Lord of the Flies Chapter 7 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 7 of William Golding's classic 1954 novel, ''Lord of the Flies'', as well as some of the significant quotes from the chapter and a short quiz to test your comprehension.

Ralph Reflects on His Changed Life

The chapter picks up with Ralph, Jack, and a group of the older boys heading back towards the camp after an unsuccessful search for the beast that Sam and Eric thought they saw. As they walk, Ralph thinks to himself that he would like to wash his clothes, cut his hair, and brush his teeth. He observes the other boys and how generally dirty and ragged they'd become since they'd arrived on the island.

Ralph gazes at the sea; they are on the opposite side of the island and the view shows the wide expanse of the open sea rather than the calmer, more sheltered lagoon. This view makes Ralph feel like their chances of getting rescued are bleaker.

Simon interrupts Ralph's brooding. As if he can read his thoughts he says, ''You'll get back to where you came from.'' Ralph is doubtful, but appreciates Simon's encouraging words.

A Hunting Trip Gone Wrong

All of a sudden, Roger calls the rest of the boys, showing them fresh pig droppings. Jack tells Ralph they still need food even if they are hunting the beast and Ralph agrees they can take a break to hunt the pig. As they follow the pig run, Ralph goes back to his thoughts.

In the previous chapter, Ralph had a dream about his old life, a happy dream about feeding sugar to horses. Now, he thinks again about a happy period in his life, just before he was sent away to school and ''mummy had still been with them and daddy had come everyday,'' indicating that his family became separated after this time. He longingly remembers wild ponies, watching snow fall, a warm bed, and a lot of books.

Ralph's daydream is interrupted by the boys chasing a large, tusked boar. He throws his stick at it and hits his snout, but the boar escapes.

Ralph and the boys circle around another boy, Robert, and pretend that they are hunting him like a pig. The line between fantasy and reality blurs and the boys actually begin beating him and chanting their hunting battle cry: ''Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!'' Even Ralph feels the bloodthirsty allure, or draw, of hunting that Jack has been addicted to. Robert begins to cry fearfully.

The boys stop before they go too far, Jack saying, ''that was a good game,'' but some of them feel uneasy about how quickly their game had escalated.

A Foolish Quest

Ralph reminds the boys that they need to look for the beast. Jack says they should go search up the mountain. The other boys suggest they should go back to Piggy and the little boys and try again in the morning because it is late and too dark to see anything; it is clear that they are afraid.

Jack continues to challenge everyone to go up the mountain, knowing that they are afraid and wanting to make them feel bad. He says he'll go by himself if no one else will go.

After a lot of taunting, culminating with Jack saying, ''I'm going up the mountain to look for the beast--now. Coming?'' Ralph agrees to go with Jack, but he knows it is foolish: if they do find a beast, what are two boys going to do in the dark with only sticks for weapons? Eventually Roger agrees to go with them and Simon returns to the camp to tell Piggy that the group will not return that night.

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