What is the significance of castle rock in The Lord of the Flies?

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Castle Rock is essentially Jack's domain, which is located at the opposite end of the island. It stands in stark contrast to the luscious, fruitful habitat where the boys first decided to organize. Castle Rock is extended further out into the sea with a narrow walkway that allows the boys to climb its rocky surface. At the top of the pink rock formation stands massive boulders, which the savages use to protect their fort. There is minimal fresh water at Castle Rock, and Ralph describes it as a "rotten place." However, Jack chooses to make this rocky territory the base camp for his band of hunters. This area is also associated with savagery and is the location where Piggy brutally dies, and the conch is destroyed. The savages also hurl boulders from the top of their fort towards Ralph as he attempts to escape at the end of the story. Jack reigns supreme at Castle Rock, and his tribe of savages obey his every command.

kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The so-called "castle rock" becomes a place for the hunters and serves as a stark contrast to the softer, smoother part of the island where the boys first congregate. Though the first discussion of it among the boys suggests that it could be a place for a fort, it really becomes a symbol for the fear and emptiness that fills the boys.

Some suggest that it serves this function because the ocean is so wild and unruly around it, it reminds them of the fact that they are truly at the mercy of forces far more powerful than themselves. And once it becomes the place for the hunters when they split from the other boys, it is where they truly begin to lose what traces of humanity they have left.

It is the place where they consider themselves safe from the beast because it is difficult to get to except by a single path. But, in the end, it serves to stand for the real beast which is the fear within them.

Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question