Lord of the Flies

William Golding
Quotes

Ralph, Piggy, Jack, Simon and Roger

Quotes Ralph, Piggy, Jack, Simon and Roger
He lifted the shell on his knees and looked round the sunslashed faces.
“There aren’t any grownups. We shall have to look after ourselves.”
The meeting hummed and was silent.
“And another thing. We can’t have everybody talking at once. We’ll have ‘Hands up’ like at school.”

At the beginning of the novel, Ralph uses the conch to call all the boys together for a meeting with the goal of bringing order to their situation. He immediately takes charge and sets down rules that resemble those back in the world of adults. Ralph’s behavior and concerns make him a symbol of leadership, order, and civilization. The story traces what happens to all that Ralph symbolizes as the darker part of human nature emerges.

He began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling. He capered toward Bill, and the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness.

After painting his face for camouflage while hunting, Jack becomes lost in the rush of feeling released from civilized behavior and the rule of law. This release, which seems almost intoxicating in its power, allows Jack to develop into a dictator who rules by fear and violence. Jack symbolizes savagery and the desire for power, and demonstrates humanity’s capacity for evil.

“Look, I’m goin’ to say, you’re stronger than I am and you haven’t got asthma. You can see, I’m goin’ to say, and with both eyes. But I don’t ask for my glasses back, not as a favor. I don’t ask you to be a sport, I’ll say, not because you’re strong, but because what’s right’s right. Give me my glasses, I’m going to say—you got to!”

Piggy makes an appeal to Jack to return his stolen glasses. While Piggy lacks physical strength, he demonstrates intellectual strength and symbolizes logic and reason. Here, Piggy uses his intellect to make a logical appeal to try to get back his glasses in the name of what is right and civilized. The fact that Jack ignores his appeal and Piggy ends up getting killed shows that, at least on the boys’ island, savagery wins over civilization.

Simon, sitting between the twins and Piggy, wiped his mouth and shoved his piece of meat over the rocks to Piggy, who grabbed it.

Piggy and Ralph have decided to join the feast after the killing of the first pig. At first, no one is willing to give them some of the roast pig. Simon, however, is willing to share his food with the outcasts. Such an act illustrates Simon’s goodness and symbolizes the caring, nurturing side of human nature. However, it is this goodness that makes Simon a doomed character on the island where human nature’s darker side ends up prevailing.

Roger edged past the chief, only just avoiding pushing him with his shoulder. The yelling ceased, and Samneric lay looking up in quiet terror. Roger advanced upon them as one wielding nameless authority.

At the end of chapter eleven, Roger has established himself as a murderer, having already killed Piggy by deliberately dropping a large rock on him, which resulted in Piggy falling forty feet to the rocks below. Roger is now seen as Jack’s brutal enforcer of savagery. In this moment, Roger uses violence with Sam and Eric, or Samneric, to make them join Jack’s tribe. Roger fully embodies the savagery unleashed on the island that shows humanity’s capacity for evil.