Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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1 LORD OF THE FLIES Lord of the Flies is a thought-provoking novel authored by Nobel Prize winning author William Golding in The book describes in detail the horrific exploits of a band of young children who make a striking transition from civilized to barbaric. The Lord of the Flies commands a pessimistic outlook that seems to show that man is inherently tied to society, and without it, would likely return to savagery. Golding wrote Lord of the Flies shortly after learning of the horrors of WWII and the Holocaust. One question facing many people at the time was: How can good people commit such horrific crimes? What makes good people do bad things? Lord of the Flies is an allegorical novel. An Allegory is a narrative that serves as an extended metaphor. Allegories are written in the form of fables, parables, poems, stories, and almost any other style or genre. The main purpose of an allegory is to tell a story that has characters, a setting, as well as other types of symbols, which have both literal and figurative meanings. The difference between an allegory and a symbol is that an allegory is a complete narrative that conveys abstract ideas to get a point across, while a symbol is a representation of an idea or concept that can have a different meaning throughout a literary work The title of the novel is an allusion. An allusion is a reference in a literary work to a person, place, or thing in history or another work of literature. Allusions are often used to summarize broad, complex ideas or emotions in one quick, powerful image. Allusions are often indirect or brief references to well-known characters or events. Lord of the Flies comes from the Arabic for one of the manifestations of the Devil. Beelzebub means lord of the flies. In the novel, the pig s head on a stick, covered in flies, is a horrific symbol of how far the violence has come. The pig was killed and the head is put on a stick as an offering to the beast. The title of the novel reinforces the idea that we all have something of the devil within us and that the devil can be released all too easily. Golding himself wrote of his novel: The boys try to construct a civilization on the island; but it breaks down in blood and terror because the boys are suffering from the terrible disease of being human. Dealing with the already controversial subjects of human nature and individual welfare versus the common good, earned it position 70 on the American Library Association's list of the 100 most frequently challenged Books of The novel was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present. Lord of the Flies by William Golding Nov 5: The Age of Reason; A Chilling Crime and a Question: What s in a Child s Mind? Should children be held accountable for their crimes? At what age should children be tried as adults? At what age do you think that a child who commits a crime knows and understands what he/she is doing wrong, and why? Why Boys Become Vicious? by William Golding Are men and women born with cruelty or is it a learned behavior? Do children need guidance? HW: Read Ch 1

2 Nov 6: Quiz over Chapter 1 Nov 9: Continue class discussion HW: Read Ch 2 Nov 10: Quiz over Chapter 2 Nov 11: Continue class discussion HW: Read Ch 3 Nov 12: Quiz over Chapter 3 Nov 13: Continue class discussion HW: Read Ch 4 Nov 16: Quiz over Chapter 4 Nov 17: Continue class discussion HW: Read Ch 5 Nov 18: Quiz over Chapter 5 Nov 19: Continue class discussion HW: Read Ch 6 Nov 20: Quiz over Chapter 6 HW: Read Ch 7,8, and 9 Nov 30: Quiz over Chapter 7-9 Dec 1: Continue class discussion HW: Read Ch 10 Dec 2: Quiz over Chapter 10

3 Dec 3: Continue class discussion HW: Read Ch 11 Dec 4: Quiz over Chapter 11 Dec 7: Continue class discussion HW: Read Ch 12 Dec 8: Quiz over Chapter 12 Dec 9: Continue class Discussion Should Jack, Ralph, Roger etc be held liable for their crimes? The Argumentative Essay Power Point HW: Essay due TUESDAY Dec 15 (do not forget about turnitin.com) Dec 10: Play Review Game Pass out permission slips HW: Study for Test Dec 11: Dec 14: Dec 15: Dec 16-18: Collect Permission Slips Collect Packets LOTF Final Test Watch LOTF Watch LOTF Collect Essays and books Semester Exams

4 ANNOTATING LORD OF THE FLIES: 1. Highlight EVERY time you find the answer to a question or information which will help you arrive at an answer. Label the highlighted area with the question # to which it refers. On your answer document, mark the page number next to the question from where you found the answer. 2. Golding has developed a microcosm (a miniature world) on this island. Therefore each character is a representative of something from the real world? You are going to want to track the following characters specifically: Ralph, Piggy, Jack, Roger, and Simon. Highlight (in a different color from your question highlighting) as each character is introduced as well as significant times which show character development. On the back of the packet, you will track these characters by explaining why you highlighted what you did; why do you think it s important.

