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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 24
  1. 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.

    • Word count: 846
  2. 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.

    • Word count: 935
  3. 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.

    • Word count: 833
  4. 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'.

    • Word count: 900
  5. 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.

    • Word count: 587
  6. 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.

    • Word count: 604
  7. 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.

    • Word count: 761
  8. 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.

    • Word count: 844
  9. Peer reviewed

    The symbolism of the beast in Lord of The Flies

    5 star(s)

    At first the beast is just a vague idea, and Simon says that the littluns scream in their sleep "as if it wasn't a good island." Highlights the dark side of the island. The main characters see the beast differently. As leader, Ralph tries to comfort the boys, by describing the idea of the beast as 'nonsense', which is helping the littluns come to terms with the idea. Jack almost undermines Ralph by saying that even if there was a beast "we'd kill it".

    • Word count: 526
  10. Peer reviewed

    How does Golding present the change from friendship to death in Lord of The Flies?

    5 star(s)

    Golding shows that Piggy is different to the others. He has asthma, speaks differently and is overweight, so Ralph and Jack don't like him. This shows that as a society we judge people based on their looks, and their differences to us, rather than accepting them for who they are. Ralph is instantly liked by the littluns because he has the conch which is a symbol of authority, and he is voted to be chief. Jack however, is described by Golding as someone who is a harsh dictator. Despite his ways, and the fact that he isn't elected as chief, Ralph's democratic side comes into light when he offers Jack the choir.

    • Word count: 562
  11. Peer reviewed

    What is the significance of Piggy in the novel The Lord of the Flies?

    5 star(s)

    Piggy's appearance alone has made him an outsider, because the other boys look down on him. He has asmtha and doesn't do much physical work on the island. He is not welcomed on their first exploratory trip of the island. "We don't want you," Jack says to Piggy. It is his academic background and his isolation from the savage boys that had allowed him to remain mostly unchanged from his primitive experiences on the island. Golding uses him as the 'control' character that can contrast the other characters as they become more and more savage.

    • Word count: 942
  12. Peer reviewed

    Lord of the Flies. The Events of the novel suggest that Golding had a negative view of Humanity

    4 star(s)

    As we know in the book there civilisations vs. savagery, good vs. evil or in other words evil being a negative issue. Also Golding uses fear widely throughout the book. He does this by using the beast which symbolises fear, this gets more terrifying for the boys as it begins to believe it but also makes them even more savagery. This gets us thinking that the way Golding involves fear and savagery together that he has a negative state of mind to come up with this idea.

    • Word count: 545
  13. Peer reviewed

    What is the importance of Simon in The Lord of the Flies?

    4 star(s)

    Simon also represents good in the story because he is always helping the other boys and has no evil or violent actions during the life of his character, one example of this is that he helps the littleuns to get fruit "Simon found for them the fruit they could not reach", this is a truly altruistic action and helps the reader paint a mental picture of how saintly Simon is, this notion is helped by the fact that Simon has fainting fits, this could be down to epilepsy but many saints have been known to have similar fits.

    • Word count: 953
  14. Free essay

    Why Do You Think William Golding Chose To Set Lord of the Flies on and Island, and How Does He Use The Island In The Novel

    4 star(s)

    As soon as the plane lands on the island, a huge scar is formed on the island, which was used by Golding to show both the affects of nuclear war and how man impacted the Earth right from when it began. The parched ground the scar has left is unlikely to ever grow back, and Golding used this as a metaphor to show how the world would never recover and re-grow from nuclear war. Golding also used the scar on the island to show that humans will never let something beautiful remain, despite the islands natural beauty, there is ugliness now within, true in humans also.

    • Word count: 821
  15. Peer reviewed

    In this essay I will be discussing the different types of symbols and their meanings in the book "The Lord of the Flies." I will be discussing how the signal fire, the conch Shell, and The lord

    4 star(s)

    When it is used in this capacity, the conch shell becomes a powerful symbol of civilization and order in the novel. The shell effectively governs the boys' meetings, for the boy who holds the shell holds the right to speak. In this, the shell holds the political democratic power. As the boys' on the island civilization erodes and the boys grow into savagery, the conch shell loses its power and influence among them all. Ralph clenches the shell desperately when he talks about his role murdering Simon.

    • Word count: 664
  16. Peer reviewed

    What is the importance of Simon in Lord of the Flies

    4 star(s)

    Up until his death, Simon is often ignored and left to himself in the novel, with only Ralph and Piggy really taking any notice, such as on page 64 only the Ralph and Simon are working on the shelters when Jack appears, and Simon suddenly enters the conversation: ' "They're hopeless. The older ones aren't much better. D'you see? All day I've been working with Simon. No one else. They're off bathing, or eating, or playing." Simon poked his head out carefully.

    • Word count: 999
  17. Free essay

    Lord of the Flies Chapter 5 and 6

    3 star(s)

    The conch is taken from him by Jack who makes a strong and passionate speech, in complete contrast to Ralph's serious talk. He shouts at the littluns to put up with the fear if they are scared, just like the rest of the boys, exclaiming that they are "cry babies and sissies". He asks the boys if he is a hunter and they reply in the affirmative, so he goes on to say that he has searched the whole island and therefore he knows that no beast or animal exists.

    • Word count: 886
  18. Peer reviewed

    Lord of the flies- what are the main themes within the novel

    3 star(s)

    The main themes in the novel is civilization v savagery. Also I have identified many other relevant themes for example the need for political democracy, evil in mankind and that people are inherently evil. Golding strongly believed that people were inherently evil and he put this in to his novel very well through the character of Jack-allusion to Hitler and in this essay I will explore the many other themes within the novel. Civilization is the refinement of thought, manners, and taste in society. It has taken thousands of years for people to become civilized.

    • Word count: 675

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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