Lord of the Flies Chapter 11 Summary & Quotes

Instructor: Katherine Garner

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

This lesson provides a summary of chapter 11 of William Golding's classic 1954 novel Lord of the Flies, including several significant quotes from the chapter and a short quiz to test your comprehension.

Ralph Calls an Assembly

At the end of chapter 10, Jack and several of his tribe come to Ralph's camp and steal Piggy's glasses in order to make fire. He is furious that they did such a thing, saying that if they would have just asked, they would have let the boys take some fire on a torch, but they felt compelled to do something cruel and leave Piggy without sight instead.

Piggy urges Ralph to call an assembly, even though there are only four of the older boys left. He blows the conch. Sam, Eric and some of the littleuns join them. Ralph decides that they should go to Jack's camp and try to look as cleaned up and civilized as possible: wash their hair, clean their clothes, and look like they did before they arrived on the island. Eric reminds them that Jack's boys will have their faces painted, and Ralph responds, ''Well, we wont' be painted...because we aren't savages.'' He hopes that if they show up looking like that, they will remind Jack's group what it feels like and means to be part of a civilized society.

Confrontation with Jack's Tribe at Castle Rock

They head over to Jack's camp, which is at Castle Rock. They decide to bring their spears just in case. They walk over with Piggy in the rear, following the trace of the spears with his impaired vision. When they get there, they see that Castle Rock is surrounded by guards. Roger is stationed above them with a lever, throwing rocks at the boys as they approach but aiming to miss.

Ralph blows on his conch, hoping that it still has the power to draw Jack's tribe out from wherever they are. Jack and some hunters come from the jungle with a dead pig, showing that hunting and killing is still his priority.

Ralph and Jack confront each other directly; Ralph demands that Jack returns Piggy's glasses because it is the right thing to do. He repeats that ''You could have had fire whenever you wanted. But you didn't .You came sneaking up like a thief and stole Piggy's glasses!''

Ralph continues to try to appeal to reason and civility and the fact that they need to stay unified to keep a signal fire going in order to be rescued, but Jack is stubborn and does not seem concerned about being rescued, enjoying the power that he has. He orders some of his guards to tie up Sam and Eric. He and Ralph begin to fight physically. Ralph screams at Jack, ''You're a beast and a swine and a bloody, bloody thief!''

During this whole interaction, Piggy is fearfully hanging behind Ralph, pleading with him to protect him because he can barely see and is frightened. Ralph generally disregards him as he argues with Jack. Piggy speaks up a little louder, trying to reason with the group and remind that that rules, civilization, and order are better than chaos and violence, asking ''Which is better--to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?'' The boys ignore him, as has been the case for the most part throughout the whole story. Ralph joins him, asking, ''Which is better, law and rescue, or hunting and breaking things up?''

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