Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding
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What is the major theme that permeates in chapter 9 of Lord of the Flies?

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The predominant theme Golding explores in chapter 9 of Lord of the Flies concerns the destructive nature of chaos, brutality, and savagery as the last vestige of civil order is stripped away with the horrific murder of Simon. In chapter 9, Simon discovers that the beast is actually the corpse of a deceased paratrooper on the top of the mountain. Following his significant discovery, Simon races toward the beach to inform the boys of the beast's actual identity. Meanwhile, Jack and his hunters are hosting a pig roast when a severe thunderstorm hits the island.

When the sky becomes black and rain begins to pour, Jack leads his hunters in a frenzied ritual dance as the boys chant and move in unison within a circular motion. Tragically, Simon runs out of the forest and onto the beach, where the boys proceed to viciously attack and beat him to death. Each boy on the island participates in Simon's brutal murder, and his lifeless body eventually washes out to sea. Simon's death is a significant turning point in the novel and the moment when all hope of cultivating a civil society is completely lost. His brutal murder also highlights the theme regarding the destructive nature of chaos and savagery. Additionally, the horrific, jarring scene also underscores the theme of mankind's wicked nature, which runs throughout the course of the story.

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