Lord of the Flies Chapter 10 Summary & Quotes

Instructor: Katherine Garner

Katie teaches middle school English/Language Arts and has a master's degree in Secondary English Education

In this lesson you will find a summary of chapter 10 of William Golding's classic 1954 novel 'Lord of the Flies,' as well as several significant quotes from the chapter and a short multiple choice quiz to test your comprehension.

Ralph and Piggy

Chapter 10 of Lord of the Flies opens with Ralph and Piggy waking up the morning after the gruesome events of the night before and talking on the shore. They are sore, bruised, and ashamed about what happened, namely, the fact that Simon is dead. The two boys react to this very differently.

Ralph is a little more honest with himself and Piggy about it; in shock, he says, ''Simon…It was murder.'' He realizes that what they did was unquestioningly wrong and heinous. He is also worried about his behavior and participation in the tribal dance and murder of Simon because he knows that that behavior is very unlike him; he knows that he was under the influence of the group's wild energy and is disturbed that it affected him so strongly. He tries to describe it to Piggy when he says, ''I wasn't scared…I was--I don't know what I was.''

Piggy, on the other hand, copes with Simon's death in a very different and rather surprising way. He wants Ralph and himself to believe that it was an accident, that the two of them had very little part in it, and that Simon was partially to blame for it. Piggy tells Ralph, ''He hadn't no business crawling like that out of the dark. He was batty. He was asking for it'' and ''We was on the outside. We never done nothing, we never seen nothing.'' He is working very hard to fool the both of them into thinking that those things are true because otherwise it would be very difficult to live with themselves and the guilt they would feel.

Ralph and Piggy feel very alone because after last night, most of the bigger boys decided to join Jack's tribe. The only ones still left in Ralph and Piggy's group are Sam and Eric and the littleuns. Ralph realizes that the boys are capable of horrible things when acting together without thinking and he tells Piggy, ''I'm frightened. Of us. I want to go home. Oh God, I want to go home.''

Jack's Tribe

Meanwhile, we see that Jack is ruling his tribe as tyrannically, or brutally, as one might expect. He barks orders to those around him and commands that one of the boys be tied up and beaten. He is bare-chested and adorned with face paint. He continues to focus primarily on hunting, telling the boys once again to try to steal fire from Ralph's camp.

Jack and his group have an entirely different perspective on the murder of Simon the night before. They are still behaving as if what they killed was really the beast, yet Jack warns them that the beast might come back in different disguises so they should still be careful and leave it an offering of the pig head on a stick.

As the narrator describes this scene of Jack and his tribe, he does not use their names and treats them as if they are totally different people, completely unfamiliar from how they were at the beginning of the story, and more animal-like. An example of this is when the narrator describes Jack's discussion about hunting and finding fire: 'A savage raised his hand and the chief turned a bleak, painted face toward him.' If this same scene happened with Ralph's group, which is characterized as more rational and humane, the author probably would have used the boys' actual names rather than 'savage' and 'the chief.'

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