Why is the stick in chapter 12 of Lord of the Flies sharpened at both ends?  

1 Answer

lentzk's profile pic

Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

As the violence escalates in Lord of the Flies, Samneric warn Ralph at the end of the novel in Chapter Twelve that Jack has sharpened a stick at both ends.  This event is reminiscent of Jack's direction to Roger in Chapter Eight, to take a sharpened stick at both ends and force one end into the ground. 

"Jack held up the head and jammed the soft throat down on the pointed end of the stick which pierced through into the mouth" (136-7).

Jack's instructions to sharpen yet another stick at both ends is incredibly suggestive.  Ralph worries over it, wondering "What did it mean? A stick sharpened at both ends" (191).  Jack means for Ralph to share the sow's fate and become another gift for the beast, thus ensuring Jack's dominance as chief.