GCSE: William Golding

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Golding's ideas and expression

  1. 1 The novel's title The Lord Of The Flies comes from the Arabic Ba‘al az-Zubab, so Beezlebub, meaning 'lord of demon flies' or 'the devil'.
  2. 2 The novel explores the thin veneer of civilisation and considers the idea that a scratch to the surface will resort everyone to savagery.
  3. 3 It also considers the loss of innocence, the break down of civilisation and the break down of friendships through violent bullying, death or the violence around them.
  4. 4 As the novel progresses the boys’ language deteriorates to mirror the events. For example

The themes of 'Lord Of The Flies'

  1. 1 War

    Plane crash,
    Nuclear bomb,
    The violent ‘games’ the boys play reflects what is happening in the adult world.
  2. 2 Violence

    The killing of pig,
    The boys revert to ‘wild’ savages,
    Ralph becomes a hunted animal,
    Simon is torn apart.
  3. 3 Setting

    The island originally seems like a paradise but there is foreshadowing in ‘the scar’ that the plane makes,
    Humans turn paradise into a hell,
    The boys literally set the place on fire; turning it into hell.
  4. 4 Religion

    The symbolism of paradise,
    Man’s basic evil,
    Adam and Eve, with the loss of innocence mirrored in the growing evil in the boys.

  • Marked by Teachers essays 21
  • Peer Reviewed essays 25
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    Fear of the Unknown- Lord of the Flies

    5 star(s)

    Even though this first fear was neglected by most of the big ones, especially Jack and Ralph who kept on saying that no such thing existed, but it still left behind a feeling of unease especially among the little ones where there "was dubiety that required more than rational assurance." As we go through the novel, we can see this increasingly affecting people and already starting to have a seating effect on their mind. Even though at the beginning Ralph and Jack tried to act like superheroes, they too soon found themselves trapped into their own fear of unknowns.

    • Length: 1708 words
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Read the passages in Chapter 3 where Jack and Simon are each in the Forest. How does the language convey their contrasting character and roles in the novel? Lord of the Flies is a thought-provoking novel about a

    5 star(s)

    Because of this, he is able to quickly make the transition to savagery. Jack is a natural, self-assured leader who is always ready to fight. He is a symbol of evil and brutality and his natural desire to kill is brought out by his hunting of pigs. Simon, on the other hand, is a curious figure who sees beyond the surface of things. We learn straight away, that there is something special about Simon. It was because of this uniqueness that he was chosen by Ralph to be among the three explorers of the island.

    • Length: 2811 words
  3. Marked by a teacher

    Lord of the flies. How does Golding make Simon such a significant figure in the novel?

    4 star(s)

    We see this later in the novel when Ralph is left alone with only Simon and Piggy by his side. Golding also presents Simon to be very generous; as he comes to the aid of the hungry littluns, Simon always appears to help in times of crisis. Piggy's glasses have been knocked off by an angry Jack and Simon appears without warning to pick them up and hand them back to Piggy, expecting nothing in return. His behaviour is always selfless, only helping the needy.

    • Length: 846 words
  4. Marked by a teacher

    Less Obvious Symbols in Lord of the Flies

    4 star(s)

    The movement and action of the boys, as aforementioned, is important in understanding how physically able the boys are, but it seems as though the more physically able boys gain the control and authority over the weaker and less physically able boys. It is as if the boys follow the conduct of Darwin's theory of evolution: Survival of the Fittest. At the start of the novel, we see very clearly just how able Ralph is physically: 'He jumped down...sliding over his skin.'

    • Length: 1184 words
  5. Marked by a teacher

    How is fear presented in Lord of the Flies?

    4 star(s)

    'He says the beastie came in the dark' tells us far more than just the first incarnation of fear. The quote gives us the idea of the beastie, incidentally a 'snake-thing' (see Adam and Eve). It introduces to us how the fear of the creature is amplified by the inability to see it, given by inclusion of the word 'dark', This is a running theme, without being able to 'see' the beast the boys are always set to be enslaved by its will, why else would they bring offerings to it, give a 'gift for the darkness'?

    • Length: 984 words
  6. Marked by a teacher

    Why does Golding choose to set his story on an island? Why is the is land important?

