Lord of the Flies Revision

Lord of the Flies - Revision
- To review key moments in the novel which represent the
boys’ descent into savagery
- To revise the main characteristics and representations of
the key characters
Lord of the Flies - Revision
Key Point
The chapters of the novel are all symbolically titled, and,
themselves, signal the boys’ descent into savagery. It can
be helpful to reference these in the exam, should a question
on this theme come up.
Descent into Savagery
- On the handouts that you will
be given, several key events
concerned with varying degrees
of descent into savagery are
- Choose the 10 most important
ones and cut/ stick into your
exercise books in order 1 = least
savage, 10 = most savage.
-This will form a ready made
essay, should this question come
up in the exam.
-You need to think carefully
about your reasons for grouping
them in this order – work in pairs
to discuss ideas.
Descent into Savagery – The Main Events
1. The boy with the birthmark talks about the
2. Jack paints his face and does a war dance
3. A ship passes the island, but the fire’s out
4. Jack challenges Ralph’s authority and
goes off alone, soon joined by the other boys
5. Jack and his gang kill a pig and put the
head on a ‘stick sharpened at both ends’
Descent into Savagery – The Main Events
6. Simon is killed by the other boys
7. Jack’s gang steal Piggy’s glasses,
leaving the others without fire
8. Piggy’s death following Ralph’s
gang’s attempt to reason with Jack
9. Sam and Eric are forced to join
Jack’s tribe – they tell Ralph that Roger
has ‘sharpened a stick at both ends’
10. Jack’s gang hunt Ralph down
Remember that
the maximum
age of
the boys is 12
Ralph profile
Tall, blonde
hair, athletic.
Relationships with others
Piggy and others look up to
him, friendly with Jack.
seems to be a
good leader.
Father a
Naval officer.
Ralph – Key Points
 Does he represent the good in mankind?
 He is the epitome of the stereotyped protagonist –tall, fairskinned, blonde hair, blue-eyed (ironically Aryan featured).
 He and Jack are binary oppositions of one another.
 Elected leader, but not forceful enough to maintain the
 He is eventually reduced to the status of outcast, who must
flee for his life.
 An idealist and a dreamer – it is Piggy who does all of the
thinking for him.
 At the end of the novel he is a disillusioned realist, who now
sees the world and its inhabitants for what they really are.
Piggy profile
Fat, asthmatic
and shortsighted.
Relationships with others
Fears Jack, is taunted by
others because of nickname.
Intelligent and
sensible –
teaches Ralph
how to blow the
conch, suggests
making a list
of names.
Orphan, lives
with aunt.
to others.
Piggy – Key Points
o Piggy is the stereotypical ‘victim’ in the novel – overweight, fat,
asthmatic and short-sighted. His presence initially makes the other boys
either wince or make fun of him.
o He is represented as being of a lower class than the other boys, and
consequently speaks and acts differently.
o Ironically, he is the boy who speaks the most sense – he is intelligent,
thoughtful and able to reason and hypothesise.
o He is a paternal figure who looks after and supports the little’uns.
o He becomes a wise counsellor who supports Ralph’s attempts at
democratic, parliamentary rule.
o He increasingly finds himself at odds with Jack, a person who he
instinctively fears and loathes – it is Jack’s subordinate Roger who
crushes Piggy with the boulder.
o Note how sight is metaphorically and literally associated with Piggy.
Jack profile
Thin, red hair
and freckles,
Relationships with others
Dominates the choir. Likes
Ralph but takes an immediate
dislike to Piggy.
Bossy and
rude – orders
the choir about.
Leader of the
Jack – Key Points
 Is he meant to represent the worst in people?
 His physical appearance serves as a warning sign – the flame red hair,
the pale face that blanches with displeasure.
 He is used to taking up a leadership position – first leader of the choir,
he becomes leader of the hunters.
 He is responsible for splitting the group – he does this by terrorising
them and offering them a tempting life of hunting and plenty of meat.
 His leadership results in a dictatorship, where he rules ‘his’ tribe with
 Jack is a spontaneous individual who wants instant gratification for his
 He doesn’t think through the consequences of his actions (as Ralph
does), but puts himself first at all times.
 He is amoral and only enforces the sense of justice that he feels is right.
Simon profile
Small, physically
frail, black hair
and bright eyes.
Relationships with others
Loyal towards Piggy and Ralph.
Looked on as strange by the
other boys.
Kind and helpful.
Introverted –
doesn’t like to
speak in
Likes nature.
Simon – Key Points
 He is a dark, mystical who the other boys find ‘odd’ or ‘queer’.
 He goes barefoot and is an isolated figure – Golding deliberately makes
Simon a Christ-like figure, the analogy is not coincidental.
 He is helpful and cooperative, and the only boy to help Ralph build the
 It is interesting that he is one of the three boys who initially explores the
island (with Jack and Ralph – would we overtly notice that he’s there?)
 He has a marked physical weakness in that he appears to suffer from
epilepsy (also associated with prophetic qualities).
