Lord of the Fliesby William Golding an introduction
William Golding and LOTF …what did you find out?
William Golding 1911-1993 Studied science and English at Oxford Navy in WWII Invaded the beaches of Normandy on D-Day Booker Prize 1980 Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983 Teacher and writer
WWII 1939-1945 The fall of France to Nazi Germany in 1940 “Aryan superiority” Britain feared invasion and evacuated children to other countries 1940-a German U-Boat torpedoed a British ship carrying children to safety, all children were killed and the evacuation program was suspended. Classroom debate was inspiration Golding’s World
Lord of the Flies • Setting: a deserted island thought to be located in the South Pacific • Time period: during a fictitious nuclear war • Context: the boys are being flown out of their country to protect them from the horrors of war and their plane crashed on an island, all of the adults are killed and the boys must fend for themselves • Published in 1954:What had been/was going on in the world around this time?
The Title: Lord of the Flies • Beelzebub • Comes from the Greek word meaning “lord of the flies” or “host of the flies” • Also a synonym of Satan or the devil • Thoughts on the title of this book?
The Coral Island by R.M. Ballantyne • 1857 • Main characters are Jack, Ralph, Peterkin and Simon • A group of boys get stranded on a deserted island and they all live happily ever after • Very popular adventure story in England • most children and adults would still be very familiar with it today
“Europe can better the world through conquering it and forcing Christianity upon everyone” book Golding read it when he was a wee boy, considered it racist, and fashioned Lord of the Flies so that it would function as a “screw you” to Ballantyne While the boys in The Coral Island encounter evil “primitives” (read: natives) and find a happy ending by burning “the false Gods” of the inhabitants, the boys in Lord of the Flies, the white boys, realize that they are evil themselves Golding argues that darkness is internal and inherent, not something you can attribute solely to those with a different skin color than you Golding was not a fan…
Themes • Primitivity • Innocence • Rules and Order • Fear • Power • Identity • Religion • Wisdom and Knowledge • Good vs. Evil “The theme is an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature.” ~William Golding
Symbols • The Conch • The Fire • Piggy’s Glasses • Hunting • The “Beastie” • The “Lord of the Flies” • Hair • Wounds • Clothing • The Characters • Flies
What are some characteristics of flies? Why do you think this is important?
This book is an allegory. The Big Massive Allegory Before we get down to the details, we should address the fact that Lord of the Flies is one big allegory. Symbols aside, the boys as a whole can represent humanity as a whole. You can see where the pieces fall from there; the island is then the entire world, the boys’ rules become the world’s varying governments, two tribes are two countries, and so on. The boys’ fighting is then equivalent to a war. The only time we pull out of the allegory is at the very end of the novel, when the other “real” world breaks through the imaginary barrier around the island. Yet this is also the moment when the real message of the allegory hits home, when we can ask ourselves that chilling question, “But who will rescue the grown-ups?” Symbolism Allegory is what makes it difficult Also what makes it such a classic Allegory
Characters • Ralph • Jack • Piggy • Simon • Sam & Eric (Samneric) • Roger
Christopher Booker7 Basic Plot Types • Overcoming the Monster • Rags to Riches • The Quest • Voyage and Return • Comedy • Tragedy • Rebirth …Which plot type do you think Lord of the Flies will be?
Voyage and Return • Anticipation Stage: Crash and burn • When their plane crashes, the boys who were on board find themselves on a strange island where they have never been before. Needless to say, this is a new situation for them. They happily anticipate the thought of being in charge of themselves, but they unhappily anticipate being stuck here forever. • Initial fascination or Dream Stage: “This belongs to us.” • The boys explore the island and are fascinated by it. The dream part comes in as they establish a system of rules and order and mistakenly think it will hold up. • Frustration Stage: Ralph and Jack fight, and there may be a beastie • Matters grow more difficult as the seeds of conflict sprout leaves of angry violence. The frustration we get here is through the eyes of Ralph, who is irked by the growing difficulty of governing a group of wild boys. He goes head-to-head with Jack, and on top of it all has to deal with everyone’s irrational fears. It’s lonely, and frustrating, at the top. • Nightmare Stage: Simon’s death, Piggy’s death, and a run through the woods • And we’ve moved steadily away to murder and chaos. The island is ablaze and Ralph is on the verge of being killed himself. • Thrilling Escape and Return: The naval officer rescues the boys • At the last minute, when Ralph has fallen and is covering his head and crying for mercy, he rolls onto the beach and looks up to see a Naval officer standing over him. This would be a thrilling escape if it weren’t for the fact that the boys are going back to a world as bad as the one they’re leaving.
Three Act Analysis • Act I • at the end of Act I, the main character is drawn in completely to a conflict • Act II • during Act II, he/she is farthest away from her goals • Act III • At the end of Act III, the story is resolved.
Pop Culture • LOST • Gilligan’s Island • The Simpsons • Nine Inch Nails, “Piggy” • Iron Maiden, “Lord of the Flies” • What other adventure stories can you think of?
Switching gears to …Dr. Suess?
Symbol Simile Metaphor Extended Metaphor Allusion Motif Theme Allegory Important Literary Terms **These terms might be new or review, either way we will go more in depth with all of them throughout this unit!
Allegory A form of extended metaphor, in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance, and characters are often personifications of abstract ideas as charity, greed, or envy. Thus an allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning. Kind of like a story with a moral, but more complex.
The Butter Battle Book Published in 1984 Historical Context? Pay attention to the symbols, metaphors, allusions, etc…that make up the greater allegory. Active Listening = take notes on the aforementioned in order to deduce the allegory
Tomorrow The Lorax The Sneeches Yertle the Turtle **Keep these “allegory deducing techniques” in mind as we continue through Lord of the Flies and you will have an easier time unraveling the mystery of William Golding’s allegory!
Before you go…. With your group, make a prediction about what you think the main allegory is in LOTF and what symbols you think will be integral to the allegory’s meaning.
Symbol In literature, something that stands for something else. Often times representing a philosophy or concept far greater than the symbol itself. Example: red=anger, rain=foreboding mood
Metaphor/Simile Metaphor the comparison of two UNLIKE things. Personification, anthropomorphism, hyperbole, parable, fable, animism and analogy are forms of metaphor. Metaphors are used to help us understand the unknown, because we use what we know in comparison with something we don't know to get a better understanding of the unknown. A similie is also a comparison of two unlike things, but it is an easier way to compare, by using “like” or “as”.