    4 star(s)

    However, as the novel progresses it becomes acutely apparent that the lack of adults may be a negative thing. Although the boys attempt to create a civilised community holding meetings "every day, twice a day" and constructing shelters, the childish nature of the youths overcomes them resulting in a devolution into savagery. Golding focuses mainly on the characters Piggy, Ralph and Jack, who represent between them what most of the other children are like. While Ralph and Piggy cling desperately to civilisation for the duration of the novel, Jack is found to be "hunting" and killing, a very changed character from the "chief chorister" in the first chapter.

    • Length: 707 words
  7. Marked by a teacher

    A view to a death - Chapter 9. A view to a death is the chapter in which Simon is killed.

    4 star(s)

    The rain grew from its initial spitting and mourned his death aggressively; symbolically avenging his undeserved death. However ironically, it was the same initial rain that invited Jack's tribal dance which led to Simon's death; therefore alternatively, the heavy rain could reflect tears of regret for assisting his murder. Through this, Golding could be implying that humans may have good intentions but sometimes do not realise that their inherent bad may overtake; resulting in deep regret. Simon completes his purpose as he tries to tell the boys about the beast while being ravaged.

    • Length: 651 words
  8. Marked by a teacher

    Lord of the flies: How does Golding Present the Loss of Innocence?

    4 star(s)

    In this quote, Golding uses quite colloquial language to describe Piggys' death. By using the word 'stuff' rather than the distinctive language he used to show us the meaning of Simons' death, the effect of this is that although Piggy was a main character, he did not have a special meaning in this book. At the start of the book were Jack was faced with the challenge of killing a pig, as he was still civilised, he could bring himself to do it.

    • Length: 935 words
  9. Marked by a teacher

    Lord of the Flies begins with friendship and ends with violence. How does Golding present this change and what do you think is shown by it?

    4 star(s)

    The boys arrive on the island with an air of calmness about them and they were masked by the innocence and of course, friendship. Looking at the first portrayal of modern day elections, we see a democratic view that the boys have. Obviously here, we gather that the boys in fact believe in fairness. This could be a reason why the use of the conch as a form of order provides a good way of knowing more of Golding's views on the boys.

    • Length: 833 words
  10. Marked by a teacher

    Violent Society in Lord of the Flies

    4 star(s)

    (page 78). Here, Roger is incapable of throwing the stones directly at young Henry and feels compelled to throw them near to him but not near enough to hurt Henry or cause him any discomfort. Golding is trying to say that Roger was constrained by 'parents and school and policemen and the law,' all who are figures that condition the moral code of society into Roger's mind. Conditioning is something that must be continuously drilled into the boys, lest it be forgotten, and as the novel progresses, the morals and principles that they have learnt from this conditioning begin to fade away.

    • Length: 1767 words
  11. Marked by a teacher

    Lord of the Flies

    4 star(s)

    At the beginning, the boys were ordered and obliged to any rules which were given to them. They gathered together having an assembly to vote for a chief, this probably sounds simple but in fact it reveals certain democratic power. Jack exposes the power of authority, threatening and frightening others similar to the way he treats his choir boys who listen to his orders and are afraid to go against him, 'with dreary obedience the choir raised their hands.' Due to the lack of cooperation between Ralph and the rest of the group, Jack and Ralph separated.

    • Length: 1517 words
  12. Marked by a teacher

    The descent into savagery in lord of the flies.

    4 star(s)

    This is a key moment in the descent because it is showing jacks true and savage side, which is encouragement for the others to do the same. Another key moment in the book is when roger is throwing stones at Percival and he misses purposefully because he felt guilt this shows that although he no longer as to be worried about being punished he retains the conscience that civilisation has given him. Golding describes it as a 1m circle around him that he dare not enter'.

    • Length: 900 words
  13. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast Defoe's Robinson Crusoe with Golding's Lord of the Flies.

    4 star(s)

    He did not begin writing until he was almost sixty. The Robinson Crusoe narrative was inspired by the actual experience of Alexander Selkirk on the island of Juan Fernandez from 1704 to 1709. Defoe wrote for the middle and lower classes and his realism and sentimentalism pleased them. At the time Britain was at the beginning of its Empire building phase and was entering a 'Golden Age.' After the union with Scotland in 1707, internal trade prospered in this, the largest customs-free area in Western Europe. The aristocracy and upper middle class that controlled Parliament also controlled the principal trading and banking companies, so that the growth of new enterprises was more rapid than anywhere else in Europe.

