In chapter 9, the Lord of the Flies
continues to speak to Simon, threatening him using frightening voices from his
past and warning him that the other boys will do him. Simon faints, and when he
wakes up, he climbs the mountain and realizes that the beast is actually that
dead parachutist. He knows he needs to let the others know what’s going on.
Meanwhile, clouds are gathering on the island; a storm is coming.
Piggy and Ralph debate about going to the feast. Piggy wants meat, but he also wants to make nothing bad happens. Piggy and Ralph decide to go
to the feast. When they do, they make a bit of an awkward entrance but are
welcomed. The other boys are eating and laughing. Jack’s face is painted like a
chief, and sitting on a log. Jack orders that Piggy and Ralph be
given meat, and after everyone finishes, he asks who’s going to join his tribe, reminding them that he can
get them food and protection. Ralph again protests that he’s the chief, and again reminds
them about fire. They argue about the relevance of the
conch, and we see that the rules are once again being stretched and challenged. When
Jack asks again who will join, a storm begins. A dance starts, wild, out of
control—a chant of “Kill the Beast.” Everyone is whipped into a frenzy.
Suddenly, Simon crawls out of the forest exhausted, delirious, trying to tell the
other boys about the parachutist, but they don’t hear him. Maybe they don’t
recognize him, but they beat on him and kill him with
their bare hands and teeth, biting and striking. The storm blows the dead
parachutist’s body onto the beach, and the boys run from it. Simon’s body is washed
out to sea. Now in this chapter, the storm coming in
and the weather intensifying is used to heighten the mood of the horror and
tragedy that’s about to befall the boys. We see Simon, innocent, carrying
information, enlightenment, just trying to let the others know what’s going on, but
at this point, the scales have tipped more towards savagery than civilization—
more towards fear than order, and they beat him to death,
fulfilling a prophecy that the Lord of the Flies initially laid out—that the
boys were gonna have fun and Simon was getting in their way.
The rain washing away the parachutist and Simon reminds readers of the
destructive force of human savagery. It’s also important to note here that the
fire and the feast that Jack presents is being used to meet the base needs of all
the children. We’re not thinking about the future anymore,
only of the immediate present. And this wild behavior stems directly from that.
There’s been a dramatic change now. We’ve gone over an edge. We’ve crossed the line.
And the conch, the rules, and Ralph’s leadership are no longer