Summary and Detailed Notes for Chapter 2 of The Lord of the Flies
Brief Summary of Chapter 2
Organizing the Children
Ralph is on an uninhabited island with no other people and he must organize the other children to look after themselves. He suggests rules and a system of speaking with a conch shell. Jack and Piggy support him.
Discovery of the Island
Ralph, Jack, Simon, and Piggy crash land on an island and discover that nobody knows where they are. They explore the island and find food, bathing water, pigs, and blue flowers. They also encounter a small boy with a mulberry-colored birthmark who is pushed forward by other little boys. Ralph allows him to hold the conch and the group decides to have fun on the island until the grownups come to fetch them. The boys are discussing a mysterious “beastie” that a small boy claims to have seen, but Ralph insists there is no such thing. They agree to go hunting for pigs and look for the beastie, but Ralph insists there is no such thing.
Attempts to Signal for Help
Ralph rallies the assembly to have hope of being rescued, and suggests they make a fire on the mountain to signal for help. The crowd is excited and follows Jack, leaving Ralph and Piggy behind. Ralph and Jack build a pile of wood on the side of a mountain and share a moment of friendship, adventure and contentment. They then light the fire, blushing with embarrassment at the absurd situation. Ralph and the boys use Piggy’s glasses to start a fire, which quickly grows and spreads, cheered on by the boys. Two boys, Ralph and Jack, discuss how to make a signal fire to attract a passing ship. They decide to split up the choir into groups to keep the fire going and to be responsible for keeping a lookout.
The Spread of Fire and Search for the Missing Boy
Ralph and the other boys on the island become aware of the evening and their lack of rescue. Piggy takes the conch and complains, but they soon notice a fire that has started in the forest. The fire quickly spreads, and the boys are filled with awe. The boys on the island are in awe of the power of the fire they created, and Piggy scolds them for not being more careful. Ralph is frustrated that they don’t know how many of them there are, as the little ones have scattered. Ralph silences Jack and Piggy stands up to point to the smoke and flames. The boys are silent, wondering what happened to the little boy with the mark on his face. The sun sets unheeded as they fearfully search for him.
Detailed Notes on Chapter 2
Fire on the Mountain
•Ralph lifted the conch shell and started to explain their situation on the island to the crowd.
•Jack interrupts and suggests they have an army to hunt for pigs.
•Ralph then explains there are pigs on the island, and that they must look after themselves since there are no grown-ups.
•Ralph suggests they use ‘hands up’ like in school so only one person can talk at a time.
•Jack gets excited and suggests they have rules, which gets everyone cheering.
•Piggy then takes the conch from Ralph and speaks, telling them they are hindering Ralph.
Exploring an Island and Meeting a New Member
•Ralph, Jack, and Simon explore the island and discover its features.
•Piggy notices that nobody knows where they are and suggests that they can have a good time on the island.
•Jack mentions that there are pigs, food, and bathing water.
•The group notices a small boy with a mulberry-colored birthmark being pushed forward by other little boys.
•Ralph invites the small boy to join them, but he is too scared to accept the conch.
•Piggy encourages the small boy to take the conch and the assembly laugh.
•The small boy starts to cry and Piggy insists that he can take the conch.
The Beastie in the Woods
•The small boy was asked about the snake-thing and he said it was a beastie.
•It was suggested that beasties only lived in big countries like Africa or India.
•The boy said he saw the beastie in the dark and it wanted to eat him.
•Ralph explained there couldn’t be a beastie on an island this size.
•The boys agreed that the boy must have had a nightmare.
•The boy still insisted he saw the beastie and asked if it would come back tonight.
•Ralph and Jack assured them there wasn’t a beastie and they would look for it while hunting.
•Ralph then announced he had been thinking and brought up the idea of having fun.
The Rescue of the Island
•Ralph’s words ignite hope and boost the assembly’s morale
•The Queen has a room full of maps with all the islands in the world drawn
•Ralph suggests making smoke on the mountain to attract the attention of possible ships
•The boys, including Jack, are excited and leave to create a fire on the mountain
•Piggy is left alone, remarking on their childish behavior
Achieving Success Together
•Ralph and Jack grinned at each other, sharing a burden and beginning a friendship.
•They inched a grotesque log up the rock and toppled it over the pile, achieving a triumphant pleasure.
•The twins, with unsuspected intelligence, added dried leaves to the pile.
•The boys sensed that the pile was complete and paused, with Ralph and Jack blushing.
•Ralph asked Jack to light the fire, revealing the absurd situation they were in.
The Fire on the Mountain
•Ralph shouted for matches, and Piggy arrived with the conch.
•Jack snatched Piggy’s glasses and used them as burning glasses to spark the flame.
•The fire quickly grew, crackling and roaring with heat and sparks.
•Ralph called for more wood and the boys scattered to bring it.
•The fire created a wind and heat, with the leeward side cooling and the windward side heating up.
Responsibilities of English Boys in Keeping a Fire Going
•The boys, exhausted, lay among the shattered rocks and watched the fire diminish.
•Ralph suggested having special people to look after the fire to make sure a signal is sent to a passing ship.
•Jack proposed that the English boys should be responsible for keeping the fire going, as well as maintaining a lookout.
•The choir was split into groups and assigned fire-keeping duties in shifts.
•They agreed to let the fire burn out during the night and start it up again whenever needed.
•Green branches were to be used to generate more smoke when a ship was spotted.
Fire in the Forest
•Roger noticed that there was no trace of a ship, causing the group to murmur in despair.
•Ralph encouraged them to wait, believing they will eventually be rescued.
•Piggy spoke up in indignation, pointing out that he was ignored when it came to his ideas.
•They noticed smoke among the trees and a patch of fire appeared.
•The flames spread rapidly, devouring the forest and producing a thick smoke.
•The boys cheered in excitement as the fire spread, consuming trees and igniting the pink rock.
•The fire intensified, creating a thunderous drum-roll that shook the mountain.
Criticizing the Boys for their Negligence
•Ralph realizes the boys’ awe and makes him angry.
•Piggy insists on speaking, reminding them of his right as he holds the conch.
•The boys are laughing at the idea of eating cooked fruit and roasted pork.
•Ralph reprimands them for not putting first things first and not taking care of the little ones.
•Piggy shares his difficulty in keeping track of them due to their scattered behaviour.
•Ralph questions whether they even know the exact number of boys on the island.
The Little Boy With The Mark on His Face
•Piggy notices the absence of the little boy with the mark on his face and questions where he is.
•The other boys remain silent, afraid to answer.
•The sun is setting in the west and the boys’ faces are lit up redly from beneath.
•Piggy falls against a rock, gasping for breath, and repeats his question.
•Ralph finally mutters the reply in shame, that the little boy may have gone back to the village.
•The sound of drums from the other side of the mountain can be heard, unheeded.
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