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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.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. Peer reviewed

    What is the importance of Simon in 'Lord of the Flies'

    5 star(s)

    In due course, as the story progresses, he seems to become even more of a social recluse - even Ralph, who Simon generally seems to support, confides to Jack that 'He's queer. He's funny.' And this is without the one important, most drastic difference between Simon and the others - which only the reader finds out about - Simon's epilepsy. All in all, to the other boys - and it is possible even to readers who do not comprehend Golding's possible deeper meanings in the novel - Simon is seen as 'batty', - as a strange boy who never fits

    • Word count: 1208
  2. Peer reviewed

    Lord Of The Flies - How Golding sets up readers expectations

    5 star(s)

    The glasses could also represent the intellectual side of life and the side of Ralph and himself that is normal even if they are on a desert island. Piggy glasses could be vital later on in the novel, as glasses can be used as a heat provider, by putting under direct sunlight, meaning that if the boys were able to find some wood or dry grass then due to the heat from the sun they may be able to create a fire we needed to survive.

    • Word count: 1285
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Peer reviewed

    Discuss How On The Island, The Boys Return To A State Of Barbarianism

    4 star(s)

    At the very first assembly the boys agree on how they will have rules. They also follow with the general idea of democracy by voting someone as leader. However, early on as this in the book there are also telltale signs of how savagery will edge its way into the island. When the choir are seen from a distance they are together described as "the creature". When meeting Jack there are also a lot of signs of his savagery, his red hair and his surname (Merridew - Devil) are just a few of them.

    • Word count: 1096
  8. 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
  9. Peer reviewed

    Lord of the flies- english coursework how well does chapter one prepare us for the rest of the novel.

    4 star(s)

    The opening chapter of LOTF is very effective in introducing the characters, themes and symbols, and in this essay I shall explore how Golding does this. Golding presents the characters in the opening and their relationships with the other characters in a clever way that is relevant to the rest of the novel. Chapter one immediately establishes the tension between the impulse towards savagery. Ralph closely followed by piggy arrive first on the scene, Ralph discovers a large shell like object which Piggy immediately identifies as a conch to summon any other survivors.

    • Word count: 1628
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Peer reviewed

    Why is the Opening Chapter in Lord of the Flies so Effective?

    3 star(s)

    Piggy is the second character to be introduced, and is described as '...shorter than the fair boy and very fat.' This shows that Piggy is already an outcast as we learn that he is the only one who is looked down upon due to his size and that he wears glasses. Piggy and Ralph contrast because Ralph is perfectly content that there are no adult figures around to tell them what to do and Piggy is almost frightened at the idea that there is no adult supervision.

    • Word count: 1218
  15. 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
  16. Peer reviewed

    "The Ideal "Ruler" for Golding's Island Would be a Combination of Ralph, Jack Piggy and Simon" Discuss

    3 star(s)

    Piggy has intelligence of adult things, for example he knows what a conch is, and also about rock pools. Jack however has knowledge of practical things, such as how to gut and kill a pig. Both the scientific knowledge that Piggy has, and the practical knowledge that Jack has would help to create a perfect leader * To be a good leader, you must have a lot of assertiveness and be able to enforce the rules to people even when they do not want to follow them.

    • Word count: 1101
  17. Peer reviewed

    The Lord of the Flies how the use of symbolism helps the reader to understand the breakdown of law and order.

    3 star(s)

    After this most of the boys decide to form a different tribe so they can concentrate on hunting but become so savage they end up killing Piggy, the fat boy with asthma, and chase after Ralph trying to kill him. Just before Ralph is almost caught a ship arrives to rescue them and suddenly all traces of savagery vanish. The main themes of this novel are good and evil and savagery. The main symbols in the novel are the conch, Piggy's glasses, the Lord of the Flies, painted faces and the Beast in us.

    • Word count: 1095

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