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Who is the Lord of the Flies?

Physically, the Lord of the Flies is the pig head that Jack, Roger, and the hunters mount on a sharpened stick and leave as an offering for the beast. The head is described as dripping blood, eerily grinning, and attracting a swarm of buzzing flies. When The Lord of the Flies “speaks” to Simon, we can assume that his voice is a hallucinatory effect of Simon’s disintegrating mental state. The Lord of the Flies suggests to Simon that the boys will be their own undoing. Simon loses consciousness after the episode, and is killed later that night. Later, when Roger and Jack vow to hunt and kill Ralph, they imply that they will repeat their offering to the beast, using Ralph’s head this time. Symbolically, the Lord of the Flies represents the evil inside each one of the boys on the island.

What is the conch and what does it symbolize?

A conch is a type of mollusk with a pink and white shell in the shape of a spiral. Once the animal inside dies, the shell can be used as a trumpet by blowing into one end. In Lord of the Flies, the boys use a conch to call meetings and also to designate who is speaking. In this way, the conch symbolizes democracy and free speech – anyone who is holding the conch can speak his mind, and everyone else must listen and wait their turns for the conch. However, the fact that the conch is easily broken, signalling the end of civil communication, symbolizes the fragility of democracy, which needs protection by all participants in order to survive.

How does Simon die?

After talking to the Lord of the Flies, Simon discovers the body of the paratrooper on the mountain and realizes the boys have mistaken the corpse for the beast. Meanwhile, Jack and his boys have been chanting and dancing around the fire, whipping themselves into a bloodthirsty frenzy. When Simon appears and attempts to explain the true identity of the beast, the boys mistake him for the beast itself and attack and kill him. Later, Piggy tries to deny that he and Ralph were involved in Simon’s murder, but Ralph insists on acknowleging that they participated.

Why does Jack start his own tribe?

From the beginning of the novel, Jack and Ralph both want to be leader of the boys, and disagree not only about who the leader should be, but what style of leadership is most effective. The tension mounts between Jack and Ralph until Chapter 8, when they argue openly. After Ralph mocks Jack’s hunters as “boys armed with sticks,” Jack erupts into an angry diatribe and rails against Ralph and his poor leadership skills. He insists that Ralph is a coward and that he himself would be a better leader. But after no one else agrees by vote, Jack leaves the group in tears. Hours later, many of the boys have left Ralph to join Jack’s tribe, lured by the promise of hunting, eating meat and having fun. Soon the two tribes are in violent conflict with each other.

Do the boys get rescued from the island?

Yes. Although Ralph has insisted throughout the novel on the importance of a fire to signal passing ships, what ultimately attracts a ship is not Ralph’s fire but the massive blaze set by Jack in order to kill Ralph. While pursuing Ralph through the forest, Jack sets a huge fire to scare Ralph into the open. A passing British Navy ship sees the fire and sends an officer ashore. The officer not only saves Ralph from being murdered by Jack, he also saves all the boys from the further violence that would surely have occurred had they stayed on the island.

Why is Ralph chosen to be the chief?

At Piggy’s suggestion, Ralph uses a conch to call a meeting with all the boys stranded on the island. Ralph then organizes the boys and suggests that they decide on a chief. Ralph is chosen because, as Golding observes, “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.” The boys recognize Ralph as a natural leader, and they associate him with civilization because the conch recalls the bullhorns adults would have used to organize the boys back home.

Why does Jack think he should be the chief?

Jack believes he is superior to Ralph because of his status back home. He states, “I ought to be chief . . . because I’m chapter chorister and head boy.” Later, Jack thinks he should be chief because he is a strong hunter. Jack challenges Ralph’s leadership, saying, “He’s not a hunter. He’d never have got us meat.” Throughout the book, Jack believes he has the right to ignore the democratic process and do what he wants.

Why are Piggy’s glasses important?

