Lord of the Flies: Chapter 8 Notes

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1. The conch being inexpertly blown and the fact that Piggy has only one lens shows that society has begun to function poorly. The reason for this decline in society is Jack. Jack broke Piggy's lens, and now Jack who has power, represented by the conch, does not know how to blow it properly. This tells us that Jack is an inept leader who misuses power and destroys knowledge. To become an expert at something, such as blowing a conch or leading a society takes time, so this is also significant because it shows that Jack has just recently come to power. Because the conch and Piggy's glasses are crippled, knowledge and power are crippled, but not yet fully eliminated.2. When Simon says, " I think we ought to climb the mountain.", he means that society should conquer its fears and reclaim the island. When the boys first founded society, one of the first things that they did was to climb the mountain and attain knowledge of the island. It is important to note that knowledge was a priority for this early society. Climbing the mountain was also a task undertaken with great enthusiasm and the offering of hope for what their society could be. This was the peak of their civilization. Ever since then their society has been "declining" or going "downhill", so the mountain represents the "peak" or "height" of their civilization. As the boys' civilization fell apart, it became primitive and controlled increasingly by evil elements (Jack). Because of this the boys began to fear a beast. The beast was a symbol of this demise and an obstacle to the return of glory. I say that the beast is an obstacle because they now fear climbing the mountain, a mountain that symbolizes the peak of society. When Simon says that they should climb the mountain, he is also saying that the boys should abandon their primitive fears and return to previous glory.3. The new fire is symbolic because it is Piggy's attempt to rebuild society. Piggy believes that without Jack (evil), he...
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