Lord of the Flies

The final line dividing civilization from barbarism is crossed in chapter nine. Describe this even and explain it's implications.

The final line dividing civilization from barbarism is crossed in chapter nine. Describe this even and explain it's implications.

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When Ralph and Piggy arrive at Jack's camp, they find the other boys sitting in a group together, laughing and eating the roasted sow. Jack, now a leader, sits on a great log, painted and garlanded as an idol. When he sees Ralph and Piggy, he orders the other boys to give them something to eat, then orders another boy to bring him a drink. Jack asks all of the boys who among them will join his tribe, for he gave them food and demonstrated that his hunters will protect them. Ralph is distressed to see most of them agree to join Jack's tribe. Attempting to convince his boys otherwise, Ralph provokes yet another argument with Jack, and the two yell at each other about who deserves to be chief. Feeling that he is losing ground, Ralph appeals to his symbol of authority, the conch shell. Jack, however, does not acknowledge the conch's significance and tells Ralph that it does not count on his side of the island.

Disturbed by the hostile turn of events, Piggy urges Ralph to leave Jack's camp before there is serious trouble. It starts to rain. Ralph warns the group that a storm is coming and points out that Jack's tribe is unprepared for such disasters, since they do not even have any shelters. The littluns become frightened, and Jack tries to reassure them by ordering his group to perform its ritual pig hunting dance. The boys begin dancing and chanting wildly, and they are soon consumed by frenzy. The storm begins, and a figure emerges suddenly from the forest. It is Simon, running to tell the others about the dead parachutist. Caught up in the madness of the dance, however, they do not recognize him. As Simon cries out about the dead body on the mountain, the boys rush after him with violent malice. They fall on Simon, striking him repeatedly until he is dead.

Simon's murder represents the culmination of the violent tendencies prevalent among Jack's band of hunters, who finally move from brutality against animals to brutality against each other. The change is subtle: they murder Simon out of instinct, descending on him before they realize that he proves no danger to them. Nevertheless, this is yet another line that the boys cross on their devolution into inhuman savagery and another step toward engaging in complete and premeditated violence against one another. Simon's murder reveals the essential brutality of the human spirit. On both metaphoric and structural levels, Golding casts Simon as a martyr, a figure whose death is instructive at least to the reader.