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AS and A Level: William Golding
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- Peer Reviewed essays 6
Lord of the Flies, on the surface, may resemble any other children adventure story. Beyond its literal sense, however, it actually has a lot more to offer: it is an attempt to unfold the superficiality and fragility of civilization, a pessimistic an5 star(s)
With no adult surviving the crash, the boys are left to fend for themselves. Ralph, our protagonist, plays the role of a leader by summoning them all to the beach with the help of a conch shell. Here is where our antagonist, Jack and his choirboys are introduced. As seemingly educated and civilized children, the group is absolutely rational at the outset: they hold an election to vote for a chief (Ralph is elected); they formulate rules to maintain discipline; they take up different responsibilities and duties. Unfortunately, the children's goodness and self-discipline are quickly overridden by their underlying evil, barbaric and sadistic instincts.
- Word count: 1915
We are only introduced to it in chapter 8 'Gift for Darkness', where it is nothing more than the decapitated head of a sow lodged onto a stick. In the text it is described as a rather haunting image, which was: ..."grinning amusedly in the strange daylight, ignoring the flies, the spilled guts, even ignoring the indignity of being spiked on a stick." The author talks about the pig's head as if it is alive by using language such as "grinning".
- Word count: 550
"Scrambled up like a bright squirrel," the fire has a life of its own because like a squirrel it can 'scramble' up a tree and is of a bright vibrant colour. The metaphor, "The squirrel leapt on the wings of the wind and clung to another standing tree, eating downwards."
- Word count: 419
Analyse William Golding's choice of language during and after the killing of Simon. Why does the language use change?4 star(s)
They lose their individuality and start "the throb and stamp of a single organism", again with the throbbing and stamping inducing images of a trance-like ritual. Also the symbolisms of circles and the weather are repeated. The circle now "yawns emptily" waiting to catch someone inside. The weather is threatening, "Thunder boomed...the dark sky was shattered...scar...blow of a gigantic whip". This is a great contrast to the clear skies earlier in the book that symbolised peace. Now they begin to become terrified by the weather and the trance and out of this terror "rose another desire, thick, urgent, blind".
- Word count: 765
In the early 1950s many people were accused, often falsely, of being communists (the McCarthy era in the USA at this time is a good example of this.) It is within this context that Golding wrote Lord of the Flies. The battles between Ralph and Jack, the struggles between the Conch group and the Savages and above all the fight of good versus evil, originate in a degree of paranoia typical of the era in which the novel was written.
- Word count: 2149
When a dead parachutist lands on the island the twins Samneric hear his parachute flapping in the wind they believe it is the beast and rush to tell the others about it at which point Jack suggests they hunt the beast, he is attempting to use their fear to get his own way but this time Ralph's common sense is supported over Jack's savage plans when he asks them "don't you want to be rescued" the boys still listen to common sense for now.
- Word count: 668
to Jocelin's unconscious and the emerging Spire comes to represent Jocelin's sexual frustration, in the form of a phallic symbol emerging from his unconscious "As for the whole building itself, the bible in stone, it sank from glorification to homiletics" p51 As jocelin begins to realise that the Spire is being built due to adultery his vision diminishes from glory to normality "She will keep him here"p64 This is emphasised as there is a break in the paragraph for this line and it is simplistic compared to previous lengthy and rambling lines.
- Word count: 2881
Ralph blows the conch to summon the others, and Piggy tries to learn the names of the boys who come. Then, the choirboys come, commanded by Jack, in a regimented group. Jack immediately queries Ralph's authority: " 'We'd better all have names,' said Ralph, 'so I'm Ralph.' 'We got most names,' said Piggy. 'Got 'em just now.' 'Kids' names,' said Merridew. 'Why should I be Jack? I'm Merridew.' " Though this wish is never actually respected by the other boys, who almost immediately revert to calling him Jack, he has registered his dissent and has already upset the friendliness of the boys' fledgling community.
- Word count: 1152
On the first page, a reference is made to 'Abraham and Isaac'. At surface level, this story seems irrelevant - Jocelin is exultant, convinced he is finally able to do the will of God, and thr story of Abraham could be seen as a tragic one. Abraham is told by God that he must sacrifice his son, and because of his blind faith, he agrees. However, at the last moment an angel stopes him. Perhaps Jocelin looks up to Abraham, admires him for his strength of faith. Perhaps it demonstrates from the very beginning how far he is willing to go to build his spire 'for God'.
- Word count: 1413
Piggy agrees to allow them to use his glasses to start the fire. However, after neglecting to monitor their first fire, part of the island is sent up in flames. and one of the younger boys goes missing. Ralph and another boy, Simon, construct huts for the survivors to live in, and Ralph is irritated when all of the other boys spend their time playing rather than helping. After attempting to express this problem to Jack, Ralph finds that although Jack's hunting party is not making any progress, hunting is all Jack cares about.
