the lord of the flies novel
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When Ralph follows the hunters, he observes the other side of the island, which is opposite to the one on which the boys have settled, and the view is utterly different. The horizon is a hard, clipped blue, and the ocean crashes against the rocks. He compares the ocean to a thick wall, an impermeable barrier preventing the boys' escape.
Also in Chapter Seven, we see that nature is of crucial significance. As the boys move farther from the camp into the unexplored recesses of the forest and mountain areas, they contend with the powerful forces of the natural world, which is untamed and indifferent to the boys' concerns. The emphasis on the indifference of nature in this chapter is significant in several ways. First, it suggests the continuing dehumanization of the boys as they remain cut off from the larger world and without successful social organization. Their progress from the semi-humanized beach, with its shelters and sandcastles, to the wild forest and mountain areas, mirrors their descent into complete savagery. The chapter's beginning, in which Ralph compares the ocean to an impenetrable wall, also suggests the extent to which nature remains the boys' most powerful antagonist. Ralph's pessimistic observations foreshadow the following chapters, in which Simon discovers that the "beast" is actually a dead body, whose presence on the island can be explained rationally. It was the darkness of the night that prevented the boys from recognizing the true nature of the creature of the mountaintop. Throughout the novel, the natural world frustrates and threatens the boys' understanding of their situation and their relationships with one another. Ralph's sense of defeat in the face of the ocean in this chapter thus indicates that he is beginning to register the power of nature and the part it plays in their struggle for rescue and self-government.