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Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies


by William Golding

Lord of the Flies Chapter 12 Quotes

How we cite the quotes:

Quote 1

Ralph launched himself like a cat; stabbed, snarling, with the spear, and the savage doubled up. (12.165)

Who's savage now? When his life's at stake, Ralph can be as primitive as anyone else—like all of us. Some people just take longer to get there than others.

Quote 2

On the beach behind him was a cutter, her bows hauled up and held by two ratings. In the stern-sheets another rating held a sub-machine gun. (12.211)

Don't think you're getting off blame-free, dear reader. The boys may have lost their innocence on the island, but we've all lost our innocence in the real world.


Quote 3

The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy. (12.248)

Ralph may be weeping like a kid, but he's not a child any longer. It's not that he's lost his innocence, exactly; it's more like he's lost the idea that anyone is innocent. Pretty rough stuff. Also, check out the way this passage pushes together totally different language. We go from the specific and ugly "filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose" to "the darkness of man's heart," and from the uplifting, noble language of "true, wise friend" to … Piggy. What's that juxtaposition all about?

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