Lord of the Flies: Novel Summary: Chapter 12
In this chapter, Ralph loses his sanity, not believing the events he has witnessed. Ralph approaches the fortress again at night, when Samneric are serving as guards. They tell Ralph that Jack is planning a hunt for him tomorrow, and he will surely be killed unless he finds a clever place to hide. Ralph tells them that he’ll hide in the thicket near Castle Rock.
The next morning, Roger sharpens a stick at both ends, signaling the time for another big hunt and showing that now Ralph has become the beast the boys must kill. Soon Samneric tell the others where Ralph is hiding, betraying their loyalty to him. This devastates Ralph, who can’t reason any longer. Golding explains his feelings, "There was no Piggy to talk sense. There was no solemn assembly for debate nor dignity of the conch."
The rest of the chapter is dedicated to the hunt which almost kills Ralph several times. In desperation, Ralph runs out into the ocean, trying to escape Jack and the savages. To Ralph’s surprise, he almost runs into a naval officer, who asks what is going on and where the adults are. Ralph tells him that two people have been killed. The puzzled officer takes Ralph and the others aboard, and their deadly battle is over.
Golding explains, "Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy." In this way, though the boys are rescued, the novel has anything but a happy ending. Indeed Golding’s dark vision of man has come true: all men are inherently evil.
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