What is important to recognize by Jack's and Ralph's second mountain exploration?William Golding's "Lord of the Flies"

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Having arrived on the tropical island in Chapter 1 of "Lord of the Flies," the boys explore it and climb a coral mountain.  When they return from the mountain in Chapter 2, Ralph calls a meeting, informing the boys that they will have to care for themselves.  He suggests making shelters and building a fire on the mountaintop so that rescuers will see it.  When Piggy takes the conch, Jack looks to Ralph to forbid Piggy to speak, but Ralph allows  Piggy to speak.  This is the beginning of the division between Ralph and Jack.

There are more cracks that break in the structure.  At the meeting of the boys, Jack encourages the fantasizing of the boys about the "beast" by telling them that he can hunt and kill it just like the pigs.  Ralph challenges him, declaring that there is no beast.  Then, they decide to climb up the mountain and kindle a fire.  Once there, Jack grabs Piggy's glasses and uses them to ignite the fire.

But, after the fire is lit, the boys allow the fire--symbolic of their power--to get out of control and burn part of the island,  In addition, a littl'un is missing and can not be found.

It is their fear that becomes insidious in the boys as they are already beginning to get out of order.  Jack yells at Piggy to shut up, demonstrating his antagonism.  And, once the system breaks down, it is easy for someone like Jack to rise to power in the midst of chaos and death.  In the popping of the tree fire the little'un named Percival cannot be found. 

Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question