    • Length: 1970 words
  14. Marked by a teacher

    How has the relationship between Ralph and Jack changed?

    4 star(s)

    Ralph is elected chief over Jack and Piggy. Jack, who was the most likely leader among all the boys, had a "blush of mortification" when Ralph was elected chief. Ralph sensed that he needed to appease Jack's need for power and accomplished this by telling Jack, "The choir belongs to you." Ralph seems to trust Jack and to show how amicable their relationship is he delegates power over the choir to Jack. There is a mutual respect between the two of them and Jack says that the choir will keep the signal fire burning and will also do the hunting for the group.

    • Length: 1179 words
  15. Marked by a teacher

    Why is setting significant in Lord of the Flies?

    3 star(s)

    Piggy sometimes seems to be the only one with a mature mindset, and he realises that they could be stuck on the Island forever, while the little un's, choir boys and the rest don't think about the long term. The Island is described as quite like a luxury holiday, "palm terrace" and "white surf flinked on a coral reef", which also shows how the boys only think of their time on the island to be temporary.

    • Length: 587 words
  16. Marked by a teacher

    How does William Golding show evil at work in Lord of the Flies?

    3 star(s)

    Jack constantly called him 'fatty' until he found out about the name Piggy and made everyone laugh at him. Piggy was always an outsider after that incident. I feel that another way in which the novel implies that there is evil on the island is the setting of the 'scar'. This is because the area is unattractive and it is given a name of something that is generally unattractive and something that is unusual - scar. I believe that Golding has used this to suggest that bad things have happened to the island and bad things are going to happen to the boys also.

    • Length: 1926 words
  17. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the various factors which contribute to the downfall of the boys society on the island in 'Lord of the Flies', and assess which you think is the most significant.

    3 star(s)

    He sees the situation clearly ironically despite his glasses, whereas the other others do not see this. Jack is rash, daring and has desire for leadership. He wants to be followed, almost worshipped by the other boys. This leads him to ignore the creation of civilised society and instead break away, kill, hunt and lead to the death of two children. This number may be higher, but the boy with the birthmark is forgotten, and never mentioned again. At this point in the book, with the hunters taking control, it is difficult to remember all the boys are under twelve years old.

    • Length: 2392 words
  18. Marked by a teacher

    How does William Golding use 'The Beast' in his novel as a whole?

    3 star(s)

    However, in reality, it represents the evil naturally present within everyone, which is causing life on the island to deteriorate. Simon begins to realize this even before his encounter with the Lord of the Flies, and during one argument over the existence of a beast, he attempts to share his insight with the others. Simon begins to realize this even before his encounter with the Lord of the Flies, and during one argument over the existence of a beast, he attempts to share his insight with the others.

    • Length: 1378 words
  19. Marked by a teacher

    Lord Of The Flies - Ralph Monologue

    3 star(s)

    So what. Who cares! We can all do that if we want to, anyone can be a hunter. It's so pointless, he did it on purpose we were nearly there. He did it on purpose, I know he did. (Ralph quietens down momentarily appearing thoughtful) If only Jack had done as he was told we would never missed that ship. Stupid face painting, do that at six not at his bloody age. (Kicks the ground in exasperation, throws his hands around his head grabbing his hair) When we worked as a team, couldn't Jack see the benefits of that.

    • Length: 604 words
  20. Marked by a teacher

    How has the relationship between Ralph and Jack changed?

    3 star(s)

    Another of Ralph's first decisions as chief was to explore their surroundings to find out if they were on an island. On this exploration the relationship doesn't change that much from when they first met because of the little time between the two activities. I think that Ralph has gained more respect for Jack and showed this by asking to accompany him on the exploration. Golding indicates that at this point in the story the three on the exploration, (Ralph, Jack and Simon)

    • Length: 2206 words
  21. Marked by a teacher

    How does Golding present his characters in the opening chapter? Lord of the Flies.

    3 star(s)

    When Piggy places his trust in Ralph, Ralph uses this to gain the respect and friendship of Jack. This suggests, along with him being voted as chief and the way he handles Piggy when he confronts him about his nickname, that he is the politician of the group. Ralph is quite immature in the way he expresses joy, standing on his head, which suggests that he is not the most adequate leader. He is also not as intelligent as Piggy and without Piggys help with the Conch he could have never become Chief.

