Lord of the Flies

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Lord of the Flies Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Back at the beach, Ralph blows the conch to call another meeting. Ralph announces that they're on an uninhabited island. Jack interrupts to say that they still need an army in order to hunt pigs.
Jack needs to be in control: he interrupts Ralph to demonstrate his importance.
Themes
Human Nature Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Ralph says that without adults, they'll have to take care of themselves. He makes a rule that whoever holds the conch at meetings gets to speak.
The boys' first law is focused on the conch and made by Ralph.
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Jack, excited, shouts out that they can make more rules and punish whoever breaks them.
Jack likes law only because he likes to punish.
Themes
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Piggy takes the conch and says no one knows they're on the island. Ralph agrees, but describes the island as a good place where they'll have fun even if they have to stay for a long time.
Only Piggy sees the big picture. Ralph and the other boys focus on short term pleasure and fun.
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
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A nervous little boy with a birthmark that covers half his face steps forward. After some prodding, the boy whispers to Piggy, and Piggy tells everyone what the boy said. He saw a "beastie," a "snake-thing," the previous night in the woods. Ralph and the older boys dismiss this "beastie" as just a nightmare, but the younger boys seem scared. Jack grabs the conch and says there's no snake-thing. If there is, he adds, his hunters will find and kill it. Ralph also says there's no snake-thing.
The beast's first appearance. It symbolizes the evil in human nature. Jack, the symbol of savagery, says the beast doesn't exist but also that his hunters will kill it. He uses the beast to make himself more powerful. Ralph, the symbol of civilization, just denies that the beast exists.
Themes
Human Nature Theme Icon
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Ralph says he's confident they boys will be rescued. He suggests they build a fire on the mountaintop to alert rescuers.
Fire leads to rescue, which leads back to civilization.
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Excited by the idea of building a fire, the boys jump up and run to collect wood and bring it to the mountain top. Piggy, left alone at the meeting place, disgustedly says that the other boys are acting like a bunch of kids.
Civilized and intelligent, Piggy prefers organized plans to short-sighted "fun."
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
The boys make a pile of dead wood on the mountain. They can't figure out how start the fire until Jack grabs the glasses off Piggy's face. Ralph uses the glasses to focus the sun's rays on the wood. Piggy is terrified, nearly blind without his glasses.
Piggy's glasses symbolize technology, mankind's ability to harness nature to build tools. Here the boys use technology to help their return to civilization.
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
The fire burns out because the wood is so dry. Piggy starts to criticize the boys, but Jack shouts him down. Simon points out that Piggy's glasses made the fire possible.
The rivalry between the savage (Jack) and intellectual (Piggy) intensifies. Note also Simon's generosity.
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Ralph says they have to keep the fire burning every day without fail. Jack volunteers himself and his hunters to do the job.
Jack takes on keeping the boys linked to civilization.. This seems like a bad fit.
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Piggy notices that sparks from their signal fire have set the trees below them on fire. He argues that instead of running off to start a fire they should have first made shelters. The other boys shout at him again, but are disturbed. Piggy asks where the boy with the birthmark who saw the "beastie" is. No one knows.
Though they know Piggy's right, the other boys still gang up on him. The boy who saw the "beastie" was actually killed, symbolically, by the beast: the boys' savage desire to have "fun."
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon