Violence in ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding


lord-of-the-fliesThere are a great deal of instances of violence in Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Below you will find examples of most (if not all) of them:

1 – “ ‘I cut the pig’s throat,’ said Jack, proudly, and yet twitched as he said it. ‘Can I borrow yours, Ralph, to make a nick in the hilt.” (p.73)

2 – “ ‘The was lashings of blood,’ said Jack, laughing and shuddering, ‘you should have seen it!’” (p.73)

3 – “Jack stood up as he said this, the bloodied knife in his hand. The two boys faced each other. There was the brilliant world of hunting, tactics, fierce exhilaration, skill; and there was the world of longing and baffled common-sense. Jack transferred the knife to his left hand and smudged blood over his forehead as he pushed down the plastered hair.” (p.75)

4 – “This from Piggy, and the wails of agreement from some of the hunters drove Jack to violence. The bolting look cam into his blue eyes. He took a step, and able at last to hit someone, stuck his fist into Piggy’s stomach. Piggy sat down with a grunt. Jack stood over him. His voice was vicious with humiliation.

‘You would, would you? Fatty!’

Ralph made a step forward and Jack smacked Piggy’s head. Piggy’s glasses flew off and tinkled on the rocks. Piggy cried out in terror:

‘My specs!’” (p.75)

5 – “The circle moved in and round. Robert squealed in mock terror, then in real pain.

‘Ow! Stop it! You’re hurting!’

The butt end of a spear fell on his back and he blundered among them.

‘Hold him!’

They got his arms and legs. Ralph, carried away by a sudden thick excitement, grabbed Eric’s spear and jabbed at Robert with it.

‘Kill him! Kill him!’

All at once, Robert screaming and struggling with the strength of frenzy. Jack had him by the hair and was brandishing his knife. Behind him was Roger, fighting to get close. The chant rose ritually, as the last moment of a dance or a hunt.

Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!

Ralph too was fighting to get near, to get a handful of that brown, vulnerable flesh. The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering.” (p.125)

6 – “He noticed, without understanding, how the flames were visible now against the dull light. Evening was come, not with calm beauty but with the threat of violence.” (p.165)

7 – “The blue-white scar was constant, the noise unendurable. Simon was crying out something about a dead man on a hill.

Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Spill his pig! Do him in!

The sticks fell and the mouth of the new circle crunched and screamed. The beast was on its knees in the centre, its arms folded over its face. It was crying out against the abominable noise something about a body on the hill. The beast struggled forward, broke the ring and fell over the steep edge of the rock to the sand by the water. At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore. There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws.” (pp.168-169)

8 – “Then there was a vicious snarling in the mouth of the shelter and the plunge and thump of living things. Someone tripped over Ralph and Piggy’s corner became a complication of snarls and crashes and flying limbs. Ralph hit out; then he and what seemed like a dozen others were rolling over and over, hitting, biting, scratching. He was torn and jolted, found fingers in his mouth and bit them. A fist withdrew and came back like a piston, so that the whole shelter exploded into light. Ralph twisted sideways on top of a writhing body and felt hot breath on his cheek. He began to pound the mouth below him, using his clenched fist as a hammer; he hit with more and more passionate hysteria as the face became slippery. A knee jerked up between his legs and he fell sideways, busying himself with his pain, and the fight rolled over him. Then the shelter collapsed with smothering finality; and the anonymous shapes fought their way out and through. Dark figures drew themselves out of the wreckage and flitted away, till the screams of the littleuns and Piggy’s gasps were once more audible.” (pp.184-185)

9 – “Jack wrenched free and swung at Ralph with his spear. By common consent they were using the spears as sabers now, no longer daring the lethal points. The blow struck Ralph’s spear and slid down, to fall agonizingly on his fingers. Then they were apart once more, their positions reversed, Jack towards the Castle Rock and Ralph on the outside towards the island.” (p.196)

10 – “No one answered him. The twins, puzzled, looked at each other; while Piggy, reassured by the cessation of violence stood up carefully. Jack glanced back at Ralph and then at the twins.

‘Grab them!’
No one moved. Jack shouted angrily.
‘I said “grab them”!’
The painted group moved round Samneric nervously and unhandily. Once more the silvery laughter scattered.
Samneric protested out of the heart of civilization.
‘Oh, I say!’
Their spears were taken from them.
‘Tie them up!’
Ralph cried out hopelessly against the black and green mask.
‘Go on. Tie them.’

