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

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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In Lord of the Flies, Chapter 6, where is Castle Rock mentioned?

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On the search for the beast the day after Samneric see it in the dark, Ralph, Jack, and a party of biguns head out to explore the only place on the island that Jack and his hunters have never been. He describes it as "the tailend part, where the rocks are all piled up. ... The rock makes a sort of bridge. There's only one way up." When they get there, Ralph, as chief, knows he must be the first to cross the ledge to get to the "castle," as they have named the area.

In the description of this scene, there is a significant amount of foreshadowing of Chapter 11, when Ralph and Piggy confront Jack's tribe at Castle Rock. The "one flat rock" below where the the water comes up and "boiled over the table rock with a roar" is the "square red rock" onto which Piggy falls after the boulder hits him.

The cave and the trickle of spring water are mentioned. Then Jack notices the rocking boulder and says, "Shove a palm trunk under that and if an enemy came— ... One heave ... and—wheee—!" This foreshadows how Roger will murder Piggy.

Although Ralph hates the place and calls it "rotten," Jack thinks it "would make a wizard fort." The other boys come up and start rolling rocks down into the sea. That the boys all like the place while Ralph points out that "there's no food here ... and no shelter [and] not much fresh water" foreshadows that Jack and the other boys will camp there, leaving Ralph an outcast. For now, however, Ralph commands the boys to leave, reminding them of the importance of the signal, and saying, "Are you all off your rockers?" That question foreshadows the soon-coming state of affairs where all the boys will lose their minds, so to speak, in their descent into savagery.

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Ralph and the biguns discovered Castle Rock in chapter six. The castle is mentioned on page 148 when the boys were approaching the island on the hunt for the beast.

Ralph dismissed Simon and returned to his personal hell. They would reach the castle some time; and the chief would have to go forward.

Sam and Eric had been tending to the fire when they allegedly saw the beast. The twins ran away and later informed the rest of boys. The boys were horrified as the twins recounted their ordeal. Ralph and the older boys decided to confirm the allegations by going to the only location where they had not explored. Apart from the beast, Ralph was worried about the signal fire on the mountain, which was essential for their rescue. He thus agreed to go on the hunt for the beast so they could establish the true nature of the creature and face it once and for all. Jack led the way to Castle Rock, which was a smaller island connected to the main island by a rocky ledge.

He followed Jack toward the castle where the ground rose slightly. On their left was an impenetrable tangle of creepers and trees.

Ralph parted the screen of grass and looked out. There were only a few more yards of stony ground and then the two sides of the island came almost together so that one expected a peak of headland. But instead of this a narrow ledge of rock, a few yards wide and perhaps fifteen long, continued the island out into the sea. There lay another of those pieces of pink squareness that underlay the structure of the island.

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They don't get to the description of Castle Rock until the last couple of pages of the chapter.  The chapter begins with Samneric tending the fire as the parachutist falls to the ground nearby.  They mistake the sound of the parachute for "the beast" and wake Ralph.  As the boys gather together, Ralph, Jack and Simon decide to go after "the beast."

On their journey, they come across this area and Golding describes it in the following words:

"Nothing but what you might expect:pink, tumbled boulders with guano layered on them like icing; and a steep slope up to the shattered rocks that crowned the bastion."

Jack thinks of it as a perfect place for a fort, while Ralph is disgusted by it.  He calls it a "rotten place."

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