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Lord of the Flies Background Information

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2 Lord of the Flies Background Information

3 You may want to consider taking some notes…

4 Now would be a good time to start that note-taking thing…

5 Just a suggestion. What do I know? I’m just the teacher.

6 William Golding Born in Cornwall, England in 1911
He studied English and physics at Oxford He faced the atrocities of war Living through the First World war Joined the British Navy in 1940 (WWII)

7 William Golding Lord of the Flies was published in 1954
Booker McConnel Prize (British Literature) Nobel Prize (1983) Died in Wiltshire, England 1993

8 Themes The most obvious of the themes is man has a great need for the construct of civilization. Contrary to the belief that man is innocent and society evil, the story shows that laws and rules, policemen and schools are necessary to keep the darker side of human nature in line. When these institutions and concepts slip away or are ignored, human beings revert to a more primitive part of their nature.

9 Evil (the beast) is within man himself.
Themes Evil (the beast) is within man himself. Golding implies that the loss of innocence has little to do with age but is related to a person's understanding of human nature. It can happen at any age or not at all. Painful though it may be, this loss of innocence by coming to terms with reality is necessary if humanity is to survive.

10 Themes Fear of the unknown on the island revolves around the boys' terror of the beast. The recognition that no real beast exists, that there is only the power of fear, is one of the deepest meanings of the story.

11 Is the novel realistic? Golding establishes a sense of reality by his descriptions of the boys and by the language of their conversations with each other. The boys have ordinary physical attributes and mannerisms of young boys. The group includes a variety of physical types: short, tall, dark, light, freckled, tow-headed, etc.

12 Is the novel realistic? To stress the universality of their later actions, Golding takes great pains to present the boys as normal. The ‘littluns” suck their thumbs, eat sloppily, etc., while the older ones rolling about the sand, stand on their heads, and swim.

13 Is the novel realistic? Even their unkindness to Piggy is credible for children often display a “natural cruelty” to anyone they consider different or inferior. Nor does their metamorphosis from ordinary schoolboys into bloodthirsty savages seem unlikely, for Golding has taken the descent one step at a time.

14 Characters as Symbols Simon - mystic, Religious side of man. Understands good and evil but no communication. Samneric - incapable of acting independently. They represent loss of identity through fear of the beast. Ralph - common sense, and responsibility Jack - immediate gratification and irresponsible authority Piggy - ineffective intellectualism Dead parachutist - the “sign,” evil developing on the island

15 Each of the characters represents a part of man
Characters as Symbols Each of the characters represents a part of man Good Evil Spiritual Intellectual Adventurous WHAT ELSE?

16 Objects as Symbols Conch shell - law and order. The shell looses authority as anarchy grows. The conch fades in color and power. It’s power is broken with the “fall of piggy.” Lord of the Flies -Refers to the head of the pig which Jack has left as an offering to the “beast.” Literal translation of the “Beelzebub,” prince of demons. Symbolizes man’s capacity for evil

17 Objects as Symbols Huts - represent the desire to preserve civilization; when Jack gains power they move into caves like the animals they have become. Fire - its use divides civilization from savagery. Ralph uses it for hope; Jack for cooking. It is Jack’s group that allows the fire (hope) to go out

18 Objects as symbols Piggy’s glasses - They signify man’s ability to perceive, to think. That thought can be misused for destructive purpose is shown when Piggy’s glasses are used to smoke Ralph out. Night and Darkness - an archetypal symbol of evil, “the powers of darkness.” The boys would have recognized the chutist in the daylight, as would they have Simon. The beast is more real at night

19 Objects as Symbols Face paint - The paint helps the boys hide from their own consciences, turning them into anonymous savages who are freed from the restraints of “civilized” behavior. Stick sharpened on both ends - Represents how much evil has taken the boys over. First it was used to offer the beast the pig sacrifice; next to offer it Ralph’s.

20 Jack Jack, chief representative of evil in the novel, is too inhibited by society’s teachings to teachings to slay the piglet the first day, he later progresses to exhilaration in his first kill.

21 Jack Eventually he comes to kill for the sheer thrill of slaughter rather than the need for meat, and this becomes the motive for hunting.

22 Ralph Ralph is a tall, blond twelve year old, establishes himself as the leader of the boys when he blows the conch shell to call the first assembly. Throughout the story, he struggles to maintain order and is forced to compete with Jack for respect.

23 Ralph is such a character.
A dynamic character is one who undergoes a change during the story because he learns a truth or comes to a realization about himself. Ralph is such a character.

24 Original Character 1. Enjoys the absence of adults on the island
2. Popular 3. Indifferent to Piggy 4. Enjoys the island 5. Likes Jack 6. Trusts others 7. Refuses to accept the beast.

25 What changes him 1. Decay of order 2. Insistence on rules
3. Need for intelligence 4. Brutal behavior revealed 5. Savagery in Jack 6. Betrayed by all 7. Savagery in himself and other

26 Character changed 1. Wishes adults were present on the island
2. An outcast 3. Appreciates and misses Piggy 4. Hates the island 5. Fears Jack 6. Trusts no one 7. Knows the beast is within

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