This chapter opens with a description of mirage in the heat: ‘mysteries’, ‘miraculous’, ‘illusions’, ‘impossibility’, which Piggy identifies as ‘a mirage’. The sun is ‘like an angry eye’. They were ‘menaced by the coming of the dark’.
Percival (a littlun) ‘crawled’ into a shelter and ‘stayed there for two days, talking singing and crying, till they thought him batty’, ‘peaked, red-eyed and miserable’
The other littluns have ‘stomach-aches’ and ‘chronic diarrhoea’ ,‘untold terrors in the dark’ - ‘aimless and trivial’ play and were ‘filthily dirty’.
Golding reminds us of the ‘mulberry marked’ boy, who was killed in the fire. Three litteuns play ‘at peace’.
Roger walks through the litteuns’ sandcastles ‘kicking them over, burying the flowers, scattering the chosen stones. Maurice followed, laughing, and added to the destruction.’ but ‘still felt the unease of wrong-doing.’
Roger: ‘shock of black hair’ ‘gloomy face’ ‘unsociable remoteness’ now seems ‘something forbidding’.
The littluns then copy the biguns and start flinging sand at each other ‘and presently Percival was crying again’
Henry (a litteun) starts playing with little creatures: feeling ‘happiness as he felt himself exercising control over living things’ ... ‘his footprints’ ‘trapped’ them ‘and gave him the illusion of mastery’
Roger throws a stone at Henry, aimed ‘to miss’, then throws again. ‘There was a space round Henry... into which he dared not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life... Roger’s arm was conditioned by a civilization that knew nothing of him and was in ruins.’
When Roger sees Jack (weirdly) ‘a darker shadow crept beneath the swarthiness of his skin’
Jack's Painted Mask
Jack has paint, “For hunting. Like in the war.” He looks at himself ‘like an awesome stranger’, his face ‘a mask’ that ‘appalled them’ ‘his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling.’
‘the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame.’
Piggy: ‘hair still lay in wisps over his head as though baldness were his natural state, and this imperfect covering would soon go.’ He suggests they should make a ‘sundial’
Ralph thinks ‘Piggy was a bore; his fat, his ass-mar and his matter-of-fact ideas were dull’
‘Piggy saw the smile and misinterpreted it as friendliness’
Ralph: “Oh, shut up.”
The Ship and the Fire
He sees a ship: ‘a tight little knot on the horizon’ but their fire has gone out. Ralph runs furiously and does ‘desperate violence to his naked body among the rasping creepers so that blood was sliding over him.’ He realises he doesn’t have Piggy’s specs with him so he can't re-light the fire if it has totally gone out.
“Oh God, oh God!”
‘The fire was right out, smokeless and dead; the watchers were gone.’
He screams at the ship “Come back! Come back!” Then he sees the choir below who have let the fire go out.
They have finally killed a pig:
They all chant: “Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood.”
[they have become savage, have forgotten about the need to return to civilization in the overwhelming lust for blood].
They ‘danced’, ‘grinning’, ‘happy’ “We had a smashing time.”
Jack says “There was lashings of blood.” [this childish slang might be used as in ‘lashings [plenty] of custard’]. When he says this he is ‘laughing and shuddering.’
Jack ‘flushed, conscious of a fault’ and ‘noticed Ralph’s scarred nakedndess’
Golding links the word ‘knowledge’ to Jack as he remembers killing. Compare this to ‘eating from the tree of knowledge’/original sin. ‘knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink.’
Ralph’s voice is ‘loud and savage’ “There was a ship.”
‘Jack, faced at once with too many awful implications, ducked away from them.’ He ‘drew his knife’, ‘fist clenched’.
Piggy is brave ‘in the agony of his loss’ “You and your hunting! We might have gone home!”
Jack and Ralph confront each other: ‘the brilliant world of hunting’ ‘and there was the world of longing and baffled common sense’ Jack punches Piggy in the stomach, then in the head. ‘His voice was vicious with humiliation.’
Jack breaks Piggy’s glasses.
‘Passions beat about Simon on the mountain-top with terrible wings.’
Ralph ‘accepted a piece of half-raw meat and gnawed it like a wolf.’ [savagery]
Simon gives his own meat to Piggy as Jack won’t give him any.
The author, Melanie Kendry, is an Oxford graduate, outstanding-rated English Language and Literature teacher of ages 10-18 in the British education system. In 2012, she was nominated for Pearson's Teaching Awards. As a private tutor, she raises grades often from C to A. Her writing is also featured in The Huffington Post.