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Lord of the Flies. Why is there an argument for saying that Gift for the Darkness is the most important chapter in the novel?

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Introduction

Why is there an argument for saying that 'Gift for the Darkness' is the most important chapter in the novel? It is argued that 'Gift for the Darkness' is the most important chapter in the novel because it is not only a pivotal point in the story line, but also holds significant symbolic value at various points during the chapter. Right from the start of the chapter we see major changes in the main characters. After fleeing from the mountain top after apparently seeing the Beast (the dead parachutist) the boys are in a state of panic. In their terrified state there is now no denying from the boys of the beasts existence. Even Ralph who had previously tried to dispel rumours of the beast has 'seen' it and so has been swamped by the fear affecting the other boys. The fact that Ralph now believes in the beast also has a resounding effect on Piggy. Although Piggy has a high devotion to scientific thought and logic, his immense loyalty to Ralph causes him to (very reluctantly) ...read more.

Middle

When Jack asks everyone to vote whether Ralph should be chief or not, he is deeply shocked and embarrassed by the outcome. They want Ralph to remain leader. Despite the fear caused by the sighting of the Beast, the outcome of the vote shows that the boys are still more inclined towards Ralph's civility than Jack's savagery. However it is obvious that there is much tension amongst the boys over their decision. Once Jack has left and Ralph begins trying to return order he realises that many of the boys had vanished and gone to join Jack. This is important because it further highlights the two warring factions of the book and the gulf forming between them. This gulf becomes even more apparent when Jack's hunters come and steal flaming sticks from Ralph's tribe. It is the one of the first major open shows of aggression by Jack against Ralph, which will soon turn a lot more savage and violent as the book progresses. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jack ingeniously uses the fear inspired by the Beast to rule his savage kingdom. However what is arguably the most important scene in this chapter and the whole book is Simon's confrontation with 'the Lord of the Flies'. When hunters departed they left the sow's head on a stake as an offering to the beast. As Simon stares at it the sight mesmerises him and appears to be talking to him. It declares that it is the beast and that Simon will never be able to get away from him for he lies within all human beings. It is through Simon's deep human insight that he is able to realise that the beast is not a physical thing but the savagery and darkness embedded into all human beings. Simon fears that this human instinct lies within himself as well, and as he listens to the 'Lord of the Flies' it threatens him with what he fears most. As he can no longer stand the sight, Simon faints. ...read more.

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