novel’s protagonist, the twelve-year-old English boy who is elected
leader of the group of boys marooned on the island. Ralph attempts
to coordinate the boys’ efforts to build a miniature civilization
on the island until they can be rescued. Ralph represents human
beings’ civilizing instinct, as opposed to the savage instinct that
novel’s antagonist, one of the older boys stranded on the island.
Jack becomes the leader of the hunters but longs for total power
and becomes increasingly wild, barbaric, and cruel as the novel
progresses. Jack, adept at manipulating the other boys, represents
the instinct of savagery within human beings, as opposed to the
civilizing instinct Ralph represents.
shy, sensitive boy in the group. Simon, in some ways the only naturally
“good” character on the island, behaves kindly toward the younger
boys and is willing to work for the good of their community. Moreover, because
his motivation is rooted in his deep feeling of connectedness to
nature, Simon is the only character whose sense of morality does
not seem to have been imposed by society. Simon represents a kind
of natural goodness, as opposed to the unbridled evil of Jack and the
imposed morality of civilization represented by Ralph and Piggy.
“lieutenant.” A whiny, intellectual boy, Piggy’s inventiveness frequently
leads to innovation, such as the makeshift sundial that the boys
use to tell time. Piggy represents the scientific, rational side of civilization.
“lieutenant.” A sadistic, cruel older boy who brutalizes the littluns
and eventually murders Piggy by rolling a boulder onto him.
Sam and Eric -
pair of twins closely allied with Ralph. Sam and Eric are always
together, and the other boys often treat them as a single entity,
calling them “Samneric.” The easily excitable Sam and Eric are part
of the group known as the “bigguns.” At the end of the novel, they fall
victim to Jack’s manipulation and coercion.
The Lord of the Flies -
The name given to the sow’s head that Jack’s gang
impales on a stake and erects in the forest as an offering to the
“beast.” The Lord of the Flies comes to symbolize the primordial
instincts of power and cruelty that take control of Jack’s tribe.
1. What symbols does Golding use to show that civilization has been destroyed on the island?
2. What do you think is meant by "They understood only too well the liberation into savagery that the concealing paint brought"?
1. How does Golding change his boys from savages back to little boys in the eyes of the reader?
2. What is the purpose of the naval officer's presence in the surrounding waters, and what is the irony of this in the light of his reaction to the "fun and games" of the boys?