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This is the vital episode in which Ralph experiences difficulties dealing with ‘the beast.’ He acknowledges its existence and in doing so spreads fear amongst the other boys.This is illustrated when Ralph portrays the beast as having ‘.’ Ralph instantly decides that fighting the beast is not an option; leaving the boys with no alternative than to hide from the beast and live under its shadow.At the beginning of the chapter, ‘the conch glimmered among the trees.’ This is pivotal to chapter 8 because the glimmering of the conch confirms its importance and the way it stands out in nature, symbolises how right actions stand out from wrong actions.
Ralph explains, .’ Ralph’s apathy is conveyed because he makes himself believe that his hopes are slim.
From Ralph’s language, the reader and other characters become under the impression that the beast is huge and can not be fought.
It is the main chapter in which democracy is demolished, savagery kicks in and the definitive chapter in which Simon has the ultimate encounter with the Lord Of The Flies.
I will explore Golding’s use of symbolism, plot, imagery, language, Christian morals, setting, themes and story structure as well as the novel’s overall historical context to establish the fact that chapter 8 is the most significant chapter to the novel as a whole.
This makes the chapter especially significant because normally, Jack has a certain disregard for the rules but however it is in this chapter that he uses the conch and applies the rules for his own benefit.
Jack makes negative comments in the meeting about Ralph like, ‘Ralph said my hunters are no good', ' He's like piggy…he isn't a proper chief…he's a coward himself…' ' He's not a hunter. He just gives orders and expects people to obey for nothing', ‘ which is the last reference to the boys’ previous school life.
This is momentous to chapter 8 because we learn that Ralph’s desire is not to stay on the island or integrate himself into the island in order to avoid mingling with the beast.
Throughout chapter 8, the ‘conch’ acts as a symbol of authority and order.
However, he realises that the group's faith in Ralph is ever decreasing because of the fear and instability of the beast on the island.
Jack reacts very violently to the beast, but does not aim his anger at the beast; instead he aims it at Ralph's leadership and at hunting.