Lord of the Flies Study Guide Mr. Watson English II. Some other Guiding Questions to consider while reading the novel:

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1 William Golding s Lord of the Flies was published in It is deeply allegorical and symbolic, and another one of our texts this year which ponders our Essential Question for the semester: What is justice? In Golding s novel, is justice really determined by reason, or by force? Some other Guiding Questions to consider while reading the novel: Is evil innate (already exists), or must it be taught (nature vs. nurture)? Are children naturally innocent? Does evil come from people, or from society? Possible themes of the novel: Civilization and savagery are in constant conflict and once outside authority is removed, savagery wins. Innocence will always be lost. Innately, human beings are evil. CHAPTER 1 The setting of the story is on a deserted island in the near future. What outside events (directly and indirectly) caused their plane to crash? Describe the three main characters of the novel. RALPH Physical/external characteristics: Personality/internal characteristics: PIGGY Physical/external characteristics: Personality/internal characteristics: JACK Physical/external characteristics: Personality/internal characteristics: 1

2 What are some early indications of the civilized society the boys just left? (Think of objects, actions, and behaviors.) What do Piggy and Ralph discover to call the other survivors? What are some things this item could symbolize? Jack is the leader of what school group? How are they dressed? Who is elected leader? Why do you think he won the vote? What is one characteristic that he is not superior in compared to others in the group? The leader makes Jack the head of the. Ralph, Jack, and Simon go up the mountain to investigate. Describe Simon s personality. What happens when the boys meet the wild pig tangled in vines? What might this foreshadow later? CHAPTER 2 Upon their return, Ralph calls a meeting. What are some immediate dangers for the boys? 2

3 What are some future, long-term dangers and problems? A young boy with a mulberry-colored mark on his face steps forward. What did he see the night before? What might it symbolize? What effect does this have on the boys? What does Ralph propose they do on top of the mountain? What possession of Piggy s is essential for the above proposal? What are some things this item might symbolize? What is the ominous discovery at the end of the chapter? How do the boys react? What might this foreshadow? CHAPTER THREE What activity is Jack trying to do at the beginning of the chapter? Is he successful? Things aren t going well on the island! A. Ralph wants to use wood to build and for the, but Jack and his hunters use wood to make. B. Contrast what Ralph sees as problems with Jack s sense of priorities. JACK: The ways Jack and Simon view and interact with the jungle mirror their own personalities and reveal character. Explain each character s outlook, attitude, and interaction with the jungle. SIMON: 3

4 CHAPTER 4 What are the younger boys now called? What might it mean that new slang phrases are being developed on the island? and Roger, two older boys, torment a few younger ones by tearing down a sand castle. But Roger goes even further. What does Roger do? Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policeman and the law (62). How does this tie into Roger s actions above? What does this say about the boys morals and culture at this point in the novel? What do Ralph and Piggy see in the horizon? What is the problem that the negligent hunters have caused? What has Jack and his hunters finally succeeded at? What happens to an item of Piggy s when Piggy and Ralph confront Jack? What might this damage symbolize? What does Simon do that embarrasses him? As they eat, what happens around the fire? What is the chant the boys create? What does Ralph do at the end of the chapter? Discuss how the boys lives on the island are a microcosm of society. 4

5 CHAPTER 5 Explain Ralph s frustrations as he walks along the beach. Ralph berates the boys at the meeting. A. According to Ralph, what are responsibilities that the others are not doing, and rules they are not following? B. What fear is threatening to rip the group apart? How does Jack manipulate this fear? C. As much as Simon hates to talk in front of all the boys, he proposes a possibility for what B really is: What I mean is... maybe it s only us (89). Explain Simon s point. At the end of the meeting, only Ralph, Piggy, and Simon remain on the beach. A. Piggy wants Ralph to blow the conch again, but he does not. Why? B. What might you infer what is happening to the island s culture by the end of the chapter? Give examples from Chapters 4 and 5 how the boys are: BECOMING SAVAGES: STILL CIVILIZED PEOPLE: 5

6 CHAPTER 6 What happens high above the island during the night? Why might Golding include this in his narrative, especially at this point in the novel? No one notices what is happening above, because and are supposed to be watching the signal fire, but they fall asleep. When they awake, what is the true source of the monster that frightens them? How does the monster seem to move? The characters above run back and tell Ralph about the monster. He calls a meeting. A. What does Jack accuse Ralph of being? B. What is the repeating phrase of Ralph s that finally but barely gets the boys refocused on the most important thing they should do (relighting the signal fire)? Who leads the expedition to the mountain? On the way up the mountain, what fears and concerns of Simon are revealed? What happens to Simon when he s not paying attention? By this point in the novel, it is clear the point of view is. How do you know this? Jack and the hunters delay and play around a fortress they discover on an outcropping of rock. What are ways the boys show the fortress could be defended? Name one theme mentioned at the beginning of the study guide and describe how it is depicted so far in the novel. Give at least two examples / explanations. 6

