Cut to the next morning; the boys tell Piggy about the beast.
Ralph pushes back his mop of hair (Ralph’s hair seems to have taken on a life of its own) and says that now they are beaten; if everyone is too scared to go to the top of the mountain, they can’t keep the signal fire going.
Jack, trying to take control of the situation, calls an assembly by blowing the conch.
He tells the group about the beast and then asks who thinks Ralph shouldn’t be chief anymore.
His argument is that Ralph shouldn’t be chief because 1) he likes Piggy, 2) he doesn’t hunt, and 3) he was scared on the mountain.
When no one is willing to impeach Ralph, Jack feels humiliated and declares something along the lines of a “Fine, I quit” statement. Having seceded from the union, Jack storms off, adding that Ralph has to catch his own pigs from now on.
BUT, before his grand exit, Jack invites anyone who wants to come with him.
No one knows quite what to do, but Ralph says Jack will come back once it gets dark.
Piggy is not happy with this beast situation, as it seems he can no longer convince himself it’s all been imagined.
Simon says that they should go up the mountain and face the beast, because “What else is there to do?”
No one agrees with Simon.
Piggy finally comes up with the brilliant idea that they could build a new signal fire down by the beach instead of depending on the one up on the mountain.
The boys do so. Piggy wants to run experiments to see which of the green leaves make the most smoke when they burn.
After they get it going, Piggy and Ralph look around and realize that many of the biguns – Maurice, Bill, and Roger and Robert – have disappeared. They didn’t help build the fire.
The only ones left besides Piggy and Ralph are “Samneric” and Simon.
No, wait, Simon seems to be gone, too. They wonder if he’s climbed up the mountain by himself.
Piggy declares Simon to be “cracked,” which means “crazy.”
Cut to Simon. He has once again gone into his little meditation spot in the jungle, to sit behind the great woven mat of creepers.
Simon is very thirsty, but he just stays there, hidden in his cave of vines.
Meanwhile, far off along the beach, Jack and his group of hunters discuss how they will kill a pig and have a feast.
They decide that if they leave part of the pig for the beast, the beast won’t bother them (kind of like the offerings people used to do, back in the day, to appease the gods).
Conveniently, they find a bunch of sleeping pigs. They set their sights on the biggest, fattest, mother pig (who is adorably nursing a row of piglets).
What follows is a bloody and horrific scene in which the boys drive their knives into this screaming pig.
The boys stare at the dead mother pig and, quite possibly to relieve personal disgust, begin to laugh and rub her blood over their faces (!).
“Right up her ass,” says one of the boys (referring to where he put his spear) and they act out the whole thing all over again.
The boys realize that, in order to cook the pig, they are going to need fire, which they don’t have without Piggy’s glasses. So they decide to steal fire from Ralph’s group later on.
Jack tells Roger to “sharpen a stick at both ends.” Then he bends over the pig with his knife and cuts off her head.
They ram a pointed stick into the crack of a rock and jam the pig’s severed head onto the other end. The head hangs there, “a little blood dribbling down the stick.”
They leave the head there as a gift for the beast and carry off the remains of the pig, running away from the sight of that impaled head as fast as they can.
Now get ready for some heavy, thought-provoking, killer lines in the next ten pages or so. We suggest you go read those ten pages and then come back here when you’re done. Or get immersed and don’t come back until you finish the book.
Simon is still hiding behind his mat of creepers, where, unbeknownst to the other boys, he has been watching them slaughter the pig. He now stares at the head’s half-closed eyes, which assure him that “everything [is] a bad business.”
Simon responds – out loud – that he already knows that.
We start off the scene with the head “seeming” to say things to Simon.
Simon stares at the black blob of bloody guts that the boys have piled on the ground. It is covered with buzzing flies.
The flies start gathering on Simon’s hot, sweaty face, but he does nothing.
As the flies crawl over him, Simon stares at the impaled head, the “Lord of the Flies,” he thinks.
He watches it “grinning” back at him, and there’s an element of hallucination in the way Simon is viewing the scene.
“In Simon’s right temple, a pulse [begins] to beat on the brain.” This reminds us of Simon’s fainting, way back at the beginning of the text. It also makes us very nervous for Simon.
That’s where we leave Simon, as we return to Piggy and Ralph, who are lying on the sand, gazing at the fire.
Samneric have wandered off.
Simon is gone. They realize it is going to rain and are unsure of how to keep a fire going, especially with so few people now.
Ralph asks Piggy what’s wrong – what makes things “break up as they do.”
Piggy thinks it’s Jack, and he’s also honored that Ralph is talking to him like an equal.
The two of them lie there contemplating how not to die and hopefully get off the island, too, when “demoniac figures with faces of white and red and green [rush] out howling.”
The demons are, of course, only Jack, Maurice, and Robert with painted faces. They run up to the fire and grab some of the burning sticks.
Jack announces that they are having a pig roast, and that anyone can come eat with them who wants to.
Two of the “savages” say, “The chief has spoken,” (sounds like Jack is declaring himself the new chief) and then they all run off again.
Ralph notes that they all look like they’re having fun, and wouldn’t it be nice to join them…
But then he snaps back, reminding everyone that they must tend the fire, because…because…
Piggy has to remind him that the fire is for rescue. It seems like Ralph is losing his grounding here.
Samneric and Bill add to the discussion: as much as they like Ralph and all, they would really prefer eating some food to starving to death. They all head off to the feast.
Ralph suggests that they could hunt their own pig, but no one seems interested. He accepts momentary defeat.
We’re back to Simon again.
The Lord of the Flies now tells Simon, with dialogue quotes and everything, that he’s an “ignorant, silly little boy.”
The Lord of the Flies asks if Simon is afraid of him, and Simon shakes.
The poor guy is having a hard time, as evidenced by the shaking. His tongue is swollen, and he’s now clearly hallucinating that he’s having a conversation with the impaled pig’s head (The Lord of the Flies).
The pig’s head says there’s no one there to help poor Simon. “Only me,” the pig’s head says. “And I’m the Beast.”
The Lord of the Flies continues; he scoffs at the notion that the beast was something that you could hunt and kill. He says that he’s part of Simon, that he’s close, and that he’s the reason “why things are what they are” (the answer to Ralph’s question of several paragraphs ago).
Simon feels that “one of his times is coming on” (it sounds to us like he’s about to have a seizure).
The pig threatens that “we are going to have fun on this island,” and that everyone – and here he lists off the names of the boys – are going to “do” Simon. This is rather threatening.
As the Lord of the Flies continues to talk, Simon feels that he’s falling into a “vast mouth.” He is consumed by blackness and loses consciousness.