Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

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Summarize chapters 6 and 7 of the novel Lord of the Flies.

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Chapter 6 "Beast from Air": The chapter begins with the descent of a dead paratrooper from the sky after he is shot during an air battle that takes place over the island while the boys are sleeping. His parachute gets tangled in the canopy of the forest and his lifeless body rocks back and forth when the wind blows. When Samneric awake, they see the dead paratrooper and mistake him for the "beast." After Samneric tell Ralph about the sighting, Ralph calls for an assembly where a search party is organized. The boys, armed with spears, travel up the mountain in search of the beast while Piggy and the littluns remain at the base camp. As the boys explore the island they come to an unknown area, where Ralph volunteers to lead the way. The area where Ralph explores will become Jack's base camp later on in the novel, and the boys begin to play in the caves and roll rocks down the side of the hill at this new location. Ralph notices that the signal fire has gone out and reprimands the boys for playing and rolling rocks down the side of the hill. Jack comments that they should stay there and build a fort. Ralph speaks up and reminds the boys the purpose of their expedition. The majority of the boys want to either stay at the "Castle Rock" location or go back to base camp, but Ralph insists they continue up the mountain.

Chapter 7 "Shadows and Tall Trees": At the beginning of the chapter, Ralph notices that his hair has become long, and his body is filthy. Ralph laments at his appearance and realizes that it has become the norm on the island. Simon comforts Ralph by saying, "You'll get back all right. I think so anyway." (Golding 111) Ralph is comforted by Simon's comments, but believes he is "batty." Roger mentions that he's spotted fresh pig feces, and the group decides to hunt a boar. They eventually spot the boar, and it breaks through the forest towards the boys. Ralph manages to wound the boar on the nose, but the pig continues to run and injures Jack before getting away. The boys remain in a frenzy and begin to enact the hunting scene with Robert playing the "pig." The game gets out of hand, and Jack suggests that they use a littlun as a pig the next time they partake in a reenactment. The sun is setting, and the boys discuss whether or not to continue up the mountain or return to base camp. Simon volunteers to go back to the base camp and tell Piggy their location. Simon travels by himself through the forest alone. Ralph, Jack, and Roger begin to climb to the top of the mountain as the sun goes down. Ralph and Roger refuse to climb to the summit, and Jack chastises them for being cowards. Jack continues and sees what he thinks is the "beast," then runs down to tell Ralph and Roger what he saw. The three travel as a group to the summit and view what looks like a great ape with its head between its knees. They freak out and run down the mountain in terror.

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