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Author: William Golding
Publisher: Faber and Faber Limited
Number of pages: 248; the actual story
300; whole book (incl. introduction etc.)
1. Mention the year of first publication and explain the title.
The book was first published in 1954.
Lord of the flies resembles the pigs head on the stick, which becomes a shrine for the boys. The boys recognize this as a symbol of evil.
2. What part or fragment appealed to you most? Explain why.
The assembly when the beast is first recognized. This is the beginning of the end; A turning point in the book. The boys start to see evil, which eventually leads to destruction of their discipline and sense of standard.
3. What part did you find worst of least interesting? Explain why.
I absolutely hated the part where they nearly killed Robert. The boys loose their mind and become a violent mob, which gives an ominous outlook for the books ending. I also hated reading the parts where Simon and Piggy are killed. It’s terrifying realistic that you could forget your sense for the good.
4. If you could choose, what person from this story would you like to be? Why?
The birth marked boy: I wouldn’t have to go through the terror of the island and what it does to one. I also wouldn’t have to go back to a war at home. Though, I am important in such a way. I’m the one who first makes the boys realize the consequences of their actions.
5. Name one character from the book, whom you hated, or could hate. Explain.
Roger; I think that he is a weak character. He is the first one who looses his sense of good and turns into a very sadist and sinister boy. He is also the one that kills Piggy.
6. In what period is the story set? Does it really matter to know in what period the story takes place? Why is that?
The story is set during WW II and yes, that is important.
The boys are supposed to be fleeing a war and, ironically, they are put in one.
7. Explain why you were or were not satisfied with the ending of the book.
I am satisfied with the ending. Although I’d rather have had an open-ending instead of a closed one. Still I thought it was a good ending. It was extremely ironic, that a fire, that would have meant the end of the island and so their survival, saves them.
8. Compare the main characters from the beginning of the story with the same people at the end of it. Have they changed? Have they achieved or learned something? Explain.
Ralph: Ralph is the main character, from whose point of view most of the story is told. He is a boy of good will who has a sense of responsibility, he believes in democracy. In the beginning the boys chose him as their leader. Ralph is an innocent boy, he can hardly imagine that others have different values than he has. Ralph misses the civilised life more than anyone else. He misses his books and the order of the adult world. In the book we learn little about his past life. When things begin to wrong Ralph suffers from stress and begins to break down. He becomes nervous, his memory gets worse and he forgets what he is talking about during a sentence.
Though he is the only one that survives the island and keeps some sense of civilization.
Piggy: Piggy has the rational ability that Ralph misses. He is the most intelligent of all the boys, but he has qualities that make him unacceptable to the other boys. He has a strong sense of justice and fair play: he recognises the conch as a symbol of order and he believes in its power longer than anyone else. When Jack and the others come up at night he doesn't realise they come for his glasses, he thinks they have come for the conch. Even after that he still believes in the power of the conch and even thinks that Jack will respect it too. So it is really ironic that when Piggy dies, the conch breaks. Even though Piggy doesn’r survive the island the experience does change him. In the beginning he doesn’t dare to speak up, but he is eventually killed during his speech about order on the island.
Jack: Jack quickly becomes a primitive hunter on the island who follows only his instincts. He discovers that when he paints his face it frees him from the values he had to live by in the civilised world. He realises there is a evil power on the island, but thinks of it as the beast and not as something from within himself. Jack is the boss of choir boys and has a strong influence on them. He is very violent. Jack wants a lot of rules, however not for the order, but for the fact that the boys can be punished if they break the rules. Jack loses his goodness during the story.
Simon: Simon is a silent, but introvert boy. He is a good boy who works hard and who has plenty of courage: he volunteers to cross the island alone and he climbs the mountain alone to search for the beast. He's a solitary boy, others think of him as a bit crazy and Simon himself doesn't feel at ease with the others. He often needs to be by himself in his secret hiding place. He is the only choir boy who doesn't join Jack's group. Simon is the only boy who doesn’t change. He is also the only one who discovers that the beast lives inside the boys and is not a physical creature.
Roger:Roger is a very sinister sadist. In the beginning he is still hold back by the rules of behaviour he has been taught. Roger is the first and worst boy who looses his snese of good. The hunting brings this out in him. Roger tortures the sow by sticking his spear 'right up her ass', and it is Roger who releases the stone that kills Piggy. After that even Jack recognises him as the 'master of torture' and he gives Roger the job to make Sam and Eric join his group.
Sam and Eric: The twins are happy fun-loving who work hard and stay loyal to Ralph as long as they can. The belong together so completely that their names are made one: 'Samneric'. They are also regarded as one person in the dividing of tasks, the two of them have to do the same work as all the others have to do alone. They even talk as one, the two of them making one sentence.
The littluns: The littluns remain vague characters in the book. I think that is because the story is told from Ralph's point of view and they are never really important to them. At night the suffer from nightmares and during the day the play in the sand, living in their own world. It never becomes clear how many there are. Though the Lillluns are scarred by the time on the island, this becomes clear in the end when Percival can’t say his name and adress properly anymore.
