Lord of the Flies

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Lord of the Flies Chapter 7 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
While resting on the hike to the mountain, Ralph wishes he could cut his hair, clip his nails, and get cleaned up. Remembering his past in England, he stares at the ocean and thinks how big it is and how it separates the boys from civilization. Simon seems to read Ralph's mind, and reassures him. "You'll get back alright," he says.
The ocean symbolizes the subconscious, where the beast lurks; it does separate Ralph from civilization. Note that Simon predicts only Ralph's safe return, not his own.
Themes
Human Nature Theme Icon
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
A while later as they head through the jungle toward the mountain, the boys find signs of pigs. Ralph agrees that as long as they're going in the right direction, they can hunt. Soon, they come upon a wild boar. The boar gets away, but not before Ralph hits it in the side with a spear. Flushed with pride, Ralph reenacts the hunt with a bigun named Robert. Soon all the boys are involved, chanting "Kill the pig. Cut its throat." For a brief, moment, it seems like they might actually kill Robert.
Ralph's excitement at killing the shows that even he has a savage side to him, though it's more repressed. The ritual dance gains in power, almost killing Robert and foreshadowing future trouble.
Themes
Human Nature Theme Icon
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
The boys finally stop and discuss how to do the dance properly. Maurice suggests a drum and fire. Robert says they need to use a real pig next time, so they can really kill it. Jack suggests they use a littleun. All the other boys laugh.
All the boys' suggestions, from drums to human sacrifice, would make the dance more "savage," and foreshadow more violence.
Themes
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Darkness falls before they reach the mountain. Ralph realizes that they need to send someone to tell Piggy they won't be back that night. Everyone's too frightened to volunteer, except Simon.
Only Simon understands that the beast is within. He doesn't fear the jungle because the beast isn't there.
Themes
Spirituality and Religion Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
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Jack mocks Ralph's concern for Piggy. Ralph asks Jack why he hates him. The question makes all the boys nervous.
People are uncomfortable facing questions that hint at the beast within.
Themes
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon
At the base of the mountain, the boys stop for the night. But Jack questions Ralph's courage, and so Ralph agrees to climb right then. Only Roger agrees to accompany them. Halfway up the mountain, Ralph decides it's foolish to go up in the dark. Jack insists on going ahead as Ralph and Roger wait behind. A few minutes later Jack returns saying he saw something. The three boys climb the mountain to the peak, blinded by darkness. The wind blows. The parachutist sits up. The boys run for it.
The conflict between Jack (savagery) and Ralph (civilization) for control and power serves only the beast's benefit. Here Jack and his savagery prevail, luring the boys deeper into believing in the beasts' physical existence.
Themes
Civilization Theme Icon
Savagery and the "Beast" Theme Icon