    • Length: 761 words
  22. Peer reviewed

    In the novel Lord of the Flies, Golding uses Ralph to represent democracy and friendship.

    5 star(s)

    Yet, in-spite of his power, Ralph chooses to delegate. He evidently realises how Jack needs to be kept occupied. He also realises that Simon is vulnerable, so invites him along to explore the island. Ralph's ability to judge characters, delegate power, and rule using democracy, represents how he was the perfect leader, and how without him, society would inevitably have collapsed immediately. Golding explores "man-kinds essential illness" and uses Ralph to express his ideas. Ralph's appearance is described as proclaiming "no devil", yet in-spite of this, Ralph still partakes in the murdering of Simon. Although he tries to convince himself that the affair was "an accident" he becomes aware of the boys true capacity for evil, "I'm frightened.

    • Length: 695 words
  23. Peer reviewed

    Compare and Contrast the characters of Ralph and Jack in the first and last chapters in Lord of the Flies(TM)

    5 star(s)

    Their clothing is extremely unsuitable for their new surroundings and they soon take them off. Jack is also clearly the leader of the choir, as he is wearing a golden cap. He over exercises his authority and hurls orders at his choir boys. The readers also work out from this first chapter that Ralph was brought up in the Home Counties. Golding writes that Ralph, '...jerked his stockings with an automatic gesture that made the jungle seem for a moment like the Home Counties'. We can assume that Ralph, coming from the Home Counties, was brought up in a middle class background.

    • Length: 1780 words
  24. Peer reviewed

    law and order lord of the flies

    5 star(s)

    and asks, "How can you expect to be rescued if you don't put first things first and act proper?" The only salvation Piggy can envision comes from behaving in an orderly manner. The degree to which he values this vision of order is shown by his reverence for the conch, which he attempts to protect from Jack later on in the book. Even when the majority of the boys have abandoned the original, organized society, Piggy clings to the shell, stubbornly believing that the beauty of order cannot be denied. He shouts to Jack's wild tribe, "Which is better -to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?"

    • Length: 1235 words
  25. Peer reviewed

    Effectiveness of death of Simon

    5 star(s)

    Simon's death brings about the use of weather again used as a downpour erupts, as though the weather were responding to the boys' actions and because Simon is always very closely connected with nature, so the rain may represent tears - "the clouds opened...poured" Golding uses this thunderstorm as a means of terror and the result is that the fear drives the boys together. In the rain, Ralph asks Jack how he how supposes they will be protected from the rain seeing as he has not built any shelters.

    • Length: 844 words

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Compare and Contrast the characters of Ralph and Jack in the first and last chapters in Lord of the Flies(TM)

    "In conclusion when comparing Jack and Ralph's characters in the first and last chapter in the novel, one can see that the main differences are that Jack is more conventional and conformist where Ralph is more easy going and a little rebellious who is always on the look out for adventure and danger. However, Ralph would like to be rescued by others where as Jack would like to make his own 'gang' and would thrive on his own leadership."

  • "'We've got to have rules and obey them. After all we're not savages.' Discuss Jack's statement in Chapter Two in the light of the events of Chapters One to Five of 'Lord of the Flies.'"

    "In conclusion, there has been a clear move from civilisation towards savagery. At the beginning of the novel, we see Jack as a civilised and young boy but in the duration of the events that have taken place; Jack is emerged as a hunter and is described like a savage from an African tribe. He shows a sense of order and authority over the choirboys, which was accepted by Ralph, but with this sense of confidence building within Jack, he has tried to not only overcome the choirboys, but also Ralph, Piggy and the rest of the boys. "Golding knew exactly what the boys are like." This was taken from a newspaper review in the 1950s and this tells us that Golding's views about how boys would survive on a island seems realistic as he used to watch how boys used to interact with each other in the playground. Lord of the Flies is more than an adventurous story: it gives us a lesson about what human nature is all about. It consists of messages and morals that we can learn from, such as how we behave in a primitive way, how we are cruel to each other and how we can easily be influenced and bullied."

  • Look Carefully At the Episode of Piggy’s Death In the Novel Lord of the Flies and Compare the Two Film Versions of It.

    "CONCLUSION I have discovered from this investigation that the original film and the novel are probably the best sources to go by as they follow each other almost perfectly. I have also discovered that the second film is a very rude adaptation of the original and should not be taken as a proper source."

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