From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

  

by William Golding

Lord of the Flies Chapter 9 Summary

A View to a Death

  • Now it's evening. The unconscious Simon gets a bloody nose.
  • When he wakes, The Lord of the Flies is still hanging on his stick "like a black ball."
  • Simon wakes and asks (as he did before): "What else is there to do?"
  • We know what that means.
  • Covered in dried blood, Simon staggers out of his hiding place and begins making his way up the mountain, still intending to face the beast like a man. Or, like a young boy who just happens to be very brave and wise.
  • When he gets to the top, he of course sees that the beast is just a dead body on a parachute, all tangled up in the rocks.
  • Simon pukes (the dead body is a rather hideous and smelly sight) and then frees the parachute line from the rocks.
  • He staggers downward to tell everyone that the "beast" is harmless, almost collapsing with each step.
  • Meanwhile, Ralph and Piggy join everyone at Jack's party, "to make sure nothing happens."
  • When they get to the party, they see that everyone is having a grand old time. Jack is sitting on a great log, "painted and garlanded" like an idol.
  • He graciously offers Piggy and Ralph some food, which they take, and then bosses everyone to get him a drink and tell him he's the fairest one of all and so forth.
  • After everyone eats, Jack demands to know who is going to join his tribe. His seriousness and bossiness is a real downer, and the party stops feeling like a party.
  • In response, Ralph says he's the chief, but his voice trembles as he speaks and no one really believes him.
  • There's some rather ominous thunder.
  • Ralph offers to blow the conch and call an assembly, but Jack says no one will hear it.
  • Everyone knows Jack is right about this.
  • Piggy suggests quietly to Ralph that this would probably be a good time for them to get the heck out of there.
  • Lightning flashes and they all decide to (what else) reenact the pig's death scene for the umpteenth time.
  • Only this time, instead of chanting about the pig, they shout: "Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!"
  • As they dance wildly, something crawls toward them from the forest and stumbles into the circle of boys.
  • It is Simon, who cries out something about a "dead man on a hill."
  • The boys, who are in some kind of a fury of wild chanting and blood lust, aren't really in a listening kind of mood. In fact, they decide that Simon is the beast.
  • Pouncing on him, they scream, strike, bite, and tear. "There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws."
  • Rain pours down, suddenly, and the boys straggle away, leaving the pitiful heap that is Simon lying in the dirt, his blood "staining the sand."
  • As the wind blows, it picks up the other "beast" (the dead man in the parachute) and carries him out to sea—the boys "rush screaming into the darkness."
  • In case you can't tell, this is an amazing paragraph—you should take a look at it.
  • Eventually the rain stops, and as the water rises under the moon, "Simon's dead body [moves] out toward the open sea."
  • Yep, they've actually killed him—even Ralph and Piggy helped.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement