The Lord of the Flies
William Golding
Contributed by Karim Chandra
Chapter 11

The few boys who remain in Ralph’s camp need Piggy’s glasses to light a fire. Piggy asks Ralph to blow the conch to assemble the boys. After Ralph does, some littluns and Samneric come to the beach, and Piggy asks Ralph to tell them what to do next. After some discussion, they decide to go to Castle Rock to explain themselves to Jack and his followers. Although Samneric suggest they arm themselves with spears before confronting the others, Piggy is reluctant to embrace their idea. Instead, Piggy says that all they need is the conch, which he will prove to Jack he needs to lead them effectively.

Upon arriving at Castle Rock, they find it being guarded against enemies. However, when Ralph blows the conch, the boys emerge from it to meet him. Jack is the last person to come to the meeting, alongside two boys with whom he had been hunting. Ralph explains that they have come for Piggy's glasses and scolds Jack for stealing them. Ralph’s comments anger Jack, who responds by throwing a spear at him. Noticing the imminent fight, Piggy reminds Ralph that they did not come to Castle Rock for a physical confrontation. Piggy tells Ralph they need to get his glasses without resorting to violence. Then Jack instructs his followers to tie up Samneric.

Ralph, ignoring Piggy’s guidance, insults Jack and prepares for a fight. To defuse the situation, Piggy raises his voice, along with the conch, and demands the opportunity to speak. Roger, standing from a raised platform over the other boys, pushes a large rock onto Piggy’s head, throwing him off balance and over the side of a cliff. When he falls, Piggy’s head slams into jagged rocks below and splits open. He dies instantly, and the conch shatters. Jack charges and throws another spear at Ralph, who escapes. Jack’s followers then torture Samneric, who are tied together and unable to flee.


Ralph and Piggy still believe in the conch’s power to rebuild order and civilization among the boys. However, despite once being symbolic of authority and mutual respect, the conch has lost its relevance. Piggy’s optimistic and misguided belief in it ultimately leads to his demise. Piggy’s impaired eyesight, caused by the loss of his glasses, parallels his loss in a clear understanding of what has happened to the boys. Simply put, they are no longer boys. They are savages. They have crossed the threshold that separates humankind from brutes. There is no room for civility in Jack’s camp, and once Piggy is killed by its brutality, any remaining hope for the boys seems doomed. The conch dies with Piggy, suggesting savagery triumphs over civilization.

Sadly, Roger has changed from being a mischievous boy into a cold-blooded murderer. When Roger first appears in the novel, he throws stones in the direction of others but never aims to hurt them. However, now, Roger possesses neither self-restraint nor regard for others. Roger’s character progression reveals just how much the boys have lost touch with their humanity.

For the first time since the beginning of the book, Ralph is alone. He has no one, not even Samneric by his side. Ralph’s inefficacy as the boys’ leader stemmed from his neglect of their fear and emotional needs. Moreover, his ultimate downfall was his own emotional response to the boys laughing at him during their encounter on Castle Rock. Ralph responds with petty insults, demonstrating his inability to discuss survival strategies without letting his emotions control him. In an island consumed by barbarism, Ralph’s key flaw is his emotions, an enduring trait of being human.

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