Good and Evil
- Examples: Conch group vs The savages. Boys vs The beast. Rescue vs Imprisonment on the island.
- The conch is symbol of good and order. Ralph/Piggy are the ones who find the conch meaning they symbolise Good.
- Jack symbolises evil by breaking the order and unity of the boys by creating his own tribe. He uses fear to control rather than the natural authority Ralph has.
- When Jack's tribe is dominant it shows evil conquering good. But when the ship comes to save the boys before the savages kill Ralph it shows good won in the end.
Order and Discipline
- Golding taught in a public school which is kind the boys attended.
- He explores ideas of how wrong things can go without rules/adults - Jack.
- But also how other children prove to be natural leaders - Ralph.
- Too many rules not good.
- You feel safer doing wrong in a crowd. You lose your individual identity. It was not their fault because everyone else was doing it. Eg. They were not take personal responsibility for killing Simon.
- However Ralph does saying 'that was murder' despite not committing it alone. He accepts his part in it.
- Golding wrote this in the context of the cold war. It symbolises that through the conflict between the two tribes they could get themselves killed through the fires they allow to get out of control.
- Much like Atomic bombs. Russians put one on America. America put one on Russia etc.
Ralph is the chief. He takes responsibility for looking after the other survivors form the start. He is courages for searching the island for the beast. He is caring as he builds shelters. He is clever for thinking of the fire as a rescue signal.
'There was a mildness about his mouth and eyes that proclaimed no devil.' This suggests that he was not secretly evil, like Jack, and was of god character.
'They'll see our smoke.' Ralph key aim throughout the book is rescues. It's what him and Jack fall out about when the choir allow it blow out.
'New understanding that Piggy had given him'. He is one of the only ones who respects Piggy's advice and ideas. Despite being cruel to him at the start.
'Don't you understand Piggy - the things we did..' He accepts his part in killing simon like a true leader should.
Jack in the leader of choirboys. He leads through fear, not respect. In the beginning of the book he rivals Ralph for leader. Then later forms his own tribe of savages. He is cunning - he steals piggy's glasses for his tribes fire. He is one of the first to turn savage - the chanting and brutal killing of pigs - like ****. He is a cruel leader - inflicts punishments/torture.
'This was the voice of one who knew his own mind.' This suggests someone who does not back down. Foreshadowing Jack's break from the Ralph's tribe.
Jack had a 'compulsion to track down and kill jay swallowing him up.' He has a primitive, addiction to killing and instinct to hunt. Which leads him to killing humans as he forgets the boundaries of civilisation.
'the mask was a thing on its own behind which Jack hid liberated from shame and self consciousness.' When painted it is like Jack is wearing a mask. Like a soldier wearing a uniform. It is his duty to kill without feeling sorry.
He is overweight and the subject of his asthma frequently comes up. He is working class, but the most intelligent on the island. Ralph uses this to help him lead. Piggy is the one who suggests Ralph use the conch to gather survivors. He is killed by Roger.
'He was shorter than the fair boy and very fat.' Piggy's size opens him up to teasing from the other boys. It also excludes him from energetic hunting trips.
'Piggy was an outsider' And for this he was hated by Jack. Who rules over a tribe which wears uniform dutifully. Showing he's used to conform and perfection. Piggy also has little chance of survival 'fat', 'as-mar', 'specs' and 'a certain dislike for manual labour.' Foreshadows that he dies.
'We could find out how to make a small hot dire and then put green branches and then put green branches on to make it smoke.' This shows his intelligence and rational thought.
Simon is one of Jack's choirboys. But is often referred to as strange. He discovers the truth about the beast being a dead pilot who parachuted from the plane.
'batty, queer, funny, cracked' These are all ways Simon is described. He is prone to fainting fits and like to spend time alone. When he talk to the pigs head this could be a hallucination.
'What's the dirtiest thing there is?' Simon finds it hard to express himself. He understands evil though.
'The beast was harmless and horrible.' He understands the beast won't hurt them.
Simon confronts The Lord of the Flies who represents Jack's evil. Perhaps this is why he gets killed. As anyone who questions Jack seemed to have this fate.