Lord of the Flies Themes & Motifs
The Lord of the Flies is referencing the pig head that the boys used as a peace offering to the beast. Throughout the book, the boys change over time in many ways. As time goes on, the pig head begins to rot and by the end of the story, the head is only a skull. The rotting of the pig head symbolizes the boys developing and becoming more savage. At the end of the book, when the pig head is completely gone it shows the boys loss of civilization. List 5-8 important pieces of biographical information that is directly relevant to the work and the distinguishing characteristics of the author. Include such things as sociopolitical factors that influenced the author and the impact of his or her work. Biographical Information Significance to the Work William Golding was born and raised in Saint Columb, Minor, Cornwall, England. The language and speech that Golding writes in has a traditional English dialect to it, and some of the words are more frequent in England versus America. William Golding was a very irritated child and took pride in hurting other people. Knowing this, we could assume that Jack’s mischievous character and his weird obsession with killing pigs could’ve been inspired by his childhood. After graduating from Oxford University, William Golding decided to teach English and Philosophy at Bishop Wordsworth’s School in Salisbury. The experience of teaching troublesome boys could’ve served as an inspiration as to why he chose to write a book about school-aged boys in a location with no civilization. Golding decided to join the Navy, during the time of World War 2, and temporarily focus on that. Being in war and gaining exposure to the dangers of what could happen, Golding may have found interest in setting the context of Lord of the Flies to a time period during war. During World War 2, Golding had said, I began to see what people were capable of doing.
Anyone who moved through those years without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey, must have been blind or wrong in the head. You could make the connection to Lord of the Flies and the overall theme that anybody is capable of evil, which is essentially what happened towards the end of the novel and essentially what Golding is saying in this quote. List (a bulleted list is fine) 8-12 of the most significant events of the story. The boys are trying to get away of a war when their plane crashes on an island and all of the adults die. The found the conch and gathered the rest of the boys Ralph was elected chief One of the kids brings up a beast They try to start a signal fire – they burn down half the island while doing so Jack grows obsessed with hunting The signal fire goes out and a ship goes by The hunters catch the first Samneric see the dead parachutist and think it’s the beast Ralph goes on a hunt and enjoys it They play a game and almost kill Robert Jack makes the offering to the beast Simon is killed Roger pushes a rock that kills Piggy The boys are trying to kill Ralph when they find a naval officer and get rescued Identify the significance of the opening scene. In the opening scene, Ralph comes out of the forest and later Piggy joins Ralph. Ralph and Piggy start to realize the situation they’re in, and they want to find the other kids that must’ve gotten out of the plane crash also. After introducing themselves to each other, they find a shell (the conch). The boys used the conch to gather the rest of the boys. At their gathering, all of the boys establish a rule that you can only speak when you have the conch. Throughout the rest of the book, the conch symbolizes the civilization amongst the boys. The conch kept them together and was a rule that they had to follow, keeping them civilized while they were living together on the island without adults. Identify the significance of the ending/closing scene. In the closing scene, Jack’s hunters are looking for Ralph and are out to kill him. Ralph is hiding in the forest, and the boys can’t get him out so Jack lights the forest on fire so Ralph will have to leave. Ralph leaves his hiding spot, and while he is running for his life, he is found by a naval officer. The officer came when they saw the out of control fire on the island. This is explaining that while Ralph was trying to keep the signal fire in control and keep the boys civilized, he wasn’t successful in getting rescued until everything was out of control and all of the boys wanted to kill him. Explain the significance of the setting. The setting is an unknown island in the middle of the pacific ocean. The boys are completely isolated from the rest of the world.
