The extract on page 126 opens with an excellent of the facades that are worn and fashioned by the boys. Maurice doesn’t want ‘to seem a funk’, that is to say, he doesn’t want to appear in a state of fear, a strong mask. Jack is even stronger and more powerful and demanding, his use of the phrase ‘We’ll kill it.’ an immediate response to the questioning he faces. No principle of democracy is enforced, neither is there a factor of indecision in his response. It reflects the brutality of Jack’s new nature, his previous charade of wickedness has gained an explicit control over his actions and being. The idea of falseness and immorality are direct and strong. Also, the themes of rivalry and testing are brought out in this continual power-conflict; Jack continually is re-asserting his power as a leader, irrespective of the fact that he is a dictator.
The forest’s description on page 127 is once again a re-enforcement of the sinister side that it possesses. The idea that nature is stronger and absolute is the highlighted cause in this description. Phrases such as ‘…forced right down…’, ‘…dark luxuriance of the forest.’, ‘…the gully boiled…’ and ‘…spray dashed up … so that every boy was wet and shrieking.’ The thoughts of force, no alternatives, are very strong here. The exclusiveness of the ‘dark luxury’ is the concept that the boys are somehow being deprived of the forest’s true bounty.
Importantly, on page 128, Ralph is said to have ‘…no self-consciousness in public thinking…’ represents his loss of faith in the process of political expression and to an extent, his apparent loss of leadership and control amongst the group. The group is undecided at the bottom of this page, and, interestingly, Jack doesn’t dictate anything, but instead participates in the group’s lack of direction and shares the indecision. He has lowered himself to the level of the group. Simon’s departure is hardly surprising for someone with the scepticism and collectiveness of his.
Page 129 is much the same: a timid discussion. However, it takes half a page for Jack to recover his insistent and snide attitude. The point that it is Ralph who ‘…senses the rising antagonism…’ is re-assuring us of his qualities of leadership. Possibly, Golding is trying to bring in about the idea of some optimistic force amongst the ever darkening nature of the boys. Again, the continual lies and facades are put in place. An interesting point is that it is Jack who is testing Ralph. This is in Jack’s character, but it is also interesting because it is Jack who is searching for the truth, what is right, fair and kind. His motives are cruel, but his use of justice is confusing. Is Golding introducing split-personality as a permanent theme for everything on the Island, the idea that everything has the potential to be evil?
Page 131 sees the accent up the mountain. The rivalry is charged and immediate. There is no barrier between the two forces. The sting of Jack and the reply of Ralph are careful balances. The theme of equilibrium is all the more important here. We can see that a split would leave the Island unbalanced between the two forces, leaving it with a negative and essentially positive force, much like the two sides we have seen the Island previously exhibit.
On page 132, the reminiscence of their previous terrors, the fire, returns to haunt, and disable them. The notion of the past being strong is important in the sense that inevitably it is the past that has made these boys what they are intuitively, whether one believes in nature or nurture. Once more testing the limits, possibly the testing of the strength of lying and deception, or possibly the testing of the truth, Ralph tackles Jack. The prominence of this theme suggests that their limits are soon to be broken.
Pages 133 and 134 possess quite a bizarre turn-around. The party unites and works well as a team. This is a sign that the boys are as able and as likely to change as the Island is in its mood. Can evil reign supreme for one minute to be followed by a drastic change the next? The unity has come about through truth though, a positive force. The sharing of their fear is unspoken but present. Does this mean that the truth is the only thing that can now save the boys?
The end leaves a vivid picture of uncertainty, in the present and for the future, the ‘leaden’ steps, the sliver of the moon and the ‘three abandoned sticks’ give this fazed and timid and very vulnerable picture. The moon is too scared to come out at night? In the darkness the moon doesn’t have strength to give light? Has darkness taken complete control? The forest is given its evil element once again, the ruin of a face and the fire blurs from the past. We are left in a state of definite uncertainty.