Lord of the Flies Chapter 9 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 9 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.

Simon and the Beast

At the end of chapter 8, Simon was alone in the jungle when he saw the head of the pig Jack and his hunters killed mounted on a stick. This horrifying image was made worse because of the flies that swarmed around it. Simon became delirious with fear and because of the heat; it had been becoming increasingly hot and humid because it was about to storm. The chapter ended with Simon believing that the pig head was talking to him and then collapsing, unconscious.

When Simon wakes up at the beginning of chapter 9, he sees that it is even more humid and that the sky is darkening because of the impending storm. He notices that his nose is bleeding. He heads back in the direction of the boys' camp but on the way he sees the dead soldier with the parachute on the rocks at the top of the mountain. As he watches the wind blow into the parachute, he realizes that this is what everyone had mistaken for a beast.

The corpse sickens him so that he vomits; when he is finished, he releases the figure and the parachute from the rocks so that it falls to the ground. Simon is eager to tell the boys of their mistake, that their fear had been founded on an illusion.

Jack Hosts a Feast

At the end of chapter 8, Jack and his hunters killed a pig and invited the boys from Ralph's group to take part in a feast. Lured in by the idea of meat and against Ralph's and Piggy's judgement, many of the boys went along with Jack. Ralph and Piggy decide to join so that they can try to keep an eye on things in case they get out of hand, as situations with Jack in charge often do.

When they get there, they see Jack ordering everyone around, acting as if he is a king. Everyone eats their fill of meat from the roasted pig.

Meanwhile, clouds have been rolling in closer and closer, threatening to storm. Ralph asks Jack what he plans to do for shelter when it starts raining; it had taken hours for Ralph and his group to build their shelters when they first arrived on the island and now Jack and his hunters have defected, or left, the group.

Jack is not at all concerned about shelters; he is caught up in the energy of hunting, roasting, and eating the meat. He commands his group to do their tribal hunting dance and chant, the same chant they have performed several times already throughout the book: ''Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!'' Just as several other times in the story when Jack leads the group, the boys get caught up in a frenzy where they lose their rationality and begin to act wildly and as one big unit, as if they were all part of the same wild animal.

The narrator describes the chanting scene as, ''The chant lost its first superficial excitement and began to beat like a steady pulse...there was the throb and stamp of a single organism.'' This quote shows easily that the boys get carried away and blinded by groupthink, or the idea of everyone in a group acting as one, which can be very dangerous.

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