Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
Lord of the Flies Chapter 4 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
"We spread round. I crept, on hands and knees. The spears fell out because they hadn't barbs on. The pig ran away and made an awful noise—"
"It turned back and ran into the circle, bleeding—"
All the boys were talking at once, relieved and excited.
Then Maurice pretended to be the pig and ran squealing into the center, and the hunters, circling still, pretended to beat him. As they danced, they sang.
"Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Bash her in."
Ralph watched them, envious and resentful. (4.197-206)
We start off with boys killing pigs, then boys pretending to kill boys who are pretending to be pigs, and finally Jack hunting down Ralph in pretend—maybe—hopes of impaling his head on a stick. The boys get eased into murder, just like we get eased into reading about it. And, just maybe, that's how we get ourselves involved in bloody wars.
There was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which [Roger] dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. (4.14)
The boys still feel the pull of their previous, ordered, civilized life in England. At least for now.
Henry was a bit of a leader this afternoon, because the other two were Percival and Johnny, the smallest boys on the island […].
Roger and Maurice came out of the forest […]. Roger led the way straight through the [sand] castles, kicking them over, burying the flowers, scattering the chosen stones. Maurice followed, laughing, and added to the destruction. (4.7-8)
Roger is a schoolyard bully whose power comes from brute force. In the movies, the smart scrappy kids always end up beating the bully in the end. But does that happen in real life? Without rules to keep him in check, he's going to rise to the top. Although, note that he never makes it all the way to the top—he seems to be second in command. If the naval officer hadn't shown up, would he have eventually overthrown Jack?