- Word count: 1054
However, he realises that, if he does not intervene, their adultery will prevent Roger from leaving. Roger's wife Rachel reveals that she and her husband are childless because she finds sex makes her laugh. Jocelin climbs to the roof to inspect the work and finds it exhilarating. However, he has what is eventually revealed to be tuberculosis of the spine, and this illness gradually becomes worse. He is also increasingly troubled by sexual dreams relating to his own attraction to Goody. A pit has been dug in order for the master builder to look for foundations, and there is a crisis when the earth in it is seen to be creeping.
- Word count: 1191
What does chapter one of "The Spire" reveal about Jocelin and his attitude to other people? How does Golding's language reveal the extent to which he deceives himself?
As the paragraph continues it is revealed just how much Jocelin is infatuated with Goody for example, when she does not follow the same routine as usual, he has to 'glimpse the long, sweet face' as she turns away from him. Golding's use of the word 'glimpse' suggests that Jocelin is purposely looking out for her 'sweet face'. Golding repeats this word later in the paragraph 'got a glimpse of green dress', this too implies that Jocelin is trying to see more of Goody.
- Word count: 1725
Nearly all of Roger's attributes are the antithesis to Jocelin's; where Roger is down-to-earth, Jocelin is spiritual and deluded. Both men are compared to animals in the novel, Roger is likened to 'a bear' and a 'dog' whereas Jocelin is described as 'an eagle' and 'beaky', Golding's choice of animals here show the reader how the two men have completely different views of the world. Roger's confrontation with Jocelin highlights the antithesis between them. Roger, as an earthy man, can see that the spire is dangerous and a nearly impossible concept and regards Jocelin's vision with 'contempt and amusement', whereas Jocelin believes that it will be held up simply by his faith and prayer, 'God will provide'.
- Word count: 907
at her, he mentions her only as "Pangall's wife" which is incredibly reminiscent of Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men where the female of the story is only referred to as "Curley's wife" and her actual name is not specified, names are quite symbolic in terms of how much value the other characters revere her, and over here in The Spire, Jocelin only seems to associate her as a nameless object, devoid of human definition. When you take away the name of the character, you disassociate that character from the main frame of other characters who actually do have names, and
- Word count: 1540
The leader will wear the conch with its chain all week long. o The conch will be used by the leader to gather everyone, to quieten the group and to let somebody speak. o The conch symbolizes leadership and authority. The person who has it is different from the others. The leader with his conch has to organize all the stuff related to the island and people. MAP OF THE ISLAND Ways to get food & water * A group of 3 or 4 people will be fishing three times a week.
- Word count: 377
Without thinking about helping the bigguns with the fire or even hunting he just went and joined with the others. The boy, who had called him over, Mikey, greeted Elliot with a playful punch. "I'll race ya!" screamed Elliot as he began running towards he luscious sea. Mikey ran after him. As they dived into the water and were splashing each other a loud came from the conch they reluctantly wondered back to the shelters. Ralph greeted them as the rest of the children flocked in.
- Word count: 658
Using the following extract as a starting point, explore the ways Golding presents the relationship between Goody Pangall and Roger Mason.
This "tent" as it is described is an invisible bond between the two, much like the "rope" which once tethered together Jocelin and Pangall. This bond however, unlike that between the two priests is almost self-enforcing as it confines them with each other and is described as having "shut them off" from the other characters. As this union between them is said to be "shut" it implies that the relationship is intended to remain private, which is unsurprising given the ideas and values of the time and their surroundings as it would be deemed strictly improper for this relationship to
- Word count: 981
Society keeps everybody sane and civilized; people need rules and principles to live by. Without rules and a moral compass, humans tend to revert back to a pre-civilized culture. People are so comfortable in the confines of a civilization that when those confines are removed, people turn into savages. Even in an uncivilized world, some taboos could not be broken. ?Roger gathered a handful of stones and began to throw them. Yet there was a space around Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life.
- Word count: 1099
Golding describes Ralph as being ?filthy.? Later, he is compared to a ?scarecrow? and is thought by the officer to be in need of a ?bath,? ?haircut,? ?nose-wipe,? and ?ointment.? The other boys are also described in great detail by Golding. As Jack?s boys come out of the jungle yelling, their screams are described as ?ululations.? As the officer looks more carefully at them, he sees that they are ?streaked with colored clay? and have ?sharp sticks? in their hands.
- Word count: 1064
These rules include: building shelters, collecting drinking water, keeping the rescue fire lit, and proper sanitation (Golding 80-81). Even though Ralph has possession of the conch and is the chosen leader, he relies on Piggy?s intellect. Piggy knows that their arrival on the island has something to do with the war (Fitzgerald and Kayser 82). He also knows the shell is a conch and its use. Due to their plane crash, he realizes that there are other survivors on the island. Therefore, he instructs Ralph to blow the conch in order to gather the others (Fitzgerald and Kayser 81).
- Word count: 2677