This is what eventually leads them to their loss of civilization. Since they are alone, they don’t have any rules to keep them in order. There are no adults on the island, and there was nobody else there when they crashed. Once they’ve been on the island for a long time, they start to forget about how things are in the rest of the world, and they get excited to kill and they become savage. Fill in the chart for major characters, most important characters first (add rows as necessary): Character Role in the story Significance of character to the work Two adjectives describing him/her Jack main character antagonist In the story, Jack symbolizes power and savagery. Jack doesn’t get chosen as chief, and he then becomes obsessed with killing a pig. Once he accomplished his goal, he felt like he should be chief and not Ralph. Jack was obsessed with being in power on the island. arrogant, persistent Ralph main character protagonist Ralph started as the glue to the group of the boys. He would try his best to keep the group together, and his main focus was rescue. Ralph represents leadership in the story. He became chief and he did what he could to get the boys to listen. Ralph did what he thought was right, and when Jack left the group Ralph continued leading the boys who stayed loyal to him, never joining Jack. calm, rational Roger not a main character Roger symbolizes evil and inhumanity. Roger first destroyed the conch, which represented civilization. At the same time of destroying the conch, Roger killed piggy. By doing this, Roger shows the loss of civilization on the island. He killed Piggy knowing that nobody on the island would stop him. evil, inhumane Piggy main character Piggy symbolizes rationalism. Throughout the story, Piggy would want to do what he knew would help them get saved. When Ralph joined the hunters in one of their hunts, Piggy stayed back with the littleuns. Piggy was very wise and knew what was wrong and what was right. When Piggy died, it showed that civilization and rationality were gone from the island. wise, smart Simon not a main character Simon represents good. In the story, Simon always went with what was right and what he needed to do. Simon was always morally right. When the Lord of the Flies talked to him, he realized the evil in humans. The pig head warned him that if he told the other boys, he would die. He was told to join the boys, but instead, he came out to tell the boys that there was nothing to be scared of. When he did this, the boys attacked him, thinking he was the beast, and killed him. shy, sensitive Write two thematic statements about the text. Briefly explain how each theme is developed in the text. Theme How theme is developed in text In the novel The Lord of the Flies, Golding reveals the change of perception, as a society without civilization unleashes all evil from within. The novel starts off with the boys acting in a civilized manner and as time goes on the norms of society begin to diminish. The first event that reveals a change in character is when Jack kills the first pig, he began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling (Golding, 64). The boys are then influenced by tragic primitive ways as each character proceeds to find the evil within themselves, through savagery and ruthlessness to one another. Specifically when Roger had growing foul intentions and rolled the boulder at Piggy which ended up killing him.
In relation to the theme, Roger’s perception changed as the foul intentions grew stronger within him. In the novel The Lord of the Flies, Golding emphasizes anarchy within adolescent boys when left in a location without civilization. The Lord of the Flies begins with the boys crashing on an island fresh out of civilization, being so recent the boys still have a mind of manner and order. Once the chief was elected, Ralph organized an assembly to discuss order around their society. During the assembly, they establish rule around who gets to speak, We can’t have everybody talking at once. We’ll have to have ‘Hands up’ like at school, he held the conch before his face. I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it while he’s speaking (Golding 33). As the novel proceeds and the boys grow out of their old ways of direction they begin to defy their principles, especially since Ralph, the chief, is only 12 years there is no older figure serving as an authority, their influence is all that he represents. Identify 6-8 short, memorable, significant quotes from the text. Identify the speaker (if appropriate), the situation, and the significance of the quote. Swearing, he turned off the trail and pushed his way through until the forest opened Jack prioritizes savagery vs. rescue which begins to control his image and progress into an unhealthy attribute. Soon the darkness was full of claws, full of claws, full of awful unknown and menace. An interminable dawn faded the stars out, and at last light, sad and grey, filtered into the shelter. This quote explains the scenery, in which the darkness symbolizes the boys fear of the beast on the island because while Samneric were describing the beast the scenery was emphasizing the fear onto the boys. Page 103 However Simon thought of the beast, there rose before his inward sight the picture of a human at once heroic and sick. This quote shows an example of symbolism because Simon still doesn’t believe that there isn’t a beast, so he symbolizes the beast as an, illness that the boys are developing. Ralph/Page 79 We have lots of assemblies. Everybody enjoys speaking and being together we decide things. But they don’t get done. Ralph is explaining the problems in their survival and by doing so he shows character development because he’s becoming more mature and gaining an understanding of his role as a leader.
He had even glimpsed one of them, striped brown, black, and red, and had judged that it was Bill. But really, thought Ralph, this was not Bill. This was a savage whose image refused to blend with that ancient picture of a boy in shorts and shirt. Even Ralph had noticed that the boys are at a complete loss of innocence and had evolved into a group of savages who just follow Jack’s lead. When speaking about, that ancient picture of a boy in shorts and shirt, he’s referencing the innocent boy that Bill was, prior to living a life based around savagery, and that he can no longer notice who Bill had evolved to be. Page 159 I wasn’t scared, Ralph said slowly, I was- I don’t know what I was After killing Simon, Piggy tries convincing Ralph that they did it out of fear. Ralph admits he wasn’t scared, which shows him developing into savagery. He wanted to kill, and he wasn’t afraid as to before he wouldn’t go hunt. Identify the major archetypes (use the handout from class), how it is shown in the text, and explain the significance as it relates to theme. Archetype/how it is shown Significance to theme Ralph is the protagonist in the Lord of the Flies vs Jack the antagonist. Their representation and contribution to the theme are shown consistently as Ralph attempts to give order and manner to their society and search for rescue versus Jack who finds satisfaction within savagery and evil. Good vs. Evil is shown in the differences of personalities between Jack and Piggy. In other words, civilization vs savagery. Piggy represents the good in their society opposed to Jack who centers around savagery and hurtfulness. Connecting to the theme, Piggy was perceptive and sensible whereas, Jack was the evil force that caused everyone to switch on their morals and values, and essentially give into the negative of society.
