English Literature

Lord of the Flies

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  • Created by: Surekka
  • Created on: 22-05-11 19:28

Characters

Ralph

  • Atheletic
  • Protangist (main character)
  • Charismatic ( inspiring)
  • Elected leader by other boys at the start of the novel
  • Found the conch
  • Primary Representative of ...
    • Civilisation
    • Order
    • Productive Leadership
  • Ralph sets missions to ... Build huts as shelters and Maximise their chance of a rescue by making a fire.
  • Ralphs influence and power seemed secure over the boys at the beginning of the novel
  • Soon throughout the course of the novel the boys succumbs  (tempated ) into a savagery instinct.
  • Ralph's position as chief soon declines and Jack's rises
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More about Ralph

  • Ralph's commitment to morality and civilisation is strong like Piggy's.
  • However unlike Piggy , Ralph's hair does grow really long like the other boys (CHAPTER 5 ) which may suggest he is not as commited as Piggy but does have some desire of hunting and enjoying his time on the Island.
  • He seems like the moral winner at the end of the novel because he is the only one who hasnt fell in the trap of the savagery instincts and kept the law and order HOWEVER....
    • He does seem involved in the frenzy night when he dances on the edge of the group and Simon is Killed then.
  • His main wishes ...
    • To be rescued
    • To return to the adult's society
  • The first hand knowledge of  evil that lurks within all humans even himself has made him plunge into despair for some time.
  • The Story is Semi - tragically because .....
    • eventhough the naval officer saves all the boys who survived and returns them to safetyand to civilisation
    • Ralph crys because of the new burden of the knowledge of the human capactiy of evil .
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Characters

Jack

  • Strong willed
  • Egoistic (Self centered)
  • Primary Representative of ..
    • the instinct of savagery
    • violence
    • desire of power
  • He desires power over everything which is why he is furious when Ralph is elected as chief.
  • he continually pushes the boundaries of his subordinate role in the group
  • at the beginning he retains the morality  and behaviour that sociey installed din him at school as he was a choir leader.
  • that is why he is unable to kill a trapped pig
  • he soon gives himself to bloodlust
  • paints his face and devotes himself to hunting
  • the more savage Jack becomes - the more he is able to control the group
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More about Jack

  •  Example at the beginning he had no control but by chapter 8 when Jack calls the assembole instead of Ralph
  • the rest of the group cast off moral restraint and embrace violence and savagery as they follow Jack
  • Jack's love of authority and violence are closely related
    • they both enable him to feel powerful and exalted
  • At the end of the novel
    • Jack realises that the boy's fear of the beast is a way of taking control of them and their behaviour
    • this can be a religious remindor of reigion can be manipulated as instruments of power like Jack uses the fear of the beast upon the boys ...
    • Religion could use the fear of God to make humans act in certain ways
  • Ralph and Jack do seem to be friends at the beginning of the novel as they go together to search the forests and are brave together but becasue of Jack's love of authority and desire of hunting the friendship fades and turns into hatred and they become moral enemies.
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Character

Simon

  • While Ralph and Jack are on either sides of civilisation and savagery ... Simon is on a totally different plane.
  • Simon expresses a ...
    • kind of spiritual human goodness
    • that is deeply connected with nature
  • As we can see when in Chapter 3 when he finds a peaceful place deep in the forests and settles down to see the scene and later in the novel in Chapter 8 the beautiful place is ruined and has just the piigs head in the middle when simon returns there ... this gives us a clue that something bad is going to happen to Simon
  • Simon is described as a physical weak as he faints at the beginning of the novel and is sometimes abused by older boys
  • Simon at the beginning of the novel joins Jack and Ralph to climb the mountain not even Roger is asked to come so this explains Simon's  importance in the novel.... eventhough he was the weak one ... he wass the one asked  to go with R and J to search the woods.
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More about Simon

