Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
Lord of the Flies Chapter 10 Summary
The Shell and the Glasses
- Piggy and Ralph try to keep the fire going and talk about what happened.
- (We're thinking they must have realized it was Simon sometime in between "Kill that thing!" and waking up the next morning.)
- Ralph shouts that it was murder and Piggy shrieks that it was not, it was just an accident.
- Samneric show up, and all four of them try to convince each other that they didn't really participate like the others had.
- The four of them continue to rationalize until they've decided that they never even attended the dance, that they had left early before anything bad happened.
- Denial: not just a river in Egypt.
- Now we're with Roger, who is climbing up Castle Rock. Someone calls for him to halt, and Roger isn't surprised as he thinks of people hiding from "the horrors" of the previous night.
- It's Robert; he and Roger talk about how Jack is a real chief.
- They look at a log that's been jammed under a huge rock. When Robert leans on the protruding end of the log, the rock groans. Roger thinks this is super-nifty.
- They then discuss the fact that Jack has tied up Wilfred (a character we haven't seen until now) and is going to beat him up for some reason.
- When they get back to the cave, Jack is sitting, naked from the waist up with his face painted in white and red. Wilfred, untied but "newly beaten," is crying.
- Jack—excuse us, "the chief"—announces that they'll hunt again tomorrow.
- He explains away the whole last-night's-murder thing by saying that the beast came disguised, and may come again.
- Oh, and they're still going to have to steal fire to roast the meat.
- Back at the shelter on the beach, Piggy yammers on about building a radio.
- Sam and Eric wonder if they'll be captured by "The Reds," but think that would be better than you-know-who.
- Ralph gets a little nutty. He can't remember why he wants to make a fire, he gives up on it for the night, and then he's dancing around as he thinks of a bus station and how wonderful it would be to go home.
- He is interrupted by shouts as Sam and Eric start fighting with each other.
- They've never acted like this before, and Piggy whispers desperately to Ralph that they've got to get out of this somehow before they go "barmy," or "bomb happy," as he puts it.
- Ralph pushes the "damp tendrils of hair out of his eyes" (there's that hair again) and suggests sarcastically to Piggy that he write a letter to his auntie to come rescue them.
- Well, sure, says Piggy—but he has no envelope and no stamp.
- Nighttime. There's definitely something moving outside—it must be the beast.
- (Um, that didn't work out so well last time, guys. Just sayin'.)
- Ralph and Piggy cling desperately to each other inside the shelter. Ralph, in a not-so-noble moment, prays that the beast will prefer littluns to him.
- Tension builds until something crashes into their shelter and pounces on them, beating them viciously. The shelter collapses.
- After the attackers leave, Samneric come in to see if they are all right.
- They aren't.
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