Piggy’s glasses are important because they enable Ralph’s group to light a signal fire that can help them get rescued. The glasses are later used by Jack’s group to light fires for having pig roasts. Ultimately, the glasses represent the power of fire to bring comfort and keep the boys linked to civilization as well as the power to cause death and destruction, such as when the fire gets out of control and kills a “littlun.” When Jack breaks and later steals Piggy’s glasses, these occurrences demonstrate how far the boys have fallen into savagery.

Who is the first boy to die on the island?

One of the “littluns”—the boy with the mulberry-colored birthmark—is the first boy to die. The fact that “that other boy whose mulberry-marked face had not been seen since the evening of the great fire” indicates that he died when the initial signal fire raged out of control. While this first death seems insignificant, it foreshadows the other deaths that will happen as the situation with the boys spirals out of control, just like that first fire.

Why does Jack hate Ralph?

From the beginning, Jack, who is the head choir boy back home, thinks he should be the chief, but the other boys choose Ralph. The tension between Ralph and Jack grows because Jack has different priorities—to hunt and have fun—than Ralph, who wants to hold onto civilization and get rescued. Jack and Ralph are described as “two continents of experience and feeling, unable to communicate.” Jack later challenges Ralph’s leadership and feels humiliated when the boys still will not openly choose him. “I’m not going to be part of Ralph’s lot,” he announces as he breaks from the group—which represents civilization’s constraints—to start his own savage tribe.

What is the beast?

At first, the beast is what the “littluns” call the scary things in the night, and it soon represents the unknown and the boys’ fears. Simon discovers that the beast is, in fact, a dead pilot who, readers learn, fell to the island during the night: “There was a speck above the island, a figure dropping swiftly beneath a parachute, a figure that hung with dangling limbs.” Belief in the beast is fueled by Sam and Eric, who hear the opening and closing of the parachute, and by Jack, Ralph, and Roger, who encounter the decayed body of the pilot without recognizing that it is a dead human body, not a beast.

What does Simon want to tell the other boys?

Simon wants to tell the boys the truth about the beast, who the boys think is real. After his epileptic fit, Simon encounters the dead pilot and recognizes that the beast is, in fact, just a dead man that may be frightening but can’t hurt them. Simon “turned to the poor broken thing that sat stinking by his side. The beast was harmless and horrible; and the news must reach the others as soon as possible.”

How does Piggy die?

Piggy dies after being hit by a large rock that “struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee,” causing him to fall fatally on the rocks below. Roger, looking to injure or kill either Ralph or Piggy, releases the large rock from above. This happens when Ralph and Piggy go to Jack’s tribe to appeal to their sense of rules and order and ask them for Piggy’s glasses back. Roger’s act causes the death of Piggy, marks the end of reason on the island, and cuts any connection the boys had left to civilized behaviors.

Does Ralph survive?

As Simon predicts when he tells Ralph, “You’ll get back all right,” Ralph does survive, barely. Toward the end of the novel, Jack and his tribe hunt Ralph in order to kill him. Some of the boys even start a fire to smoke Ralph out of hiding. In a panic, Ralph runs down to the beach, where he unexpectedly ends up at the feet of a naval officer who saw the smoke from the fire raging out of control on the island. The presence of an adult brings an end to the boys’ savage activities and saves Ralph’s life.

Why is the backdrop of the war important to the story?

The backdrop of the war is important to the story because it is why the boys’ plane is shot down, an event that kills the adults on the plane and leaves the surviving boys alone on the island. Later when a dead pilot descends by parachute onto the island like “a sign came down from the world of grown-ups,” the boys think the pilot is the beast, something to be feared. In a sense, the boys’ idea is true because the pilot represents the brutality of war, which reveals the dark side of humanity. At the end of the story, the naval officer who rescues the boys seems to represent all that is orderly and civilized, but he also represents the death and destruction of war that underscore Golding’s point about humanity’s capacity for evil.