Lord of the Flies: Novel Summary: Chapter 7
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This chapter begins with the boys following the winding pig-runs, up the side of the mountain to its peak. Though everyone is nervous about confronting the beast, somehow Simon knows that Ralph will make it back alright. When Ralph tells Simon he’s "batty," Simon gets angry, again insisting that Ralph will return from the mountain safely. What’s strange about this dialogue is the fact that Simon never predicts his own safe return. Like Christ on the Garden of Gethsemane, Simon knows that he will die soon.
On the trip to the mountain, which also serves as a pig hunt, Ralph sees a pig and spears it. He is shocked and enamored by his own success, saying, "I hit him! The spear stuck in—." Unfortunately the pig escapes, wounded, and Jack’s tribe is upset at Ralph for not bringing it down.
To make up for their loss, Jack and the hunters decide to pretend to be killing the pig, using Robert as the sow. Even Ralph can’t resist the temptation of killing. Golding explains the motives in the minds of the boys. "The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering."
Soon Jack decides to go to the mountain alone (he’s the only one willing) to kill the beast. After awhile Jack comes running back to the group. Golding narrates, "There was a slithering noise high above them, the sound of someone taking giant and dangerous strides on rock or ash. Then Jack found them, and was shivering and croaking in a voice they could just recognize as his. ‘I saw a thing on top.’"
Eventually everyone decides to go up and look together. What they see is nightmarish. Golding again narrates, "Behind them the silver of moon had drawn clear of the horizon. Before them, something like a great ape was sitting asleep with its head between its knees. Then the wind roared in the forest, there was confusion in the darkness and the creature lifted its head, holding toward them the ruin of a face."
Quickly everyone runs back to the shelters on the shore in sheer terror.