Lord of the Flies Research A Bit of Lord of the Flies Research To teach a book like Lord of the Flies is never an easy thing to do. Obviously, I want you to “like” reading the book. From the perspective of “technique,” this book, like Of Mice and Men, is incredibly well written, and an entire semester could be spent just analyzing the rhetorical techniques Golding uses to tell his story; however, that only brushes the surface of how and why and what Golding attempts to achieve. The book is amazing in how it incorporates “secondary meaning” into the unfolding of the plot. So below, is some “research” I did to help myself find the deeper meaning in the “themes” and “allusions” Golding weaves into Lord of the Flies. Notice, too, that I cited my sources as footnotes. Good writers borrow and great writers stealbut good and dutiful researchers “always” cite their sources and give credit where credit is due. Read this thoroughly. I think it will be help you more
fully appreciate the opportunity you have right nownot to simply read, but to explore, reflect and engage Lord of the Flies in a deep and enduring way. 1Major Themes within Lord of the Flies Innocence Lost The two most common themes within Lord of the Flies are the battle between civilization and savagery and the loss of innocence. These common themes within Lord of the Flies are developed through the breakup of the tribe and the progression of the hunts: 1. In chapter 1, Simon, Jack, and Ralph find a piglet in the creepers Jack fears killing it and claims he “was just waiting for a moment to decide were to stab him” (31). The civilized boys cannot remove civilized inhibitions so readily https://www.brighthubeducationcom/homework-help-literature/35856-important-themes-inlord-of-the-flies/ 1 John Fitzsimmons Lord of the Flies Research 2. In chapter 3, Jack tracks a pig through the forest, but it escapes Afterwards “Jack stood there, streaming with sweat, streaked with
brown earth, stained by all the vicissitudes of a day’s hunt” (49). Despite Jack’s failure, he has obviously learned hunting skills. More importantly, he yearns to kill a pig, not only for the food, but for the knowledge of taking a life and spilling its blood. In a short amount of time, Jack has shed much of civilization’s rules. 3. In chapter 4, Jack and his hunters kill their first pig The hunters chant The scene immediately before the hunt shows Jack crossing over from civilized to savage by making a mask, “a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, (liberating him) from shame and self consciousness” (64). 4. In chapter 8, the hunters brutally slaughter a sow, place its head on a sharpened stick, and leave it as a sacrifice for the beast. 5. In chapter 9, the hunters make a circle and chant This chant brought about “another desire, thick, urgent, blind. (152) The group chants “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!” (152). Simon appears out of the forest
and the mob of pretend hunters kill him. The savage boys can only be satisfied by blood, even human blood. 6. In chapter 12, Ralph becomes the hunter’s prey as Ralph sharpens a stick at both ends. The hunters intend to sacrifice Ralph to the beast Most psychologists would agree that once you begin sacrificing human heads to imaginary beasts, you’ve probably crossed over the line of savagery. Governmental Breakdown The breakup of civilization and the loss of innocence can be traced through the breakdown of the island government. 1. A fire burns out of control, a metaphor for the boys who are out of control Foreshadowing what is to come we read that “Piggy glanced nervously into hell and cradled the conch” (44). 2. A ship passes, but does not stop The hunters let the fire go out 3. Jack and his hunters paint their faces, separating them from civilization John Fitzsimmons Lord of the Flies Research 4. Piggy’s glasses, a symbol of wisdom, are broken, leaving Piggy, the
voice of reason “islanded in a meaningless color” (73). 5. The older boys begin to believe in the beast 6. The mother sow is murdered, with a “spear right up her a–” (136) 7. Simon is killed 8. Jack, Maurice, and Roger steal Piggy’s glasses in a late night raid Ralph calls Jack a “beast and a swine and a bloody, bloody thief !” (179). 9. Piggy is killed as “the rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments.” (181) With one boulder roll the voice of reason and the symbol of civilization are destroyed. 10. Finally, Jack’s group of hunters make Ralph, their elected leader, prey as Roger sharpens a stick at both ends. 2The Top 10 Symbols in Lord of the Flies 1) 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 The conch is used to call assemblies and only the person holding the conch could speak at the meetings. Ralph and
