Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
Lord of the Flies Chapter 11 Summary
- Piggy wants to go to Jack and the others and insist that they give his glasses back, because it's the right and reasonable thing to do.
- Ralph thinks this is going to work just about as well as we do, but he agrees to try.
- The pair decides to bring the conch shell with them to give an impression of authority, and maybe clean themselves up a little, too.
- Ralph and Piggy argue a little about the smoking fire, and then they set off along the beach with Sam and Eric—leading Piggy, who's practically blind now.
- When they get there, the boys in Jack's group are "painted out of recognition."
- Ralph announces that he's calling an assembly and wishes he'd had the bright idea to tie his hair back like the "savages."
- Roger throws a small stone at Sam and Eric, and then Jack and Ralph argue about Piggy's glasses.
- Piggy screams, afraid to be left by himself when he can't see.
- This is going well. Not.
- "'You pinched Piggy's specs,' said Ralph, breathlessly. 'You've got to give them back.'"
- Jack is not convinced.
- Once Ralph calls Jack a dirty thief, the boys begin to fight, swinging at each other with their spears.
- But Golding is careful to tell us that they use their spears "as sabers," not jabbing at each other with the "lethal points," possibly because everyone is still a little bit traumatized over Simon's death.
- Piggy tries to defuse the sitch by telling Ralph to remember what they came for—the fire, the specs.
- And then Ralph says something interesting: he tells Jack, "You aren't playing the game—" and then he cuts himself off.
- He sure isn't. Jack's next move is to tell the savages to tie up Sam and Eric.
- There is some hesitation as everyone in the crowd thinks (roughly speaking): "Seriously?"
- Seriously. The twins get tied up and Jack revels in his ability to boss the others around.
- As the fighting between Jack and Ralph worsens, Piggy yells at them to let him speak and holds up the conch.
- Surprisingly, everyone quiets down.
- Piggy tries to reason with them, telling them to cut out all this painted savage nonsense. He suggests that law and rescue are better than hunting and breaking things up.
- Jack's tribe isn't convinced.
- Remember that lever catapult from Chapter 6? High above them on the cliff, Roger leans on the lever "with a sense of delirious abandonment."
- Piggy is still holding the conch when the boulder strikes him. The conch shatters into thousands of pieces, and Piggy falls forty feet toward the sea.
- He lands on the rocks below, the contents of his skull oozing out.
- We are told that his body twitches a bit, "like a pig's after it has been killed."
- The boys watch in horror as the waves suck Piggy's body into the sea.
- Apparently, this is the sign Jack needed: he screams that he really is chief now because the conch is gone, and then throws his spear at Ralph.
- Jabbed in the ribs, Ralph turns and runs, with the savages (ineffectively) hurling spears after them.
- Jack returns to home base, standing with Roger in front of Sam and Eric and demanding they join his tribe.
- There's an interesting Jack-Roger moment here; Roger edges past Jack, "only just avoiding pushing him with his shoulder." Jack shouts and pokes at the twins, but we end the chapter with Roger advancing towards them menacingly—"wielding a nameless authority."
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