9. What would you call a story like this? You can choose more than one.
This is a classic literary novel.
10. Is there a turning point in the story, a point which the story takes a different course? Describe.
See question 2.
11. How much time has passed between the beginning and the end of the story? Describe.
I have got absolutely no clue! At the beginning of the story the boys are being evacuated for an atomic war (?), during WW II. Also the writer tells us the older boys are about twelve. I would estimate that the boys would have stayed on the island for about 6 months, maximum. But the author doesn’t tell us how long the boys stay on the island or even an indication of the time spent on the island. Though, long enough for the boys to loose their norms and values.
12. Has the writer tried to make a point or statement with this story, or has he tried to make something clear? In other words> what is the theme? Explain.
Yes, he has. There are several themes:
Good and Evil: The battle between Ralph and Jack, and also the inner battle the older boys go through.
Law and Order: The boys come from a society in which orderliness is the norm and they continue to try and enforce this on the island. Due to no adults being there to tell them off their rules slowly disintegrate.
Discipline: When the rules are set everybody keeps to them. Slowly this discipline disappears due to Jack’s ruling system.
Crowd mentality: As order starts to fade on the island, the boys start to loose there identities and start to think like a mob. This leads to horrific scenes.
13. Who, actually, tells the story? In other words: what is the narrative perspective? Do you see what is happening from the point of view of the main character, of one of the other characters, or the writer? Explain.
The story is told by an omniscient author, who may enter the minds of any of his characters, but who also remains at a distance, and is rather objective.Though mostly you are put in Ralphs head. Golding seems to demand reason and common sense from his readers, two characteristics that gradually disappear from the island.
14. Where is the story set? Does it really matter where the story takes place? In other words: Why is the setting important or why does the setting not really matter?
The story takes place on an inhabited island. This does matter, because the boys don’t have an adult to supervise them and so they a run wild and have to make sure they get rescued on their own. This also means they are forced into confrontation with each other, it is an island, there is no running away possible.
15. Would you recommend this book to your classmates or not? Explain why.
Yes; it has a deeper meaning, which makes you think. If you can’t see the deeper meaning, that doesn’t have to matter, because then it’s just a good story to read.
16. If you had to give a mark for this book, what would that be?
Character development: 8
17. Make a brief summary of the most important events in the story.
A group of British boys, between the age of 6 and 12, are the sole survivors of an air crash which would have evacuated them from England during WW II.
Having landed on an inhabited, tropical island, two of the boys, Ralph and Piggy, use a conch to announce their presence and summon other boys that have survived the crash. The others boys come, answering the call of the conch. Including a group of choir boys, being led by there head boy, Jack Merridew.
Ralph is chosen as a leader in preference to Jack, who is allowed to stay head of the choir boys as hunters.
3 of the boys, Jack, Ralph and Simon decide to explore the island, before undertaking some kind of action. They come to discover that the island is inhabited, but has plenty of fruits and pigs.
Ralph and group decide to make rules. Whoever holds the conch may speak and the others should listen, a sign of respect. Ralph also decides to make a fire as a signal for rescue, using Piggy’s glasses. The fire gets out of control and kills and littlelun, the birth marked boy. The boys realize there are consequences following their actions.
The boys also make shelters and rules for there personal hygiene.
While Jack is out hunting, a ship passes the island, Ralph rushes to the mountain finding the fire has gone out. Meanwhile Jack has successfully hunted and they celebrate it by re-lighting the fire and cooking the pig meat and eating it.
When Ralph discovers that the rules a being stretched he calls a meeting reminding the boys of the rules. He also start a touchy topic; the beast.
The boys don’t welcome this subject and dismayed about it Ralph considers stepping down as chief and wishes for a sign from the outside this world.
This comes in the form of a dead airman, who is assumed to be the beast.
The boys decide to hunt for the beast.
During their hunt, the boys stumble across an outcrop of rock which could make a good fort.
The boys decide that the beast is on top of the mountain and set up the mountain to find it. It is dark and they see something vaguely in the darkness which frightens them and the run away.
During an assembly, Jack tries to become chief, but his efforts are ignored. Jack goes of in a strop to set up a tribe of his own. He is joined by his hunters. They kill a pig and sacrifice the head for the beast (lord of the flies).
Simon is in the forest during that kill and talks to the head of the pig, as if the pig understands him. Simon falls unconscious and when he wakes up he is sure that the truth about the beast is on top of the mountain. Here, he finds the dead pilot. Relieved, he goes back to Jack’s camp which he stumbles into their celebration dance and gets killed during the frenzy. He never got to tell about the airman.
Jack’s group gets bigger and more violent. They raid Ralph’s group for Piggy’s glasses. In a helpless effort to get Piggy’s glasses back, Piggy is murder by Roger.
Jack’s group decides to hunt Ralph down. They find Ralph, who has been hiding in the forest, and force him onto the open beach. Ralph, who is exhausted, stumbles and falls. Ralph looks up expecting a deadly blow looks up to see a Royal Navy officer. The officer saw the smoke from the fire that Jack’s party hade made to flush out Ralph and came to rescue the boys.
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