Lord of the Flies

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Lord of the Flies Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
That night, airplanes battle in the night sky, high and far enough away that none of the boys wake. A dead pilot from one of the destroyed planes drifts down on a parachute and lands on the mountain top next to the signal fire.
A sign from the adult world arrives. But it's a dead soldier, signalling that adult "civilization" also hides savagery within.
Themes
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Samneric are on fire duty on the mountain top, but they are asleep. When they wake in the early morning before dawn, they see the dead pilot in the shadows. It sits up and falls down when the wind catches the parachute, which they think are wings. They run to the beach in terror to tell the others that the beast chased them down the mountain.
The sign from the adult world is the beast. The beast has put out the signal fire, which is the boys' last link to civilization.
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Ralph calls a meeting that quickly becomes heated. Jack questions Ralph's decisions and leadership, mocks Piggy, and claims the conch no longer matters. For an instant it seems as if Jack might take over leadership of the boys, but Ralph turns the tables and wins everyone to his side by asking if they want to be rescued or not.
The beast makes the boys crave a strong leader, giving Jack more weight. At the same time, most of the boys still favor rescue and civilization over savagery.
Themes
Human Nature Theme Icon
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Ralph and the biguns agree to search the island. Piggy stays behind to look after the littleuns. At the far tip of the island, the biguns find a rock formation Jack calls the "castle." The rock is accessible only by a piece of stone forty feet above the water below. They think it might be the beast's hideout. Ralph, as the leader, volunteers to search it. Jack follows behind him.
Jack follows Ralph to appear strong and undaunted in the eyes of other boys. He can't allow Ralph to upstage him and thereby appear to be the more courageous and deserving leader.
Themes
Human Nature Theme Icon
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
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The boys find no beast, but Jack is excited because the rock protects a cave and would make a terrific fort. It even has boulders, which, if pushed in the right way, could roll down to crush approaching enemies.
In Chapter 1, the boys move a boulder in fellowship. Now Jack is excited to use boulders to kill.
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Jack and the other biguns want to stay and play at the fort, but Ralph says they have to go search the mountain for the beast and relight the signal fire.
The other boys want to "have fun," Ralph wants to rebuild civilization in the form of the signal fire.
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon