William Golding was born in 1911 in Cornwall, UK, and educated in Marlborough grammar school where his father was a science master. Golding went to Oxford and studied natural sciences for two years before taking up English Litt. When he graduated he published a book of poems in 1934. He was briefly a schoolmaster before joining the Navy in 1940. He saw plenty of naval action and returned after the war to take up school-teaching again in Salisbury from 1945-62.
Piggy and Ralph are trying to usher democracy via the use of the conch. People are not prepared to listen to Ralph past a certain point. Anarchy reigns, and Jack tries to muscle in. Joe suggested that leaders getting started need goondas to enforce their commands, even those who want to bring about democracy. The kids are also pining for the order that elders can impose on life.
The passage dealt with one of the wilfully violent scenes at the end. As Jack's gang of hunter children hold their castle of rock, fortified with boulders that can be rolled downhill against any invaders, Piggy and Ralph show up to reason with them about keeping a fire going so they can be rescued. Piggy is Ralph's faithful chela, he cries out: “Which is better—to be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is?” He is met with rocks. Ultimately a bigger one levered off the face of the cliff and rolled downhill gets Piggy between the chin and knee; he gets thrown sideways and comes careening downhill until his head lands on a rock and his skull splits open. All this is done to great shrieking among Jack's hunter-killer children.
Ralph and Piggy are trying to come to terms with the killing of Simon in that gathering by the fire with Jack's people, the hunters. They feel remorse. They want to imagine that it was an accident, and they had both gone away before the actual killing took place.
This is the dramatic passage where Jack's people fall upon Simon who is trying to tell them about his discovery of the body of a pilot hanging from a parachute up in the hills, and his epiphany that the beast they were anxious about is in all of them; it is nothing the devilish instinct of evil and destruction. But he gets no hearing and is drowned out by the chorus of voices crying out repeatedly:
The smaller boys were known now by the generic title of “littluns.” The decrease in size, from Ralph down, was gradual; and though there was a dubious region inhabited by Simon and Robert and Maurice, nevertheless no one had any difficulty in recognizing biguns at one end and littluns at the other. The undoubted littluns, those aged about six, led a quite distinct, and at the same time intense, life of their own. They ate most of the day, picking fruit where they could reach it and not particular about ripeness and quality. They were used now to stomach-aches and a sort of chronic diarrhoea. They suffered untold terrors in the dark and huddled together for comfort. Apart from food and sleep, they found time for play, aimless and trivial, in the white sand by the bright water. They cried for their mothers much less often than might have been expected; they were very brown, and filthily dirty. They obeyed the summons of the conch, partly because Ralph blew it, and he was big enough to be a link with the adult world of authority; and partly because they enjoyed the entertainment of the assemblies. But otherwise they seldom bothered with the biguns and their passionately emotional and corporate life was their own.
He ran stumbling through the thick sand to the open space of rock beyond the fire. Between the flashes of lightning the air was dark and terrible; and the boys followed him, clamorously. Roger became the pig, grunting and charging at Jack, who side-stepped. The hunters took their spears, the cooks took spits, and the rest clubs of firewood. A circling movement developed and a chant. While Roger mimed the terror of the pig, the littluns ran and jumped on the outside of the circle. Piggy and Ralph, under the threat of the sky, found themselves eager to take a place in this demented but partly secure society. They were glad to touch the brown backs of the fence that hemmed in the terror and made it governable.