Lord of the Flies Chapter 8 Summary & Quotes

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  • 0:04 Jack Leaves the Group
  • 2:10 Jack Leads a New Group
  • 3:19 The Lord of the Flies
  • 4:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Katherine Garner

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

This lesson contains a summary of Chapter 8 of William Golding's classic 1954 novel ''Lord of the Flies,'' as well as some of the most significant quotes from the chapter.

Jack Leaves the Group

Chapter 7 ended with Ralph, Jack, and Roger running down the mountain at night in terror of seeing something that they believe is 'the beast' that everyone has been afraid of. At the beginning of chapter 8, Ralph and Jack confront Piggy at dawn with the news that they had seen the beast at the top of the mountain the night before.

Ralph and Piggy discuss what to do while Jack remains somewhat distant. Ralph admits to Piggy that none of the boys, even Jack and his hunters, would be capable of handling the beast because they are young, small, and only have sticks for weapons.

Jack is furious that Ralph insulted his and his hunters' capability and he runs off, calling a group meeting with the conch. When everyone gathers, Jack tells them that they saw the beast and proceeds to try to turn everyone against Ralph by telling them that he is a poor chief, that he is becoming more like Piggy, and that he was too afraid to go up the mountain to find the beast. He tries to persuade the group to vote to get rid of Ralph as chief, but no one does.

Jack announces that he is going to leave the group and live on his own. He disappears into the woods. Ralph reasons that he will probably come back, while Piggy insists that they didn't need him anyway.

Ralph is nervous about the fire because the beast is very close to where they had been building their signal fire; now no one will go up there to tend it. Piggy says that they could build a new fire on the shore. Now that Jack has left the group, Piggy is more confident and proud of himself for making contributions to the group.

After Piggy, Ralph, and several of the other boys finish building a fire, they notice that several of the older boys are no longer with them. They realize that they must have slipped into the woods while they were working, probably to join Jack. Piggy repeats that they can do without Jack and anyone who wants to join him. To prove his point, he gathers some ripe fruit to provide a feast for Ralph, Sam, Eric, and himself. They wonder where Simon went, hoping that he did not decide to climb the mountain by himself. Piggy says that he may have, noting that ''he's cracked.''

Meanwhile, we find out that Simon has gone to his secret clearing in the middle of the woods. It's extremely hot and humid, but he continues to sit quietly in the middle of the clearing.

Jack Leads a New Group

At the same time, Jack is organizing his small group of followers. He's thrilled that he is in control and is eager to become his idea of a leader. He instructs the boys to forget about the beast and to focus on hunting, but if they do kill something, they should leave a little bit for the beast as a peace offering.

Soon the boys come across a female pig and her piglets. They throw their spears and hit several of the piglets and the mother but do not kill any of them. They chase after the sow as she staggers through the woods. Her wounds grow deeper, and she trails blood behind her. The sow eventually falls to the ground, and the boys all attack her at once. Jack is the one to slit her throat, and her blood covers his hands.

He instructs them to cook the pig, but the boys don't know how they will start a fire because, before separating from the group, they had been using a lens from Piggy's glasses to start fires. Jack tells them to invite the boys from Ralph's group to join them for a feast and to try to steal some of their fire while they're at it.

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