 He has a high level of intuitive intelligence and this allows him to
confront the boys’ fears about the ‘beast’
 An original member of the choir, he is ultimately killed by the choir in a
ritual frenzy (murder/ manslaughter?)
Roger profile
Black hair,
gloomy face.
Relationships with others
Allied with Jack.
Quiet and
Cruel – enjoys
picking on the
Is a choirboy.
Roger – Key Points
 He is mysterious, secretive, slight and furtive.
 As Jack’s lieutenant, he comes to think like Jack and does
not question the consequences of his actions.
 His name literally means ‘famous with a spear’
 He is a sadist who delights in inflicting pain – he is
unnecessarily cruel in the sow killing incident.
 Is he the logical extension of Jack’s character?
 He prepares the stick ‘sharpened at both ends’ to mount
Ralph’s head.
Setting and Atmosphere
The setting for the novel is a traditional paradise island – an
Eden-like Utopia upon first glance – it is interesting that this
is soon superseded by the ‘darkness of man’s heart’,
causing the island to become a Dystopian prison – reflected
in the description.
The island is initially unspoilt by man – it is important that
the passenger jet makes the first ‘scar’ across its surface
(the corruption of mankind).
Setting and Atmosphere - Contrasts
The lagoon – warm and safe VS The cold open sea
The mountain – high place where rescue can be seen,
provides truth and clarity VS The Castle Rock – a jumbled
mix up with a dark cave in the centre. The origin of the
destructive fire.
The beach – a safe place, the location of meetings, familiar,
tame VS The jungle – wild and unknown – the ‘beast’
originates from here.
This is highlighted in importance during major scenes.
Note that when Simon is murdered there is a tumultuous
thunderstorm outside.
Golding uses day and night to emphasise the feelings of the
characters – binary oppositions.
Style – How Golding Communicates His Story
The story itself is a deceptively simple analogy
For style, you should consider how Golding manipulates the
- Vocabulary, the words, the use of colour
- Syntax – the length and structure of sentences – note how
this is different for each character. Does this change when
the action is speeded up?
- Imagery – use of simile metaphor, personification – why does
Golding use these techniques? How do they enhance
Finding the Deeper Message
Lord of the Flies undoubtedly has a deeper moral message.
Consider, with a partner, the following questions:
- Apart from Jack and Percival, why are the other characters
not given surnames?
Why do no girls or adults survive the crash?
Why is the passenger tube dragged out to sea once it has
ejected the boys – could it have provided food/ shelter?
Why is the island so isolated in the sense that so few ships
pass by?
If it is isolated, how do two fighter planes come to be
fighting over it to allow the parachutist to land on the island?
Where do the pigs come from?
Why is Piggy the only one with glasses and the only one to
go to public school?
Symbolism – using things or people to represent ideas
- Often symbols found in LOTF can be traced back to the
Bible or Greek mythology
- In Greek mythology FIRE is a symbol of KNOWLEDGE
- Both fire and knowledge can HELP and HARM
- ‘The Beast’ – physically the head of the sow, the name
‘Lord of the Flies’ translated into Hebrew is ‘Beelzebub’,
another term for the devil.
The Beast – A Symbol that Evolves Gradually
1. Chapter 1: Initially the choir are likened to an animal as
they come across the sand
2. Chapter 2: The fire is compared to a ‘snake’. The snake is
the devil in the GOE, but fire also represents knowledge –
is this Golding saying the knowledge is a double edged
3. Chapter 5: Beast from Water – the boys complain that they
think there is a beast in the sea
The Beast – A symbol that evolves gradually…
4. Chapter 6: Beast from Air – the dead parachutist lands
on the island, taking over the place where their rescue fire
is – a symbol of their aspirations.
5. Chapter 7: The boys set off up the mountain to try to find
the beast – note that Simon absents himself from this
because he knows he’s going to have a ‘fainting fit’. Had
he been there, they would have discovered the truth.
The Beast – A Symbol that Evolves Gradually
6. Chapter 8: The killing of the pregnant sow – the murder
of the future. Simon has his hallucinatory fit.
7. Chapter 9: Simon discovers the truth and shows mercy
by freeing the dead parachutist from his cruel animation.
He is later killed in the group’s ritual, whilst attempting to
reveal the truth to them.
8. Chapter 10: The savage tribe are now ‘the beast’ and
they begin their first assault by stealing Piggy’s glasses
(symbolic of truth and wisdom). In Chapter 11, Piggy is
killed by Roger and Chapter 12 sees the decision to hunt
Ralph down – the group are finally the physical
embodiment of the beast.
Other Symbols
The Conch – Democracy and democratic freedom
The Huts – Civilization
Fire – Hope/ Rescue
Golding does not provide a map for his readers to show us
what the island is like. We learn about the setting as the
boys move about the island exploring their new
Draw your own map of the island, adding on all the
significant places so far. You will be able to add to this
map as we read the novel.

similar documents