7 CHAPTER 7 Ralph muses on the state of the boys hygiene and appearance. What are some of his observations? Water is referenced several times at the beginning of the chapter: sweat, washing, and the ocean. Water is therefore seen as positive and negative, depending on its form or use. What are two different things that these references could symbolize? On the way up the mountain, the boys have a boar hunt. A. What is Ralph s realization in the middle of the chase? B. The hunt is unsuccessful. What happens to Robert in their reenactment of the hunt? C. The boys suggest making the reenactment a new ritual. Describe what the boys think they need for this ritual. What does Jack suggest they use for the pig? What question does Ralph ask Jack that makes the rest of the boys [stir] uneasily, as though something indecent had been said? Who finally first ventures alone to the top of the mountain to confront the beast? At the end of the chapter, Ralph, Jack and go back to the top, see the beast and run away. Why is it ironic that the boys do not follow Ralph s original advice to confront the beast during the daytime? 7

8 CHAPTER 8 When the boys return to the beach, Jack calls a meeting. A. How does Jack manipulate the truth about the beast and what Ralph said and did? Give three examples. B. What does Jack fail to do by the end of the meeting? How does he react to this failure? Only Piggy could have the intellectual daring to suggest what? What does Simon do while Ralph and the others eat fruit? Jack and his new tribe of hunters finally kill a sow. This part of Golding s novel is vivid and ominous. What makes the passage disturbing? Why do you think Golding chooses the specific words and stylistic imagery for this passage? What does Jack tell the hunters to do with the head of the pig? From a hidden spot, who has overseen the killing of the pig? What has happened to the twins names? What might this symbolically represent? The conch is now losing its original symbolic significance. When Jack and his hunters raid the camp for fire, what does Piggy do? What does it say about the new reality of the island that Piggy s suspicion was incorrect? At the end of the chapter, Simon has a conversation with the Lord of the Flies. A. Is the conversation real or imagined? Explain. B. Quote a few sentences from the Lord of the Flies s speech that you think are a significant comment on the novel at this point. Be sure to explain your choices. 8

9 CHAPTER 9 Simon awakes from his faint and goes up to the top of the mountain to confront the beast. He discovers the truth, and [takes] the lines in his hands; he free[s] them from the rocks and the figure from the wind s indignity ( ). What does Simon next decide to do? Ralph and Piggy go to check out Jack s tribe. What are other words besides leader that Jack could now be called? Find examples from the text as proof. It begins to storm. (Symbolic, perhaps?) What does Jack do when Ralph points out, Where are your shelters? What are you going to do about that? What do the boys now chant? How is it different than the end of Chapter 4? In the middle of the actions above, A thing [crawls] out of the forest : Simon. What do the others do to him? What happens to both the dead parachutist and the body of the thing by the end of the chapter? By this point of the book, Simon has symbolically transformed into a Christ-like figure. Give three examples (from this and/or previous chapters) as evidence. Discuss why Golding uses children to enhance his allegorical assertions. 9

10 CHAPTER 10 What is the difference between Ralph and Piggy s opinions and attitudes about what happened to Simon the night before? What is Castle Rock? What happens to Wilfred? How does this show what kind of leader Jack is? At this point to Ralph, the attraction of wildness had gone (164). What does he think and dream about that disturbs him? After the hunters attack, what is ironic about Eric s brag about getting his knee up and hitting a hunter in the pills? What might the reality of this symbolize? What do the hunters steal from Piggy? Why is this a problem? CHAPTER 11 Ralph, Piggy, and Samneric plan to confront Jack at Castle Rock. A. What are the things Ralph feels they must do to show they re not savages? B. For the last two chapters, Ralph is having difficulty remembering what? Why might this be significant? Piggy is now essentially blind. A. What might Piggy symbolize at this point in the novel? 10

11 B. Remember that Golding was knowledgeable about ancient cultures. Can you think of a Greek character that Piggy might be similar to? (Think of The Odyssey and Antigone.) What usually happens to such characters in Greek drama? What does Roger do when Ralph and the rest first approach Castle Rock? How does this tie into earlier in the novel? Jack and Ralph first fight to a standstill, but then Jack orders his hunters to grab Samneric. When Ralph s temper breaks, what does he scream at Jack? What happens when Piggy stands up for himself? Who is responsible? Carefully read the paragraph beginning The rock struck... on page 181. A. What does the fate of the conch symbolize? B. What is Piggy s twitching arms and legs compared to? C. How does the end of the paragraph echo an event earlier in the novel? What is the fate of Ralph at the end of the chapter? What is the fate of Samneric at the end of the chapter? 11

12 CHAPTER 12 As Ralph ponders what to do next, what object does he come across? What does he compare the whiteness to? How might this be a symbolic comparison? Ralph goes back to Castle Rock, and has a whispered conversation with Samneric. A. What do they physically give to help Ralph? B. The twins warn Ralph that the tribe will be hunting him tomorrow. What do they specifically warn about Roger? What do you infer the tribe plans to make of Ralph? C. What information does Ralph give that compromises himself (and the twins) later? In order to flush Ralph out, Jack does something that has a large impact on the island. What is it? What is self-destructive about the choice? When faced by the cordon, what two choices does Ralph debate? Finally, and desperately, Ralph flees to the beach. A. Who does Ralph find on the beach? B. In your own words, paraphrase the gist of their conversation. C. Explain why this functions as an example of deus ex machina. There are several ironies by the end of the book. Explain the following: A. The irony of the smoke : B. The irony of the insult, I should have thought that a pack of British boys you re all British, aren t you? would have been able to put up a better show than that : What does Ralph weep for at the end of the novel? 12

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