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Lord of the Flies


Lord of the Flies William Golding ... Themes The most obvious of the themes is man's need for civilization. Contrary to the belief that man is innocent and society ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies
William Golding
  • Goldings first and most successful novel, Lord
    of the Flies, was published in England in 1954
    but its popularity was not established until five
    years later when it appeared in paperback.

William Golding
  • This book was followed by a series of other
    novels, each concerned in one way or another with
    the theme of mans capacity for evil The
    Inheritors, Free Fall and The Brass Butterfly.

  • The most obvious of the themes is man's need for
    civilization. Contrary to the belief that man is
    innocent and society evil, the story shows that
    laws and rules, policemen and schools are
    necessary to keep the darker side of human nature
    in line. When these institutions and concepts
    slip away or are ignored, human beings revert to
    a more primitive part of their nature.

  • Evil (the beast) is within man himself.
  • Golding implies that the loss of innocence has
    little to do with age but is related to a
    person's understanding of human nature. It can
    happen at any age or not at all. Painful though
    it may be, this loss of innocence by coming to
    terms with reality is necessary if humanity is to

  • Fear of the unknown on the island revolves around
    the boys' terror of the beast. The recognition
    that no real beast exists, that there is only the
    power of fear, is one of the deepest meanings of
    the story.

Theyre the real thing
  • Golding establishes a sense of reality by his
    descriptions of the boys and by the language of
    their conversations with each other.
  • The boys have ordinary physical attributes and
    mannerisms of young boys. The group includes a
    variety of physical types short, tall, dark,
    light, freckled, tow-headed, etc.

...Theyre the real thing
  • To stress the universality of their later
    actions, Golding takes great pains to present the
    boys as normal. The littluns suck their
    thumbs, eat sloppily, etc., while the older ones
    rolling about the sand, stand on their heads, and

...Theyre the real thing
  • Even their unkindness to Piggy is credible for
    children often display a natural cruelty to
    anyone they consider different or inferior.

Life among the savages
  • Nor does their metamorphosis from ordinary
    schoolboys into bloodthirsty savages seem
    unlikely, for Golding has taken the descent one
    step at a time.

Characters as symbols
  • Ralphcommon sense, and responsibility
  • Jackimmediate gratification and irresponsible
  • Piggyineffective intellectualism
  • Simonmystic, Religious side of man. Understands
    good and evil but no communication.
  • Samnericincapable of acting independently. They
    represent loss of identity through fear of the

Characters as symbols
  • Dead parachutist the sign, evil developing on
    the island
  • Each of the characters represents a part of man.

...Characters as symbols
  • We all have good, evil, common sense,
    intelligence, a sense of nature within us.

Objects as symbols
  • Conch shell
  • law and order. The shell looses authority as
    anarchy grows. The conch fades in color and
    power. Its power is broken with the fall of
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Refers to the head of the pig which Jack has left
    as an offering to the beast. Literal
    translation of the Beelzebub, prince of demons.
    Symbolizes mans capacity for evil

Objects as symbols
  • Huts
  • represent the desire to preserve civilization
    when Jack gains power they move into caves like
    the animals they have become.
  • Fire
  • its use divides civilization from savagery.
    Ralph uses it for hope Jack for cooking. It is
    Jacks group that allows the fire (hope) to go

Objects as symbols
  • Piggys glasses
  • They signify mans ability to perceive, to think.
    That thought can be misused for destructive
    purpose is shown when Piggys glasses are used to
    smoke Ralph out.
  • Night and Darkness
  • an archetypal symbol of evil, the powers of
    darkness. The boys would have recognized the
    chutist in the daylight, as would they have
    Simon. The beast is more real at night

Objects as symbols
  • Stick sharpened on both ends
  • Represents how much evil has taken the boys over.
    First it was used to offer the beast the pig
    sacrifice next to offer it Ralphs.
  • Face paint
  • The paint helps the boys hide from their own
    consciences, turning them into anonymous savages
    who are freed from the restraints of civilized

  • Jack, chief representative of evil in the
    novel, is too inhibited by societys teachings to
    teachings to slay the piglet the first day, he
    later progresses to exhilaration in his first

  • Eventually he comes to kill for the sheer thrill
    of slaughter rather than the need for meat, and
    this becomes the motive for hunting.

  • Ralph is a tall, blond twelve year old,
    establishes himself as the leader of the boys
    when he blows the conch shell to call the first
    assembly. Throughout the story, he struggles to
    maintain order and is forced to compete with Jack
    for respect.

Dynamic character
  • A dynamic character is one who undergoes a change
    during the story because he learns a truth or
    comes to a realization about himself.
  • Ralph is such a character.

A. His initial character
  • 1. Enjoys the absence of adults on the island
  • 2. Popular
  • 3. Indifferent to Piggy
  • 4. Enjoys the island
  • 5. Likes Jack
  • 6. Trusts others
  • 7. Refuses to accept the beast.

B. What changes him
  • 1. Decay of order
  • 2. Insistence on rules
  • 3. Need for intelligence
  • 4. Brutal behavior revealed
  • 5. Savagery in Jack
  • 6. Betrayed by all
  • 7. Savagery in himself and other

C. Character change
  • 1. Wishes adults were present on the island
  • 2. An outcast
  • 3. Appreciates and misses Piggy
  • 4. Hates the island
  • 5. Fears Jack
  • 6. Trusts no one
  • 7. Knows the beast is within
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