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Chapter 11

The color-coded boxes under "Analysis & Themes" below make it easy to track the themes throughout the work. Each color corresponds to one of the themes explained in the Themes section of this LitChart.

Summary


Analysis & Themes


Though only Piggy, Ralph, and Samneric remain in their group, Piggy tells Ralph to blow the conch to call an assembly. He does. They decide to go to Castle Rock. Piggy plans to ask Jack to give back his glasses because "what's right's right." Ralph, Sam, and Eric decide to carry spears, but Piggy insists on holding only the conch.

Piggy literally holds on to civilization (the conch). His civilized argument based on "what's right" ignores the savage rule of dominance by the strong.

 

At Castle Rock, Ralph blows the conch. Roger throws a rock, though he purposely misses the twins and the other savages remain quiet.

Civilization still has a hold on Roger.

 

Jack appears from the forest behind Ralph's group, followed by hunters carrying a pig on a spit. Ralph calls Jack a thief. Jack attacks him. The two boys fight, but only with the sides of the spears, and soon wear themselves out.

Civilization confronts savagery head on, but not completely: the boys aren't really trying to kill each other…yet.

 

Ralph demands that Jack return Piggy's glasses. He mentions again the importance of the signal fire. Jack's tribe has only a cooking fire, he points out. In response, Jack orders his hunters to surround and tie up Samneric. He says to Ralph, "See? They do what I want."

Ralph emphasizes the importance of rescue, but Jack and his group no longer care about rescue. They simply obey Jack.

 

Ralph and Jack start to fight again, but Piggy asks to speak and Ralph relents. Piggy raises the conch and once more calls them all kids, and argues that it's better to be sensible than savage.

Piggy makes one last appeal for civilization over savagery.

 

Roger pushes a boulder from the fort. Ralph dives out of the way, but Piggy can't see without his glasses: the boulder hits him head on, and the conch explodes. The boulder pushes Piggy over the cliff onto the rocks below. Blood leaks from his head, and a wave pulls his dead body into the sea.

Roger leaps into savager, destroying Intelligence and Law, in the form of Piggy and the conch. Only Ralph, symbol of government, remains.

 

Stunned silence descends over the tribe. But suddenly Jack screams and throws his spear at Ralph, aiming to kill. Ralph runs into the jungle, dodging as more boys throw their spears at him.

Jack also breaks completely free from civilization, and takes the rest of his tribe with him.

 

The tribe brings Samneric into the fort. Jack prods them with his spear to terrorize them into joining his tribe. Roger brushes past Jack, making it clear that he knows how to inflict torture.

Jack loves power, but Roger loves causing pain. Remember when he threw rocks at the littleun? Now he can torture for real.