5 Chapter One: The Sound of the Shell 1. How do the boys end up on the island? 2. Who is the voice referred to? What does the voice represent? 3. How does the reaction of the fair-haired boy differ from the fat boy s at the realization that there are no adults around? 4. The language in the description of Ralph may foreshadow what? 5. Piggy says, It wasn t half dangerous Again he says twice, You can t half swim. What does Piggy mean by half? 6. What rhetorical device does Golding use in his description of light and breezes? 7. Who and what gives the conch value? 8. In what sense do Ralph and Piggy complement one another while dealing with the conch? 9. Why did the boys gather as Ralph blew the conch? 10. Reread the description of the choir leader. Discuss Golding s use of color and imagery, and what it may foreshadow. 11. What about Jack Merridew indicates that he is used to commanding? 12. Why is Ralph chosen over Piggy and Jack to be leader? 13. What unknown force has arranged the rocks? 14. What is the first act of willful destruction? What is the boys reaction? 15. Ralph, after the three explorers reach the top makes the statement, This belongs to us. What is the significance of this statement? 16. Describe the island and explain the significance of its shape. What question should we be asking ourselves in relationship to this? 17. Describe Jack s emotional state after his encounter with the pig.

6 18. What is the most notable symbol of chapter one and what does it represent? 19. What is the general goal of the group of boys throughout chapter one? Chapter Two: Fire on the Mountain 1. In the first paragraph of chapter two, Golding writes, The choir noticeably less of a group, had discarded their cloaks. What does this statement convey to the reader? 2. What decisions are made at the meeting held the first evening? 3. What allusion is made? Why is it referenced (look it up if you don t have any knowledge)? 4. The little boy with the mulberry-colored birthmark comes forward to speak of what? What element does it introduce? How does the descriptive phrase, the small boy twisted further into himself hint at a theme? (Think about the Biblical parallel to The Garden of Eden) 5. Why does Ralph repeat the statement, there isn t a beastie five times? 6. What rhetorical device is used in the paragraph beginning, Life became a race? 7. The sun in the west was a drop of burning gold that slid nearer and nearer the sill of the world. All at once they were aware of the evening as the end of light and warmth. The first statement is what type of rhetorical device? What did the group realize? 8. In what ways is Piggy the voice of reason? 9. How does Jack and Ralph s relationship develop during the building of the fire? 10. Does Piggy s place in this society seem to be any different from his place in England? Why is it hard for the boys to hear Piggy? 11. What part of society does Piggy symbolically represent? 12. Cite the simile describing the little uns and interpret it.

7 13. On what ominous note does chapter two end? Chapter Three: Huts on the Beach 1. How does Golding indicate the passage of time? 2. The term insects in the fourth paragraph is ambiguous. What two meanings can be applied? 3. In addition to the huts on the beach being a shelter from the weather, in what symbolic way does Ralph think that the shelters are important? 4. What is causing friction between Ralph and Jack? 5. When Jack is hunting or talking about hunting, what kind of look does he have? What does this signify? 6. What effect does Simon s comment, As if it wasn t a good island have on Ralph? On the reader? 7. What is Jack s response to Simon s statement? 8. What has Ralph come to realize about society on the island? 9. What is Golding s purpose in introducing the scene of the little ones playing in the sand and in the pool? 10. What literary device is used in the statement, they walked along, two continents of experience and feeling, unable to communicate? 11. How does the narrator describe the relationship between Ralph and Jack? What does he mean? 12. How does Golding convey to the reader that Simon is not unfamiliar with the terrain?

8 13. How is Simon different from Ralph and Jack? 14. What societal archetypes do Ralph, Jack, and Simon represent? What is an archetype? 15. In what ways does the author create a Christ-likeness about Simon? 16. What does the simile, the creepers dropped their ropes, like the rigging of foundered ship add to a larger concept? 17. In chapter three, the personal conflict between Ralph and Jack mirrors the thematic conflict of the novel. What is the thematic conflict? Chapter Four: Painted Faces and Long Hair 1. Describe the rhythm of life on the island. 2. What consumes the time of most of the littluns? 3. What caused Maurice to cease his destruction of the littluns castle and continue on to the water? 4. What incident shows that Roger is still affected and still held by the learned rules of society? 5. What is the darker shadow? 6. Why does Jack paint his face? How does the paint transform him? 7. What symbolic meaning does the fire have?

