[2015] Danielle Troutman (AP Literature): Lord of the Flies

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[2015] Danielle Troutman (AP Literature): Lord of the Flies

A group of British schoolboys are left stranded after their plane, intended to evacuate them from the war back home, crashes on a deserted island. A conch shell is found by Piggy and it brings the boys to order for their first meetings. Soon the fight for power begins when the leader of all the boys, Ralph, and the leader of the hunters, Jack, conflict over what should be a priority on the island. When fear is introduced into the story, it only puts the two boys in power even more at odds and Jack feels that he should be in power instead of Ralph. Jack, as a result, takes the hunters and creates his own tribe separate from Ralph where they only focus on hunting. The story climaxes when Simon, comes into contact with a beast made up of a dead pig's head on a stick. The beast, which is the Lord of the Flies, relays the message that he lives within each boy on the island. When Simon tries to tell the others what he has seen, the boys kill him with their hands and teeth. After Simon's death, Ralph tries to make peace with Jack but in doing so, Piggy is killed and civilization is shattered. Ralph is then hunted by Jack and all the other boys until he collapses at the feet of an officer who rescuses the boys from their savagery.

Summmary

SettingThis novel takes place on an deserted tropical island. Wild pigs and eventually small schoolboys inhabit this island.

POV and Structure FeaturesThe story is told in third person omiscient point of view. With this POV the readers are allowed access into the thoughts of the characters while at the same time, still witnessing the reactions of others as the actions take place. As an anonymous third person, the narrator mainly focuses specifically on Ralph's point of view on things but at times shift to the actions and decisions of Simon,Piggy, and Jack as well. The novel is filled with symbolism and irony to express the true loss of innocence in an allegorical manner.

Symbols and Irony

Conch Shell- represents civilization and humanity. When it is shattered it is clear that all civilization has been lostPiggy's Specs- represent intelligence in society. The boys use the glasses to start the signal fire and they become vital to each leader.Signal Fire- represents hope and optimism. Whenever the fire goes out, it seems that the boys become chaotic and distracted from their goal of being resuced.Lord of the Flies- represents evil and also serves to be a physical representation of the beast that is manifested within each boy.Irony- Overall, it is ironic that in the midst of a world war, the schoolboys are in the middle of a war of their own. However, they hope to be resuced and want to return to an even more savage place then where they reside. In addition, it is ironic that Jack, who is suppose to be the lead choir boy over the cherubic and supposedly religious choir (who wear crosses on their clothes), takes these same boys and turn them into savage hunters whose only goal is to slit the throat of a pig.

"I'm warning you. I'm going to get angry. D'you see? You're not wanted. Understand? We are going to have fun on this island. Understand? We are going to have fun on this island!" (144).

"Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true wise friend called Piggy" (202).

"Roger gathered a handful of stones and began 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" (62).

This quote foreshadows the death of Simon. The "fun" and anger that the Lord of the Flies refers to brings Simon to his downfall when the beast in every boy comes to surface and they kill Simon with their hands and even their teeth.

These closing lines of the novel not only summarize the main themes of the novel but in this quote, Ralph realizes that his life will never be the same. He weeps because his innocence, as well as a true friend, are gone forever.

In this quote, the audience sees the beginning and the first steps to the savagery that develops within each of the boys by first looking into the sadistic mind of Roger. He wants to hurt this littlun but is still restricted by what society has taught him. All the boys are at first constrained by society but as time goes on, savagery is prominent.

ThemesWhen left to their own devices as well as a lack of society, humans, despite the level of innocence, will turn to inhumanity.All humans have evil inside them and it only takes the loss of order for them to become open to the savagery within them.The fight for power can only create more chaos.

Ralph- A fair headed boy literally and figuratively. He is the leader over all the school boys and the protagonist of the story. He often conflicts with the antagonist, Jack. Ralph represents leadership and order as well as fairness.Jack- As the leader of all the choir boys on the island and eventually head of the hunters, Jack already feels he is best for the leadership role over all the schoolboys; but when Ralph gets it, he constantly battles with him for his spot as the leader. With is red hair, Jack represents the desire for power and inhumanity.Simon- The first boy to realize the true evil inside all the schoolboys when he encounters the Lord of the Flies. However, Simon represents the good that is naturally within all humans.Piggy- Although subject to bullying from Jack and some of the hunters, Piggy and his specs discover the conch shell and help to build the signal fire that both benefit all the schoolboys. He represents wisdom and intelligence and often serves as a reality check to the boys.Roger- A hunter with a sadistic mind that targets the smaller boys and bullies them because they cannot fight back. Unlike Jack, he represents savagery and brutality to the most extreme levels.

Main Characters

Lord of the Fliesby William Golding


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