggy first thought they wanted the conch, but it was his glasses that were stolen. "They've got our fire!" Rage shrilled his voice. "They stole it!"
"His temper broke. He screamed at Jack. "You're a beast and a swine and a bloody, bloody thief!" In his anger, Piggy lost his balance and
"Piggy fell forty feet and landed on his back across the square, red rock in the sea."

Piggy is very angry because Jack and some hunters have stolen his specs and their fire. He wants to go over to Jack’s tribe to get his glasses back. Ralph and the twins decide to go with him. Piggy takes the conch and then they go.

Jack’s tribe has moved to Castle Rock, and when they get nearer, they see smoke. Suddenly they are halted by Roger. Ralph doesn’t care and blows in the conch. He calls an assembly. Ralph leaves Piggy, who is helpless without his glasses, on his knees and goes forward.

Jack wants them to leave and attacks Ralph because he calls him a thief. Piggy tries to stop them by reminding Ralph about the specs and the fire, but it doesn’t help. They keep on fighting. Jack tells two of the boys to take the twins and tie them. Ralph calls Jack a beast and a bloody thief, so they start fighting again. Piggy interrupts them. He wants to speak and he has the conch. He says that they are all acting like kids.

Roger is throwing stones at Piggy, and one of them hits him and the conch. This leads to the death of Piggy, and the conch breaks into many pieces. Then Jack wounds Ralph with his spear. Ralph turns away and runs into the forest. Jack and some others follow him, but when they come to the bodiless pig they go back to the fortress.

At night, Ralph stays close to Castle Rock. Sam and Eric, now savages, have been stationed as guards. Ralph crosses the bridge and goes to the tower to talk to them. They tell Ralph that Jack and the tribe is going to hunt him tomorrow. The plan is that the boys will make a line stretching across the whole island and they will slowly search the island until they find him. When Ralph asks what they will do when he is caught, the twins reply, “ ‘Roger has sharpened a stick at both ends,’ ” but Ralph does not understand what this means. He tells Sam and Eric that he plans to hide in the bushes near Castle Rock, thinking that Jack will not look so close to the fort.

Ralph wakes up the next morning, and the twins have been forced to confess where Ralph is hiding. The tribe tries to roll another boulder from the castle to land in the bushes where Ralph is hiding, but they miss him. A savage tries to crawl through the branches to see if Ralph is still there. They set the bushes on fire and Ralph runs into the forest as the line of savages spreads out to begin the search of the island.

Deciding that the best option is to hide, Ralph finds the place where Simon used to stay. As the line of savages search the entire island, the forest behind them is burning. But they only want to catch and kill Ralph. The line reaches his hiding spot and Roger peeks under to look. Ralph attacks him and runs to the beach, the tribe running after him. He runs past the burning shelters right into a Navy officer.

The massive fire and smoke enabled the ship to see them. As the boys gather around, the officer comments on how it must be all fun and games. Some of the boys are crying, realizing what they’ve done. The officer sees the spears and asks, “ ‘We saw your smoke. What have you been doing? Having a war or something?’ ” He finds out that two children have been killed and they are taken off the island to the waiting cruiser. As they are taken away, “...Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.”



Golding makes his novel come alive with a significant use of symbolism, physiological development, and general truths. His writing style is simple but the subject matter is deep. He uses a rather comparatively simple story to convey a weighty idea.

The resolution of the story occurs when the jungle catches fire and a naval ship spots the smoke. An officer comes ashore just as Ralph is being hunted by the other boys and all are rescued and taken back into society.

Golding tries to teach us and warn us of the evil nature of mankind. He says through the book that we are evil and that it is only society that keeps us from committing crimes.

Chilling words from Golding's Notes reveal the final irony of this book: "The officer, having interrupted a man-hunt, prepares to take the children off the island in a cruiser which will presently be hunting its [own] enemy in the same implacable way. And who will rescue the adult and his cruiser?


  • Biography of William Golding

  • Quick/Fast Summary

  • Character List

  • About the Novel

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 1-3

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 4-6

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 7-9

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 10-12

  • Studyworld Essay Search on Lord of the Flies

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