Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
Lord of the Flies Chapter 7 Summary
Shadows and Tall Trees
- The boys stop to rest and eat some fruit they’ve found.
- Almost immediately, some of the boys steal off to “do their business.”
- Ralph, by now quite dirty, wishes that he could take a bath. Oh, and cut his hair (still).
- But then he looks around at the other boys and realizes that he’s become used to the conditions of filthiness – it has become normal. He sighs, knowing that this isn’t really a good thing.
- Ralph stares out at the ocean – he’s now on the other side of the island, no longer shielded by the lagoon. This, of course, is hugely meaningful to him.
- Right about this time, Ralph realizes Simon is speaking right into his ear.
- Simon actually does say, “You’ll get back all right.”
- Ralph thinks Simon is batty and says so – yet he is still somehow comforted. Simon seems to have some knowledge of things that the other boys don’t. For a moment, they even smile at each other.
- But before you start feeling all comforted, notice that Simon says “you’ll get back all right.”
- Roger calls out that he’s found some fresh (steaming) pig poo.
- The boys start on up the mountain again as Ralph thinks fondly of home: his bedroom, books, his mother and father and “good-humored and friendly” feelings.
- Right about now, a huge boar (that’s a male pig with tusks) comes crashing out of the bushes.
- Ralph flings his spear, which sticks in the boar’s snout for about a second before falling out.
- Ralph proudly shouts that he hit the boar, and then decides that maybe hunting is a good thing after all.
- Jack takes off after the boar, which eventually gets away, but not before wounding Jack’s arm.
- And yet – the excitement doesn’t end there; the boys reenact the scene with some poor boy (Robert) voluntarily playing the boar.
- Things get a little out of hand as the boys “play” at jabbing Robert with their spears.
- They start the chant again: “Kill the pig! Cut his throat,” etc., etc.
- Ralph can’t help joining in (!) as they finish the game with Robert screaming in true terror as they pin him down.
- When it’s all over, Robert isn’t really hurt and Ralph says it was “just a game,” but even he knows that he is shamelessly lying to himself.
- Everyone (except Robert, we assume) wishes they could do it again.
- Jack playfully suggests they could use a littlun.
- By this time, the sun is starting to go down; the boys discuss whether to go on up on the mountain and risk facing the beast in the dark, or whether to go back to Piggy, who was left behind with the littluns.
- Finally, Simon goes off through the jungle to tell Piggy that they won’t be back until after dark.
- The rest of the boys head fearfully up the darkening mountain.
- As the group chickens out one by one, only Ralph, Jack, and Roger are left.
- Jack goes ahead and sees the “beast” (the parachute man) bowing and lifting in the wind. He can’t tell what it is and runs back to the other two.
- Then, bravely, the trio goes together to investigate.
- Ralph is so afraid he thinks he might pass out.
- They finally get a look at what they think is a giant ape sitting there, asleep, with his head between his knees.
- As the wind roars through the trees, the creature lifts his head, “holding toward them the ruin of a face.”
- For the second time, much running and screaming follows.
People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...