Lord of the Flies Ch. 4 Summary

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Summary:

In this chapter, we see that even though the boys are on a deserted island, in the middle of the ocean and away from all of society's rules and regulations, they still feel the restraints of civilisation seeping into their consciousness. We see this when Maurice felt the unease of wrong-doing when he caused Percival to start crying with an eyeful of sand and further when Roger throws stones at Henry but as his arm was condition by a civilisation that knew nothing of him and he makes sure not to throw them within six yards. This reflects that the boys, while they may be free of the punishment that they were sure to receive for a wrong-doing in their former lives, still have societies expectations and morals drilled into their actions. We then witness the painting of Jack's face, which reflects his eagerness to let go of his former life and how the island has, in a way, possessed his thoughts. The mask that Jack paints on his own face liberates him and frees him from shame and self consciousness. The realisation of the power that a simple mask has given Jack awes and frightens us at the same time. While this is happening, out on the beach Maurice, Simon, Piggy and Ralph are dealing with a problem of their own; a ship is sailing by but the hunters have abandoned the fire to go hunting with Jack and now there is no smoke on the mountain. The boys run to the top of the mountain only to find the ship slowly disappearing and then the hunters arrive on the mountain with a pig that they caught. Jack excitedly tells his story but is interrupted by Piggy and Ralph's confrontation about the ship. Jack looses his temper and knocks Piggy's glasses off onto the rocks and breaks one lens, Piggy scrambles for his glasses but Simon, displaying exceptional kindness, hands them back to him first. Jack seems to have realised he has taken it too far and apologises but Ralph, who sees this apology as a verbal trick and feels the slight threat of Jack's leadership...
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