Study Guide

Lord of the Flies by William Golding: Chapter 9 Summary

By William Golding

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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.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding: Chapter 9 Summary Study Group

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