  • As even Piggy and Ralph were involved in that dance that lead to the death of SImon and became products of social condidtioning
  • Golding view is that the human impulse of civilisation is not as deeply rooted as the human impulse of Savagery
  • The other boys abandon the civilisation and behaviour as soon as it is not forced upon them
  • the adult world threatened them with punishments for misdeeds and condidtioned them to act morally
  • buh after all adults were gona and punishments vanished ... so did the moral and civilisation
  • unlike other boys SImon did act morally and not out of guilt or shame but because he believes in the inherent of morality (decency).
  • He is also very considerate and selfless opposite to Jack as he helps the littluns and he is the only one who stays to help Ralph build the shelters and in Chapter 5 he reassures Ralph.
  • Him feeding th littluns relates to the biblical story of feeding 5000 people
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Simon

  • He is presented as a jesus figure as he gives  his life trying to proclaim the truth of the beast to everyone and gets killed by his own people.
  • SImon represents an idea of essential human goodness against all the evil within a man kind.
  • As Simon is a shy quiet boy that doesnt speak much so when he repeats a certain word ... Golding might be trying to emphaises  something like when Simon repeats the phrase " Candle buds" three times it emphaises the importance that hope has for him.  
  • he is mystic
  • he wawnts to know the truth and he does in the end but is unable to tell anyone
  • he talks to the LOTF and solves the big mystery about the beast
  • He is visionary brave
  • He is always fainting in the beginning
  • In the end he is murdered.
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Piggy

  • He is the fat boy
  • He never takes of his clothes eventhough it is boiling
  • He is physically weak as he constantly mentions about his asthma
  • He is myopic and blind without his glasses
  • Like wise without his glasses which represent Order and Civilisation he will not survive
  • So when his glasses are broken in Chapter 4 by Jack hitting him
    • it is the first sign of violence and emphaises the breaking civilised society
  • his glasses were used to light the fire so Piggy is the Fire starter.
  • He is like Ralph's best friend and is his advisor
  • He feeds Ralph ideas.
  • His glasses are stolen and he becomes Blind and helpless
  • So even when a large boulder comes towards him he does not see it and doesnt dodge it causing it to come and crush him while he is calling the conch which represents order and authority.
  • Piggy represents the scientific and intellectual aspects of civilisation
  • He is serious, thoughtful and loyal
  • He is the thinker of the group
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Roger

  • He is a sadist
  • He wants to hurt others
  • He kills Piggy in the end
  • He is Jack's companion
  • He is a loner
  • He is a small , dark boy
  • He becomes a savage torturer
  • He tortures SamnEric to come and join Jack's tribe forcefully
  • In the beginning of the novel he throws stones at the children but purprosely misses them as he was still under the control of Civilisation then.
  • then he overcame all the rules of civilised behaviours and began the decent into savagery.
  • He presents Bloodlust and bruiality at their extremes
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Sam n Eric

  • they are friendly followers
  • they stick to Ralph till the end of the novel where they are forcefully changed into Jack's tribe.
  • they see the Parachuist (the fake beast) first when they are guarding the fire.
  • they are identical
  • They are in the beginning carefree and then become scavangers.

Littluns

  • the relationship between the older boys and the littluns can also emphaise the difference between teh civilised boys and the savage instinct in the boys
  • Ralph and Simon use their power to protect and provide the children adn advance their good in the group.
  • Jack and Roger use the power of their own desires to treat the littluns as objects of their own amusements
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Symbols

The Conch Shell

  • It is discovered by Ralph and Piggy at the beginning of the novel and is used to assemble all the boys together after the crash that seperates them
  • it becomes a powerful symbol of civilisation and order
  • it governs the boys meetings and however holds it can only talk
  • it is the symbol of democratic power 
  • As the island civilisation erodes and the boys descent into savagery the conch loses its power and Jack is the first to speak in a meeting without the conch 
  • Ralph clutches the shell desperately when he talks about his role in SImon's death
  • he is abused by stones by the other boys at Jack's camp even though he is holding the conch so the conch has lost all its power
  • the conch is crushed with Piggy when he dies which emphaises that all the order nd civilisation has been lost from the Island  
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Piggy's glasses

