Chapter 10 "The Shell and the Glasses" Notes from Lord of the Flies

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Lord of the Flies Chapter 10 "The Shell and the Glasses"

Shortly thereafter, Ralph and Piggy converse on the beach. Only two and Samneric, aside from some littluns, remain from the original group. Even after what has happened to Simon, all but these four have defected to Jack's tribe. They express guilt about the murder of Simon, having all taken part in it. "'It was an accident,'" Piggy insists and he tells Ralph to hide the fact that they were involved. "'We was on the outside. We never done nothing, we never seen nothing.'" Chapter 10, pg. 143. Samneric share this sentiment as well and it remains a topic not discussed. They want to forget it happened though the deep regret and sadness lingers over them all.

Topic Tracking: Intellectual 10

In the society Jack has created, the tribe, Jack's hunters obey him with a strict obedience and reverence, the kind which was never paid to Ralph. Jack has inhabited the Castle Rock with all of those under his lead. Robert is placed at the entrance like a sentinel. Everyone admires Jack's talent, dubbing him a "proper chief" in contrast to their perceptions of Ralph, who is viewed as a failure for his dependence on Piggy. Jack's orders come from no one else but himself. The boys are all painted over now, carrying spears and looking tribal; their assimilation by Jack has been completed. At a meeting of his "tribe," Jack declares that they shall soon hunt again. The issue of Simon is raised by these boys and Jack declares that the beast came in the form of Simon "disguised." It takes on a supernatural presence over them, now dubbed as a thing which cannot be killed. Jack warns them all, "'We'd better keep on the right side of [the beast]....You can't tell what he might do.'" Chapter 10, pg. 146. Here one finds the source of the power he holds over the boys: where Ralph attempted to tap into their common sense and intuition; Jack, in contrast, taps into their fears. Ralph's assembly has morphed into Jack's tribe.

Jack plans to attack Ralph that night with Maurice and Roger to steal Piggy's glasses--the one item from the civilized world they need in order to start their cooking fires.

Topic Tracking: Beast 9

Ralph and Piggy continue to decline in function. They decide to let the signal fire stop burning for the night, afraid to go into the woods to gather wood. Ralph dreams now not of the sweet ponies at his home in Devon, England, deeming them to be too savage. Wishing to escape from the savagery, as "the attraction of wildness had gone" he thinks now of "What could be safer than the bus center with its lamps and wheels?" Chapter 10, pg. 150. The solution and elimination of the primitive, of the beast and wildness in Ralph's mind, is technology and civilization. Nearby, as Ralph thinks of escaping this wildness, Samneric, usually so collected and speaking as one, are fighting one another, "locked in an embrace." Broken into two pieces, it is almost as if they are reflecting the inner battle in Ralph's mind between the savage and the civilized worlds.

Suddenly, the sleeping boys are attacked by Jack, Maurice and Roger. Piggy thinks that the hunters are really the beast descending upon them and shouts: "'It's come...It's real!'" Chapter 10, pg. 151 In the ensuing scuffle, Piggy's glasses are stolen. Assuming naively that the tribe has come for the conch, Ralph notices that it hasn't even been touched--the conch and assembly were part of Ralph's old world and have no value or worth in the new world Jack has created for the boys at Castle Rock. It is only the fire which they need for their rituals and pig roasting.

Piggy is now completely helpless in his blindness. Ralph, who has been relying on Piggy for advice and guidance, now sees his friend struck down, as powerless as himself. With this final strike, Jack has won the war, leaving Ralph and Piggy with nothing of value.

Topic Tracking: Intellectual 11
Topic Tracking: Government 12
Topic Tracking: Beast 10

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