especially Piggy respected the symbol of the conch until it is smashed to bits by Jack. Jacks 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. 2) Piggys Glasses - The glasses symbolized the ability to see and understand things clearly. Piggy is the only boy, besides Jack, 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 important in so much as they are needed to start the fire. 2 http://staﬀ.camaswednetedu/blogs/chslovre/files/2012/12/Flies-symbols-allusionspdf John Fitzsimmons Lord of the Flies Research 3) The Signal Fire - The signal fi re symbolizes the boys’ connection to civilization. The fi re, initially, is important in the novel As the boys grow more savage, the fi re becomes less important to
them. Jack and the hunters let the fi re go out in order to hunt. Ralphs effort to keep the fi re going are consistent but unsuccessful, in the same way his efforts to restore order are unsuccessful. Golding uses the signal fi re to also symbolize hope, something which Jack destroys as the novel progresses. At times the signal fi re rages out of control, symbolic of the boys themselves. 4) 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 5) The Lord of the Flies - Jack impales a pigs head on a wooden stake in sacrifi ce to the beast. The Lord of the Flies symbolizes the devil and is a literal translation from Hebrew meaning Beelzebub. 6) 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 fl oats onto
the island and becomes lodged in rocks and trees. The dead parachutist symbolizes the adult world and its inability to maintain peace. Piggys desire to learn civilized behavior from adults goes unfulfi lled. The dead man also becomes the beast. 7) 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. 8) The Scar - The scar left by the plane crash, symbolizes the damaging encroachment of humans in paradise. 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. 9) The Island - The island symbolizes the Garden of Eden before the arrival of the boys. After the boys arrive it becomes corrupted and destroyed 10) The Boys - The boys also stand as symbols: Simon represents goodness; Ralph and Piggy symbolize law and order; Jack and Roger stand for evil; The big kids represent the
ruling classes; and the littluns symbolize common folk. John Fitzsimmons Lord of the Flies Research Biblical Allusions in Lord of the Flies An allusion is a reference to a famous person, historical or religious figure, an historical event, or another literary work. Allusions allow an author to inject deep meaning with few words. Allusions at times are used ironically by creating a contrast between the allusion and the situation. The Beast Understanding the following Lord of the Flies allusions to the beast is eye opening. The beast is spoken of in Revelations chapter 13 of the New Testament: 1. And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea (Revelations 13:1) coincides with the title of chapter 5, Beast from Water 2. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast (Revelations 13:3); the beast in chapter 6 is actually a dead parachutist who the boys bring back to life
fi guratively through fear. The entire island (the boys world) is awed and fearful of the mysterious creature. 3. And they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him? (Revelations 13: 4); after Jack and the hunters conclude they cannot defeat the beast, they worship it by offering a sacrifi ce, the Lord of the Flies. 4. And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies (Revelations 13:5); Simon, while hallucinating, converses with the Lord of the Flies, the beasts emissary; the Lord of the Flies declares his intention to destroy all that is good on the island. Simon In addition to those referencing the beast, Biblical allusions in Lord of the Flies focus on Simon. Simon [an Apostle of Christ in The New Testament] is seen by John Fitzsimmons Lord of the Flies Research Lord of the Flies Research “He must have been grief-stricken every time it returned. Even paying for the postage was a commitment.” 2.
THE EVENTUAL PUBLISHER TRIED TO HIDE IT FROM TS ELIOT Even Faber and Faber, the London-based house that ultimately released the book, was resistant at first, yielding only because new editor Charles Monteith was so passionate about the story. The company even went so far as to not discuss the title within earshot of its literary advisor, acclaimed poet T.S Eliot Eliot allegedly first heard about Lord of the Flies via an offhand remark made by a friend at his social club. In his biography William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies, John Carey recounts that Eliot’s friend warned him, “Faber had published an unpleasant novel about small boys behaving unspeakably on a desert island.” In the end, Faber’s fears were unfounded: The poet loved Golding’s novel. 3. THE BOOK WAS A COMMERCIAL FLOP Upon its release in September 1954, Lord of the Flies underwhelmed at bookstores, selling only 4662 copies through the following year and falling out of print shortly thereafter.