  • As pIggy is the most intelligent and rational boy in the group ...
  • his glasses represent the power of science and intellectual endeavor(attempt) in the society
  • It's symbolic significance is seen when it is used to light the fire at the beginnning of the novel.
  • it also keeps the Ralph's group together with Jack after it is broken the detachment of the boys can be seen after they had been in a grammar school.
  • it can represent the hope of getting rescued
  • it is Ironic as Piggy has a weak eyesight but has a strong insight so
    • the glasses cna represent wisdom
    • knowledge
    • insight
  • when the glasses are stolen by the Jack's tribe we can see it's importance and how Ralph's team are helpless without it.
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Symbols

The Signal Fire

  • it is first burned on the mountain so it is high enough to be seen by the passing ships but then it is burned on the beach
  •  it is a barometer of the boys connection to civilisation as ...
    • when the fire is maintain and guarded we know that all the boys are focusing on being rescued and returning to the adult society
    • however when Jack and the hunters leave the fire and it burns low and goes out (chapter 4) this suggests how their thoughts f being rescued have changed and have diverted to the direction of hunting and have accepted savage lives on the island.
    • the signal fire functions as a kind of measurement of the strength of civilised instincts on the island.
    • Ironically not a signal fire attracts the ships buh the mass fire of savagery that was made to hunt down and kill Ralph by the Jack's tribe.
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Symbols

The Beast

  • it is imaginary and it frightens everyone
  • it stands for the primal instincts of savagery that exists within all human beings
  • the boys are afraid of a physical beast but only Simon finds out that the Beast is actually within all the humans and it can never be gone.
  • as the boys descend into savagery more and more they believe in the beast more and more.
  • they treat it like a God as Jack leaves it sacrfirces
  • the more savage the boys become the more real the beast seems
  • they make the evil within them the beast so they are sure it is not of them but it is something else

Biblical terms the beast is first described as a snake thing that can remind use of the Garden of Eden stroy in Genesis and how the snake is cunning and eventually destorys the paradrise for Adam and Eve. likewise the beast which here is within them has made them destory the paradirse island.

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Symbols

The Lord of the Flies

  • It is offered to the beast ... it is a bloody Sow's head on a stake
  • It becomes more important when SImon confronts it and it speaks to him telling him about the evil the lies within human beings and it scares him promising that it will have fun with him
  • "fun" foreshadows Simon's violent death
  • It becomes a symbol of power of evil
  • a Satan figure  who evokes the human evil within a being
  • BEELZEBUB is the literal translation of Lord of the Flies from the bible and it is the name of a powerful demon in Hell.
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Key Quotations and Explanations

“What I mean is . . . maybe it’s only us”

  • Simon says this in a meeting in Chapter 5
  • Simon mentions that the boy's themselves may be the beast
  • Simon's words here are Golding's main views of the whole novel that evil is within us
  • Simon is the first character to see the beast as not an external character but as a component of the human nature
  • In Chapter 8 it becomes more clear to Simon as he confronts the LOTF.

Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of a true, wise friend called Piggy.

  • In the end of chapter 12 even though he is saved now he still plunges into despair because he has lost his innocence and learnt about the evil that lurks within all human beings
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More Key Quotes

 Roger gathered a handful of stones and began to throw them. Yet there was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw. ...

  • In chapter 4 this introduces the cruelty of Roger
  • but at this point Civilisation still dominants Savagery instincts
  • he is unable to directly hurt the littluns as he is too imposed by the civilised society.

His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed .....

  • In Chapter 4 this is the emotions of jack after killing th epig which is a big milestone in the descent into savagery.
  • he is not only exhilarted from pride of provided the group with food but also becasue he had power over another animal and successfully imposed his will on it . its more about primal instincts than doing good.
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