A group of British Boys, Marooned on an Island A group of British school-boys find themselves marooned on an island (perhaps in the Pacific Ocean). They were being transported by an aircraft from England to some safer country on account of a nuclear war which had broken out in Europe. When, on the way, the aircraft caught fire the pilot released the detachable passenger-tube carrying the school-boys. The passenger-tube crash-landed on this island, and most of the boys managed to come out of it although some were trapped in the passenger-tube which was soon carried away by the waves into the open sea and lost.
At first the boys who have landed on the island get scattered but soon they are able to get together when one of the boys by the name Ralph, having discovered a conch-shell, happens to blow it. Ralph now suggests that the boys should have a chief to guide them and to direct their activities. A boy called Jack, who is the leader of a group of choir-boys, says that he should be accepted as the chief because he is chapter-chorister and head boy and because he can sing C sharp.
But Ralph says that the chief should be chosen by votes. As the majority of the boys are in favour of Ralph, Ralph declares himself as the duly elected chief. Ralph now frames certain rules regarding the holding of meetings of the boys and about the conduct of these meetings. He says that, if anyone wishes to address the assembly at any meeting, he should ask for the conch and should hold the conch in his hands. Ralph Elected as the Chief. His Constructive Suggestion A conflict now begins between Ralph and Jack.
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Ralph had allowed Jack to continue as the leader of his choir-boys. Jack had the designated his choir-boys as the “hunters”. Having seen pigs on the island, Jack makes plans to hunt down and kill them in order to obtain meat for boys who feel fed up with the fruit which they have to eat everyday to keep themselves alive and who are craving for meat. Jack is a boy of an adventurous spirit, and the desire to hunt pigs becomes an obsession with him. Jack now begins to hate Ralphs because Ralph’s priorities are different from
Jack’s. Ralph insists on the maintenance of the fire and the smoke, while Jack is wholly occupied with the hunting of pigs. Jack, having proved quite successful in his hunting expeditions, has won the support of the majority of the big boys who have come to be known as the “Biguns”. Jack therefore becomes increasingly defiant towards Ralph. Ralph now develops a liking for piggy who becomes an ardent supporter of Ralph. Jack hates Piggy even more than he hates Ralph. A beast on the Mountain-Top
One morning Sam and Eric, who are twins and who had been put on duty one night to keep the fire burning, come in a state of deep perturbation from the mountain-top and tell Ralph and the others that they have seen a beast on the mountain-top and that the beast had tried to chase them in order to seize them. Ralph, Displaced By Jack. Simon’s Hallucination In the course of one such expedition, Jack offers the head of a slain pig as a gift to the beast in the hope that would not harm him and his hunters.
Simon at this time is at his usual hunt in the forest and witnesses the action of Jack and his hunters and his hunters in offering a gift to the beast. Simon, Killed by Jack’s Hunters Jack has now begun to adopt the primitive method of tribal leaders. He refers to his followers as his “tribe” and he keeps his face painted all the time with red clay, white clay, and charcoal, asking his followers also to paint their faces in the same way. He has also begun to encourage mock-hunts in the course of which the boys dance and sing and chant certain words relating to their hunting operations and their killing of pigs.
Jack and his followers now become more and more callous, with the result that, in the course of one mock-hunt, Simon is killed by the hunters. The hunters, in their frenzied excitement, had taken Simon for the beast and had pounced upon him. Jack does not experience the least regret over Simon’s death. Later, Jack accompanied by a couple of his supporters, raids Ralphs camp and takes away Piggy’s spectacles because he and his supporters need the spectacles in order to light a fire every time they want to roast pig-meat.
Jack had now become quite oblivious of the to rescued from island ; but Ralph and Piggy are filling constantly worried as to whether any rescue will come, especially now when the cannot light a fire a fire and keep it burning as a distress-signal to the sailors of a passing ship. Piggy, killed. Ralph’s Life in Danger Piggy feels distraught because, without his spectacles he cannot see anything. He therefore says that he would go to Jack and demand the return of his spectacles. Ralphs thereupon calls jack “a swine” and “a bloody thief”.
There is an exchange of blows between of blows between Ralphs and Jack. Then Piggy speaks and, addressing Jack’s savages, urges them to follow a sensible course of action instead of living like primitive savages. At this point Roger, who has become as savage as Jack, releases a rock from above in order to kill piggy. The Savages’ Pursuit of Ralph. Ralph, saved Ralph hides himself in the forest. But a little later he sees the twins standing guard at the entrance to Jack den. In a state of panic he runs out of the forest towards the beach. He stumbles and falls down on the sand.
Thinking that now there is no hope for him, he cries for mercy. On looking up, however, he sees a British naval officer in full uniform standing close to him. Thus Ralph’s life has been saved. The officer says that he would take all the boys home. Ralph now bursts into tears. His whole body is shaken by spasms of grief. He weeps at “the loss of innocence”, at “the darkness of man’s heart”, and at the thought of the death of Piggy who was his true friend. Rescue had come, but two noble-minded and innocent boys have been killed in account of the brutality of jack.
Evil had reigned supreme on the island for some time. The Allegorical Significance of the Story Golding wanted to demonstrate that the evil instincts in a human being would rise to the surface and assert themselves as soon as that human being has been liberated from the restraints of civilized. The majority of people in this world are inherently evil. Evil is ineradicable, and it asserts itself as soon as it finds a favourable climate. The favourable climate consists in the removal of the fear of law and in the removal of all those restraints which civilized life imposes upon human beings.
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