Critical acclaim and the respect of the academic community steadily grew over the rest of the decade, and the novel eventually found enough of an audience that by 1962 it had moved 65,000 copies. 4. IT HAS ALSO SUFFERED ITS SHARE OF CENSORSHIP The American Library Association ranks Lord of the Flies as the eighth most challenged “classic” book in American culture, and the 68th most challenged book overall during the 1990s. 5. GOLDING WAS UNIMPRESSED WITH HOW HIS STORY TURNED OUT. Although he was initially enthusiastic about the text, Golding’s appraisal of his breakthrough work dimmed over time. After revisiting Lord of the Flies in 1972 for the first time in a decade, Golding gave it a less-than-stellar review. According to Careys biography, the author said he found his own book “boring and crude. The language was O-level stuff.” (O-level is the lower level of standardized testing in the UK, which assesses basic knowledgeso Golding was saying his novel was the rough
equivalent of middle school English writing.) John Fitzsimmons Lord of the Flies Research 6. LORD OF THE FLIES IS A PERSONAL FAVORITE OF ANOTHER FAMOUS AUTHOR. Stephen King has cited Lord of the Flies as one of his favorite books. In a foreword to the 2011 edition of the novel, King wrote that, “It was, so far as I can remember, the first book with handsstrong ones that reached out of the pages and seized me by the throat. It said to me, ‘This is not just entertainment; it’s life-or-death’” King’s books even include a nod to the text. King named the fictional town of Castle Rock, Mainethe setting for a number of his novelsafter the geological structure featured prominently in Lord of the Flies. Kings books even include a nod to the text. King named the fictional town of Castle Rock, Mainethe setting for a number of his novelsafter the geological structure featured prominently in Lord of the Flies. 7. THE BOOK HAS ALSO INSPIRED MANY POPULAR MUSICIANS A slew of bands
have nodded to Lord of the Flies in their songs, including U2 (whose “Shadows and Tall Trees” is named after the book’s seventh chapter title), The Offspring (whose “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” references the book by name), and Iron Maiden (whose “Lord of the Flies” is a song about the book itself). 8. GOLDING FIELDED LOTS OF QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ALLMALE NOVEL In an audio recording published on TED-Ed, Golding said that “When girls say to me, and very reasonably, ‘Why isn’t it a bunch of girls? Why did you write this about a bunch of boys?’ my reply is . If you, as it were, scale down human beings, scale down society, if you land with a group of little boys, they are more like scaleddown society than a group of little girls will be. Don’t ask me why And this is a terrible thing to say, because I’m going to be chased from hell to breakfast by all the women who talk about equality. This has nothing to do with equality at all I think women are foolish to pretend
they are equal to men; they are far superior and always have been.” 9. AN EARLY DRAFT OF THE STORY OPENED AND CLOSED DIFFERENTLY. Golding’s original version of Lord of the Flies began not on the island, but aboard the airplane upon which the boys were passengers, just prior to its fateful crash John Fitzsimmons Lord of the Flies Research landing. Additionally, the first draft closed its story with an ominous cataloguing of the story’s time and date: “16.00, 2nd October 1952” 10. SIMON WAS INITIALLY “MORE” OF A CHRIST FIGURE One of Monteith’s more substantial edits involved toning down the Simon character’s “Christ-like” characteristics. Golding originally designed the boy as a sanctified, ethereal character, which his editor thought was too heavy-handed. The Simon that appears in the final draft of Lord of the Flies is indeed a good deal more peaceful and conscientious than his peers, but lacks the ostentatious godliness that Monteith found problematic.