Devil figure in Lord of the Flies is represented with the pig head that Simon refers to as the lord of the flies In the novel, the boys are falling into savagery and evil throughout their time on the island. Lord of the Flies translates to Beelzebub which is considered to be a demon or Satan himself. Simon has a conversation with the lord of the flies, which shows them starting to worship evil. During the conversation, the pig head warns Simon to not tell anyone about the beast not being real and to play along with the boys. He tells Simon that if he does anything different, it will result in something bad. (Which in Simon’s case, was death). This relates to someone having a conversation with the god they worship and getting a sign from them. Identify the following elements and their significance. There will likely be more than one for symbol, motif and imagery. Include other optional elements as significant: point of view, allusion, etc. Literary Element/how it is shown Significance Symbol: Piggy’s glasses that are used throughout the novel to start the fire. Piggy’s glasses are used by Golding to represent scientific advancement and human evolution/adaptation. For example, they are sought out and used by the tribes as a means to create fire, symbolising humanity’s constant search for technological and scientific advancement. Symbol: Conch shell The conch shell is a reminder for civilization and order and one of the only functioning objects that organizes the boys on the stranded island. Once Roger pushes the boulder and Piggy was holding the conch, the conch breaking marks a turning point to when the boys begin to lose order and morals. Motif: Conflict between good and evil, civilization vs. savagery The constant ongoing battle between Ralph’s group and Jack’s hunter tribe consistently shows up to be one of the main conflicts in the story. With this recurrence, it shows us the representation of the classic good vs. evil, more specifically in the novel to be civilization vs. savagery. This motif shows the contrast in human natures that drive the rule in society.
Motif: Biblical Allusions and parellels
Throughout the novel, several events and characters can be viewed as biblical allusions, almost in a way recreating some representation of the bible. For example, Simon and Jack are heavily referenced to be in some way to be an almost Jesus and Satan comparison. Simon is seen being the voice of reason and realization as he is the one who discovers the reality of the beast, however dies because of his atonement for the kid’s savagery. Jack is always turning to the sins of temptation and impulse, which Satan is commonly referred to as the king of temptation. Imagery: Ralph’s hair One of the first lines upon the beginning of the novel talks about Ralph’s hair, initially Ralph is introduced as the boy with fair hair, (Golding, 1). As the novel goes on and the boys live in the wilderness his hair shows that change as there’s more dirt present and his desire for a haircut grows stronger. This visual can be connected to the conditions that they’re living in, parallel to the time frame of the boys being there. Imagery: The Scar The novel starts off by describing the scar- the area where the plane created a crater within the forest which was described as a scar. By doing this, Golding helps the reader visualize the area better and assists in setting the story to better the understanding of geography for the reader. Diction and Syntax: Vivid Golding’s diction and syntax is vivid and translated to his imagery. All scenes he describes are almost three-dimensional, his diction evokes feeling in the reader Structure: Chronological The story is told through chronological structuring in which the events are described in the order than they happen in, starting with the plane crashing and then resolving with the kids’ salvation. This style of structuring enables the reader to experience the events of the story alongside the characters, which strengthens the bond between reader and story as we only know so much as the characters within the book.
The animalistic tone Golding decides to use really assists in the book’s imagery and shocking factor that the story provides. Because of this tone, so many of the scenes where the kids are being savages are heavily influenced and supported, giving off the true, savage nature of the story Golding was shooting for. In a final paragraph, explain why the work should be included on a list of works of high literary merit. Write your personal response to the content and style of the work. Give a few specific examples to support your opinion. I will NOT ACCEPT I hated the book or I loved the book or I have no opinion of the book. Lord Of The Flies by William Golding written in 1954, is viewed as a masterpiece. The story, which happens amid war, starts when a gathering of English schoolboys endure a plane accident and end up stranded on a desert island with no one to overlook them. This may appear to be an alluring open door for any adolescent looking for opportunity, however, the gathering before long declines into them threatening and revolting back to caveman like times. The book overall portrayed a very strong story in which the characters are cared for by the reader, giving it a more personal feel. Additionally, the story serves as a model and modern commentary on the benefits that we might not see from civilization. For example, the slow de-evolution of the kids into a pure savagery is a fine representation of the necessity of parenthood and guidance during children’s developmental period.