Now the painted group felt the otherness of Samneric, felt the power in their own hands. They felled the twins clumsily and excitedly. Jack was inspired. He knew that Ralph would attempt a rescue. He struck in a humming circle behind him and Ralph just parried the blow. Beyond them the tribe and the twins were a loud and writhing heap. Piggy crouched again. Then the twins lay, astonished, and the tribe stood round them.” (p.198)

11 – “Jack, knowing this was the crisis, charged too. They met with a jolt and bounced apart. Jack swung with his fist at Ralph and caught him on the ear. Ralph hit Jack in the stomach and made him grunt. Then they were facing each other again, panting and furious, but unnerved by each other’s ferocity. They became aware of the noise that was the background to this fight, the steady shrill cheering of the tribe behind them.” (p.199)

12 – “Silence and pause; but in the silence a curious air-noise, close by Ralph’s head. He gave it half his attention – and there it was again; a faint ‘Zup!’ Someone was throwing stones: Roger was dropping them, his one hand still on the lever. Below him, Ralph was a shock of hair and Piggy a bag of fat.” (p.199)

13 – “The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist. Piggy, saying nothing, with no time for even a grunt, traveled through the air sideways from the rock, turning over as he went. The rock bounded twice and was lost in the forest. Piggy fell forty feet and landed on his back across that square, red rock in the sea. His head opened and stuff came out and turned read. Piggy’s arms and legs twitched a bit, like a pig’s after it has been killed. Then the sea breathed again in a long slow sigh, the water boiled white and pink over the rock; and when it went, sucking back again, the body of Piggy was gone.” (pp.200-201)

14 – “Viciously, with full intention, he hurled his spear at Ralph. The point tore the skin and flesh over Ralph’s ribs, then sheared off and fell in the water. Ralph stumbled, feeling not pain but panic, and the tribe, screaming now like the Chief, began to advance. Another spear, a bent one that would not fly straight, went past his face and one fell from high where Roger was. The twins lay hidden behind the tribe and the anonymous devils’ faces swarmed across the neck. Ralph turned and ran. A great noise of sea-gulls rose behind him. He obeyed an instinct that he did not know he possessed and swerved over the open space so that the spears went wide. He saw the headless body of the sow and jumped in time. Then he was crashing through the foliage and small boughs and was hidden by the forest.” (p.201)

15 – “The Chief snatched one of the few spears that were left and poked Sam in the ribs… The prodding became rhythmic. Sam yelled.” (p.202)

16 – “Ralph lay in a covert, wondering about his wounds. The bruised flesh was inches in diameter over his right ribs, with a swollen and bloody scar where the spear had hit him. His hair was full of dirt and tapped like the tendrils of a creeper. All over he was scratched and bruised from his flight through the forest.” (p.203)

17 – “What did it mean? A sick sharpened at both ends. What was there ion that? They had thrown spears and missed; all but one. Perhaps they would miss next time, too.” (p.212)

18 – “Roger spoke.

‘If you’re fooling us-‘

Immediately after this, there cam a gasp, and a squeal of pain. Ralph crouched instinctively. One of the twins was there, outside the thicket, with Ralph and Roger.

‘You’re sure he meant in there?’

The twin moaned faintly and then squealed again.” (p.213-214)

19 – “Something boomed up on the red rock, then the earth jumped and began to shake steadily, while the noise as steadily increased. Ralph was shot into the air, thrown down, dashed against branches. At his right hand, and only a few feet away, the whole thicket bent and the roots screamed as they came out of the earth together. He saw something red that turned over slowly as a mill-wheel. Then the red thing was past and the elephantine progress diminished towards the sea.” (p.215)

20 – “The pointed end of a stick appeared. In panic, Ralph thrust his own stick through the crack and struck with all his might.” (p.215)

21 – “Ralph launched himself like a cat; stabbed, snarling, with a spear, and the savage doubled up. There was a shout from beyond the thicket and then Ralph was running with the swiftness of fear through the undergrowth.” (p.217)

22 – “He shot forward, burst the ticket, was in the open screaming, snarling, bloody. He swung the stake and the savage tumbled over; but there were others coming towards him, crying out. He swerved as a spear flew past and then was silent, running.” (p.221)

Read the book now: Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Author V.M. Simandan

is a Bangkok-based Romanian-born writer, archer, speaker, traveler, and vlogger.

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