Additional Research Links Here are some articles I found. You can add the links you already found! [It was an assignment] 1. https://wwwinccom/samuel-bacharach/why-all-leaders-should-read-lord-ofthe-flieshtml Lord of the Flies should be required reading for all entrepreneurs and leaders. It puts in perspective political battles and teaches that the one true test of the leader is execution that leads to concrete results. Do I Apologize to My Employees Too Much? 2. https://wwwinccom/samuel-bacharach/why-all-leaders-should-read-lord-ofthe-flieshtml Interesting piece about Golding--and some from a guy who hates him 3. https://wwwnytimescom/1986/05/04/books/should-holden-caulfield-readthese-bookshtml Fascinating look at why we teach these books. Is it really right? Lord of the Flies is about evil in human nature as the cause of evil in society; but because William Golding, who had been a schoolteacher, chose to construct his parable around some schoolboys in whom uninstructed evil reveals
itself, it is painfully easy for schoolchildren to think it is a psychological story about children as children. John Fitzsimmons Lord of the Flies Research 4. https://wwwnytimescom/2007/09/18/science/18morahtml The origins and ethics of Morality 5. https://wwwwilliam-goldingcouk/on-re-reading-lord-of-the-flies It seemed so much more relevant to us as young people than many other texts. It contained at least one swear word – ‘bollocks’ – which was a source of amusement and the murders of Simon and Piggy were shocking and violent. I remember that even the students who didn’t excel at English and barely had any involvement in the class seemed genuinely fascinated by this story of societal breakdown and children’s descent into violence. This is, of course, the enduring power of this book: its ability to reach out and grab the reader and disrupt our pre-conceived notions of childhood innocence. I’ve read some reviews on the internet – prompted by the poor film
adaptation in 1990 – that say Golding’s novel no longer has the power to shock because of various tragedies that have occurred. Incidents such as school massacres and gang killings have shown that children and young people are capable of murdering each other. However, regardless of events that occur in our ‘real world’, Golding’s novel has not lost any of its tragic beauty and remains a haunting allegory. 6. wwwthoughtcocom/lord-of-the-flies-banned-challenged-740596 The banned book "Lord of the Flies," a 1954 novel by William Golding, has been banned from schools over the years and has often been challenged. According to the American Library Association, it is the eighth-most frequently banned and challenged book in the nation. Parents, school administrators and other critics have decried the language and violence in the novel. Bullying is rampant throughout the book indeed, it is one of the main plot lines. Many people also think that the book promotes a
pro-slavery ideology, which they note is the wrong message to teach children. Racial Slurs More recent versions of "Lord of the Flies" have modified some of the language in the book, but the novel originally used racist terms, particularly when referring to blacks. A committee of the Toronto, Canada Board of Education ruled on June 23, 1988, that the novel is "racist and recommended that it be removed from all John Fitzsimmons Lord of the Flies Research schools" after parents objected to the books use of racial profanity, saying that the novel denigrated blacks, according to the ALA. 7. https://wwwcnncom/2017/09/01/entertainment/lord-flies-girl-remake/ index.html Thoughts about an all girls movie remake In an undated introduction to the book, Golding, who died in 1993, said he was often asked by girls why he wrote it from the perspective of boys. His response was because he had been a boy. 8.
https://wwwthoughtcocom/lord-of-the-flies-bannedchallenged-740596article=1057&context=pell theses A great and scholarly look at the book.in pdf form Unlike the typical young adult novel, Lord of the Flies doesn’t attempt to be excessively sentimental in portraying the lives of the adolescent boys. Rather, it serves as a classic example of uses of allegory, symbolism and plot techniques. Furthermore, it introduces students to the affairs of leadership, ethical behavior, resourcefulness and innocence vs. experience Moreover, Lord of the Flies is a fascinating literary work which undoubtedly elicits productive discussion. For both its literary and humanistic value, the novel has significant merit in secondary education environments. Chief symbolic elements in the novel include the conch shell, Piggy’s glasses, the beast and the lord of the flies. Each of these objects serves to relay a significant message to the boys about their experience on the island and about their innate
nature as human beings. Furthermore, Golding creates several main charactersRalph, Jack, Piggy, Simonwho each possess a specific, detailed personality meant to represent aspects of civilization, such as science and religion, diplomacy and oppression. Politics today?. In effect, Lord of the Flies portrays a democratic organization which fails as a result of the basic instincts of human nature. It portrays a leader who must eventually retreat into savagery like his enemy and his followers. Ralph’s attempt at democracy proves ultimately ineffective due to the increasingly selfish, uncivilized and fearful nature of the boys. These aspects prove to be more John Fitzsimmons Lord of the Flies Research suitable for Jack’s dictatorship, founded on fear and barbarism; in effect, Jack’s government prospers on the island. John Fitzsimmons