Lord of the Flies By William Golding Summary and Analysis Chapter 8 - Gift for the Darkness

Another concept related to this knowledge of savagery is a twist on the idea of fun. From the beginning, Ralph's goal for the group was for everyone to have fun. Such a goal did not seem farfetched given that the boys were on a pristine tropical island, the type featured in the adventure stories they all had read. Once Jack defects and lures his hunters away, he also promises fun, the kind that comes with dressing up like savages and having adventurous hunts.

Although Jack may not realize the fun he is promising will turn into deadly cruelty, Simon knows that Jack holding a position of power can have only ill effects for the more vulnerable boys like Piggy, the littluns, and himself. Simon hears the Lord of the Flies say, "We're going to have fun on this island! So don't try it on . . . or else." Now the offer to have fun is a threat, with the Lord of the Flies warning Simon not to try stopping the consequences of Jack's new regime but to accept the savagery that will overtake the island.

Ralph responds to the defection of the hunters with increasing despair. Wishing he could think more like an adult, he turns to Piggy for advice and insight. Piggy keeps alive the fire when he has the "intellectual daring" to suggest maintaining a fire on the beach instead of on the mountain. During the small assembly held after rebuilding the fire, Piggy prompts Ralph when he forgets what he was going to say. By reminding him of rescue and thinking to move the fire, Piggy is fighting for his survival with his intellect just as Jack looks to conquer with physicality. In the end, Ralph will have to combine both physical abilities and brains to outrun Jack's tribe. For now, Ralph relies on Piggy for hope and for answers.

Earlier, Simon asked the boys a question so fundamental that they couldn't answer it: "What else is there to do?" In a way, the boys spend the rest of the book responding to this question but never in the way Simon wants them to. He sees the need to face their fears, to approach the beast on the mountain in daylight in order to understand its true identity and get on with the business of facing the beast within themselves. Instead, the others respond with various avoidance methods: Jack offering a libation, a head on a stake, Ralph moving the fire to the beach, Piggy advocating a pragmatic perseverance. Their responses are indicative of each boy's character: Jack focuses on the concrete action of a primitive offering, Ralph wants to keep the home fire burning, and Piggy remains devoted to logic and realism.

Glossary

prefect in some private schools, esp. in England, an older student with disciplinary authority.

rebuke to blame or scold in a sharp way; reprimand.

cracked [Informal] mentally unbalanced; crazy.

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