9 8. Contrast Ralph s and Jack s reactions to missing their first chance of rescue. 9. What two worlds does the narrator say that Jack and Ralph depict? 10. Explain Jack s change towards Piggy. 11. Explain the significance of the statement, By the time the pile [of firewood] was built, they were on different sides of a high barrier. 12. Identify the protagonist and the antagonist. 13. The extent to which the stronger boys bully those that are weaker is the indication of what? Chapter Five: Beast from Water 1. Identify the major conflict of the novel. 2. What are the secondary conflicts? 3. What theme is Golding developing in the opening paragraph of chapter five? 4. Which of the characters thus far may be considered to be an antihero? What is an antihero? 5. Contrast this meeting with other meetings. What is its purpose? 6. How do the topics at this meeting reflect the theme? 7. How do Ralph s and Jack s reactions to the littluns fear indicate their divergent personalities? 8. Since Lord of the Flies is allegorical in nature, interpret what the beast may signify in a religious reading. (What is an allegory?)

10 9. What does Piggy represent in his speech at the assembly? 10. Piggy says there isn t a beast, but there is one thing to fear. What is it? What might this foreshadow? 11. What memories does Percival stir in Ralph? 12. What additional fears does Percival s speech evoke? 13. Interpret the statement: Simon became inarticulate in his effort to express mankind s essential illness. 14. What is the final straw in Ralph and Jack s relationship? 15. What prevents Ralph from blowing the conch to bring the meeting back to order? 16. Why are Piggy and Simon adamant about Ralph s not giving up leadership? 17. In the midst of the final conversation in chapter five, someone says, Keep the fire going. Interpret the remark. 18. Find an example of irony dealing with adults. Chapter Six: Beast From Air 1. What purpose does the second paragraph of chapter six serve? 2. How does the larger setting reinforce the theme of the novel? 3. What is the beast from the air? 4. Why do the planes not see the fire on the island? 5. After relighting the fire, what frightens Samneric? How do they respond? 6. Why does Jack sneer and ask Ralph if he is frightened? How does Ralph respond?

11 7. What is Simon s function here? 8. Who composes the group that will hunt for the beast? 9. How does the sea look from Ralph s vantage point? What does this association contribute to this episode? Think Biblical allusion. 10. Interpret the following: A strange thing happened in [Ralph s] head. Something flittered there in front of his mind like a bat s wing, obscuring his idea. 11. What does the use of the adverb, mutinously, foreshadow? How does it tie together a larger concept? Chapter Seven: Shadows and Tall Trees 1. What is significant about Ralph s concern with his appearance as the chapter begins? 2. At this point, what contrast is presented by Ralph s daydream? 3. What is significant about Ralph s response to his encounter with the boar? 4. What emotions does Robert experience in the game? How about Ralph? 5. What literary purpose does the hunt serve? 6. Why is it especially horrific and savage when Robert says, You want a real pig because you ve got to kill him, and Jack replies, Use a littlun? 7. How does Golding convey the shift of leadership that is slowly taking place? 8. How does Golding change the mood of the story? 9. How does Golding show that Ralph is still civilized? 10. Now that Ralph is leading again, what is Jack s response?

12 11. What causes Jack to move to the back of the line to brood? 12. After reaching the mountain, Jack and Ralph argue again. What is the row about? Why does Jack start another argument? 13. What do the boys find on the mountain? How do they respond? 14. Why do you suppose the author lets the reader know at the outset that it is a pilot and his parachute, not a beast that the boys find? Would there not have been greater suspense if the reader knew no more than the boys? Chapter Eight: Gift for the Darkness 1. Describe how the meeting ends. 2. What does Piggy s suggestion to move the fire to the beach accomplish in the boys? How does Piggy feel? 3. How is Piggy s participation in the group different than in the past? 4. After lighting the fire, Ralph discovers that few biguns are left. Where are they? 5. What is worrying Ralph? 6. Who are the first to follow Jack? Why? 7. What is Jack s plan after naming himself Chief? What is his plan regarding the beast? 8. How does the hunt add to the development of the theme? 9. What do the boys do with the pig? Why? 10. Interpret the title of the chapter, Gift for the Darkness, in two ways.

