Lord Of the Flies Written By: William Golding Presentation By: Tamika Heagy
Theme: when left to their own devices, they will naturally revert to cruelty and barbarism. • This theme is shown throughout the novel through the literary elements: • Characterization • Pattern of events • Symbolism
Characterization • “Roger gathered a handful of stones and begun to throw them. Yet there was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child, was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law” (p.64-650)
Characterization • The civilized instinct still dominates the savage instinct • At this point, the rules of society are too strong for him to give into his savage instincts completely. • Feels a need to use physical force and violence to give him a sense of superiority.
Characterization • “High overhead, Roger, with a sense of delirious abandonment, leaned all his weight on the rock” (p. 200)
characterization • Jack and Ralph are arguing about Piggy’s glasses (which Jack stole) and Roger feels ignored, so he pushes a rock down over Ralph and Piggy’s head • Instead of holding back from throwing rocks like at the beginning of the book, he no longer holds back. • Symbolizes how the savage instinct has taken over the boys by the end of the book
characterization • “His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they had outwitted a living thing, impose their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink” (p.74)
characterization • Jack has just killed his first pig, and is exhilarated by the kill. • His exhilaration is because of the feelings of power he experienced while killing the pig. • Jack no longer cares about providing meat for the group, he just cares about the satisfaction he gets from “outwitting” another creature.
Pattern of events • “what intelligence had been shown was traceable to Piggy while the most obvious leader was Jack. But there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch. The being that had blown that, had sat waiting for them on the platform with the delicate thing balanced on his knees, was set apart” (p. 19)
Pattern of events • The boys have just landed on the island and are choosing a leader. • The boys are unsure about how to behave with no adult presence, so they stick to their learned behaviors of civilization. • Their savage instincts emerge right away: the boys make fun of Piggy and Jack shows a wild desire to be group leader. • Although Piggy has a great deal to offer as a leader, the boys see him as a whiney weakling and hate him and refuse to listen to him
Pattern of events • “Then Maurice pretended to be the pig and ran squealing into the center, and the hunters, circling still, pretended to beat him. As they danced they sang ‘Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Bash her in’” (p.79)
Pattern of events • The boys have just killed their first pig. Ralph is furious because the boys neglected their duties at the fire, and in the time that passed while the fire was out, a ship had sailed close to the island. • The boys have no interest in Ralph’s concerns, and are too excited by their first kill. • The boys have begun their full dissent into savagery. • Jack has no interest in the welfare of the group. He allows his bloodlust and thirst for power to come before their hope of going home. • What is happening to Jack is closely connected to what happens to the rest of the group.
Pattern of events • “Smoke was seeping through the branches in white and yellow wisps, the patch of blue sky over head turned to the color of a storm cloud, and then the smoke billowed round him” (p. 216)
Pattern of events • Jack had set the forest on fire to kill Ralph • This is ironic: Ralph had thought of the signal fire (a symbol of civilization) as a way to lead rescuers to the island. The fire that leads rescuers to the island is not a signal fire, but a wild, out-of-control forest fire meant to eliminate the last bit of civilization on the island (Ralph) • The power has shifted from good to evil
Symbols • The Beast • Characters • Conch Shell
Symbols-the beast • “There isn't anyone to help you. Only me. And I’m the beast… Fancy thinking the beast was something you could hunt and kill!... You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are the way they are?” (p.158)
Symbols-the beast • This quotation confirms that the beast is inside the boys themselves. • Jack uses the beast to manipulate the boys, but really he is using the boy’s inner savagery to become group leader. • The beast slowly takes over the boy’s lives and becomes an idol that the boys worship, leaving sacrifices (the Lord of the Flies) as a peace offering.
Symbols-characers Piggy • “We got to find the others. We got to do something.” (p.10) • Even right from the beginning, Piggy realizes the importance of sticking together as a group. • Piggy symbolizes the scientific and intellectual aspects of civilization. • Piggy’s glasses are a symbol of rationality and intellect. They enable the boys to light fires.
Symbols-characters • “Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of a true, wise friend called Piggy.” • Ralph represents civilization, morality, and leadership. • Ralph is the protagonist • His prime worry is keeping the signal fire going and eventually going home. Ralph
Symbols-characters • “ ‘Who thinks Ralph oughtn’t be chief?’… under the palms there was deadly silence.” (p.139) • Ever since they landed on the island, Jack has been jealous of Ralph’s position of power. • Jack symbolizes the desire for power, selfishness, and amorality. Jack
symbols-characters • Simon is the Christ-like figure • He represents goodness that is natural rather than taught by human society. • He cannot be characterized with the other boys • Golding’s most complex character, also contradicts one of his original themes: “The goodness in humans is learned rather then something we’re born with” Simon
Symbols-The conch shell • “We’ll have to have ‘hands up’ like at school. Then I’ll give him the conch, he can hold it while he’s speaking. And he won’t be interrupted. Except by me” (p.31) • The conch shell represents law, order, and political stability. • Throughout the novel, the conch shell’s color fades, symbolizing the power of civilization fading. • When the shell is broken, it symbolizes the boy’s full transformation to savagery.