About the Author Biographical Information on William Golding: • Born in England 1911 to an average middle-class family • Went to school at Oxford University • Started teaching English at an all boys prep school in 1939 • Joined the British Navy and entered WWII in 1940 • After war, went back to teaching until 1963 and wrote LOTF in 1954, winning Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983 • Died in 1993. Which events may have had the largest impact on his life? Which may have influenced LOTF the most?
His Experiences in Relation to the Text While serving in WWII… • He saw the atrocities of war first hand, including torture, death, bloodshed, etc. • He was shocked by the horrors of Hitler’s Holocaust, torturing of p.o.w.’s by the Japanese, and by the U.S. dropping the atomic bomb.
Golding’s Experience Teaching: • While teaching at an all boys school…He observed how boys and young men acted toward each other and learned some of the psychological tendencies of boys: • Boys have a need for competition • Boys have a desire for games and play as opposed to work • Boys have a tendency to “act up” when adults are not around • Boys tend to be cruel and physically aggressive toward others
Thinking Critically About Lord of the Flies: • While many simple readers will see it as an adventure story involving young boys on a deserted island, it is much more. • We will look for clues in the text that indicate a deeper meaning. We will be aware of how characters and objects can be used to represent ideals, beliefs, and themes. • This will allow us to examine our stance on humans and the world in which we live.
What is Symbolism? • The practice of representing deeper meaning (themes, ideas, concepts) with symbols (through objects or characters). • Often times, writers speak to their readers in very creative ways. One such way is through the use of symbols. These symbols go beyond a literal meaning to figuratively deliver messages to readers
What is the meaning of these conventional symbols? The color red
Why is Symbolism Important? • Symbolism is used to convey meaning in a text, and authors frequently use symbolism as a means of delivering an intentional message. • Symbolism can be used to engage in a literary analysis. Analyzing symbols helps the reader to create a deeper understanding of the text. • Literary analysis is a discussion (argument) about a text that focuses on literary concepts and uses one’s own insights coupled with specific evidence to explore ideas in depth.
The Island • The island is a microcosm of human society. It represents (symbolizes) society.
The Conch • Ralph and Piggy find the conch shortly after landing on the island. It soon becomes the symbol of authority and law and order. • Ralph and especially Piggy respected the symbol of the conch until it was smashed by Jack. Jack’s inclination to disregard the rules governing the conch is symbolic of his disdain for law, order, and civilization. The destruction of the conch symbolizes the destruction of what little civilization the boys possessed.
Piggy’s Glasses • The glasses symbolize the ability to see and understand things clearly. Piggy is the only boy who really sees how things should be done. • The cracking of the first lens symbolizes the boys losing sight of what they need to do. The glasses are also linked to the theme of civilization, as they are necessary for lighting the fire.
The Signal Fire • The signal fire symbolizes the boys connection to civilization. The fire, initially, is important in the novel. As the boys grow more savage, the fire becomes less important to them. • Golding uses the signal fire to symbolize hope, something which Jack destroys as the novel progresses. At times the signal fire rages out of control, symbolic of the boys themselves.
The Beast • The beast represents the inner savagery of the boys and all mankind. The boys personify it by calling it a giant snake and mistaking a dead parachutist for it. Simon is the only boy who understands that they are the beast.
The Lord of the Flies • Jack impales a pig’s head on a wooden stake in sacrifice to the beast. The Lord of the Flies symbolizes the devil and is a literal translation from Hebrew meaning Beezlebub.
The Dead Parachutist • Piggy looks for a sign from the adult world. He gets it the very same night. Miles above the island, a plane is shot down. A dead man floats onto the island and becomes lodged in the rocks and trees. • The dead parachutist symbolizes the adult world and its inability to maintain peace. • Piggy’s desire to learn civilized behaviour from adults goes unfulfilled. • The dead man also becomes the beast.
The Plane Crash • The plane crash symbolizes the breakdown of modern society. The boys leave England to get away from the war and are shot down by the enemy.
The Scar • The scar left by the plane crash symbolizes the damaging encroachment of humans in paradise/ on nature. • The vivid imagery that Golding uses to describe how the scar smashes into the jungle illustrates the affect humans have on the earth and how devastating man can be.
The Island • The island is a microcosm (mini) society • Some literary critics also believe that the island also symbolizes the Garden of Eden, before the arrival of the boys. After the boys arrive it becomes corrupted and destroyed.
Simon • Represents goodness • Some literary critics view Simon as a “Christ-like” figure • Gift of sight and foreshadowing
Ralph and Piggy • Symbolize law and order • Piggy also has the gift of “sight” • Ralph is symbolic of democratic authority
Jack and Roger • Stand for evil • Jack symbolizes authoritarian power • Jack and Roger both use evil to create fear, they use fear as a tool of power.
The “Big Kids” VS the Littluns • The big kids represent/symbolize the ruling classes of society • The Littluns symbolize common folk
Using Symbolism to Create an Essay • you do not summarize these key literary concepts when you write your in class essay. However, be familiar with them enough to discuss them to make a specific, arguable point (otherwise known as a thesis) that you have created about the literary work.
Today’s Agenda • 1) Thesis statement breakdown • 2) Practice creating a thesis • 3) Silent Reading • Chapter 9 and 10 to be completed for homework. • Chapters 11 and 12 to be read by Friday • Homework: Reader Response Journals for chapter 10 and 11 due by Friday, March 11.