13 11. Interpret the statement, The half-shut eyes were dim with the infinite cynicism of adult life. 12. Run away, said the head silently is an example of what literary term? 13. The pig s head, being surrounded by flies, has become the Lord of the Flies. Lord of the Flies is an English translation of the name Beelzebub, a common name for either Satan or one of his chief demons. What is the connection between the beast and this skewered sow s head? 14. What truth has Simon realized that no one else seems to comprehend? 15. Simon is the only character who does not feel morality as an artificial imposition of society. For whom might he be a foil? 16. The act of placing the sow s head near the forest glade filled with butterflies and flowers highlights what theme? 17. The Island was getting worse and worse Interpret the statement. 18. How is the decline of Jack and his followers to savagery physically displayed? 19. When Jack and the savages surprise Ralph, Piggy, and the others, Ralph runs to the fire, and Piggy runs to the conch. Interpret the symbolism. 20. Give interpretations of Simon s confrontation with the Lord of the Flies from an archetypal standpoint. 21. How does Simon complicate the philosophical statement that the novel makes about human beings? Chapter Nine: A View to a Death 1. What has happened physically to Simon? 2. After reading the first two paragraphs, explain what the title of the chapter may foreshadow.

14 3. What does Simon s vision teach him? When is the vision fulfilled? 4. What Biblical parallels may be drawn from Simon s walk? 5. What does parody mean in the statement, The tangle of lines showed him the mechanics of this parody; he examined the white nasal bones, the teeth, the colors of corruption. 6. What two statements or phrases seem to foreshadow that there will be trouble before the night ends? 7. What does the dance signify? 8. Simon arrives at the beach in the middle of the storms raging both in the boys and in the skies. What happens to him? What does it symbolize? 9. What becomes of the dead parachutist? 10. Who are the moonbeam-bodied creatures with fiery eyes? Chapter Ten: The Shell and the Glasses 1. Contrast the seats of authority. How do the seats support the theme? 2. How does Golding highlight the transition from civilization to savagery? 3. What is the difference in the way the two camps deal with Simon s murder? 4. What double function does the fire on the beach now have? 5. What in this chapter signifies the end of hope? 6. This is not the first time that Piggy s aunt is mentioned. What does this introduce to the story? 7. In the raid, why are Piggy s glasses taken, but not the shell?

15 Chapter Eleven: Castle Rock 1. Contrast Jack s and Ralph s attitudes toward their appearance. 2. What is the significance of Piggy s holding the conch when the boys go to claim back the glasses? 3. Sam says that Jack will be painted. What is Sam implying? 4. Ralph insists his tribe wash so they can be like they used to be, but is reminded by the others that they bathe every day. What theme is supported? 5. The twins see Ralph as though they were seeing him for the first time. What does the statement imply? 6. Interpret the statement: Freed by the paint, they had tied their hair back. 7. What actions show that the tribe has not completely abandoned the established society of the island? 8. The death of Piggy and the destruction of the conch signify what? 9. Contrast Roger with Jack. 10. Trace the progression of Roger s savagery in this chapter. 11. Describe the changes in the depiction of the conch. 12. How is Piggy portrayed at the moment of his death? 13. What becomes of Sam, Eric, and Ralph? Chapter Twelve: Cry of the Hunters 1. Explain the following observation: 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. What does Ralph mean? 2. Cite and interpret the simile.

16 3. Ralph decides to go back to Jack s camp and finds that it is Samneric s turn to guard the entrance. What does he find out from them? 4. What is the significance of the stick sharpened at both ends that Roger has planned for Ralph? 5. How does the tribe find Ralph in the thicket? What do they do to flush him out? 6. What is ironic about the fire the tribe creates to flush out Ralph? 7. Find the metaphor which contains alliteration as well. 8. What is significant about the fact that Percival cannot even remember his name? 9. Why does the officer allude to Coral Island? 10. Why does Ralph weep? 11. In the microcosm on the island, what does each of these boys represent: Ralph, Piggy, Jack, Roger, and Simon? 12. What is ironic about the rescue of the boys?

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