• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Select one chapter from Lord of the Flies and assess its importance to the novel as a whole.

Extracts from this document...


October 24th 2003 Jaspreet Kular L5a Assignment 1 Unit 7 Literature Coursework: Prose post 1914: Lord of the Flies Select one chapter from Lord of the Flies and assess its importance to the novel as a whole. This essay will be looking at chapter six of Lord of the Flies (Beast from Air), and its importance in terms to the rest of the novel. The essay will consider the plot, characters of the chapter, structure/style of writing, the language, setting and themes of the chapter. This sixth chapter is appropriately titled "Beast from Air". The beast is literally a dead airman who drops onto the island by parachute. But he is more than just a lifeless human being; the airman is the signal from the world of society and grown-ups that Ralph and Piggy had wished for. Sardonically, the only sign that civilization still exists outside the island comes in the form of a dead man from a dying world that is being destroyed by war. It is a completely negative image. On a metaphorical level, the image becomes less harsh. The dead airman can be observed as the 'fallen man' (sinful man) snarled in the tree of life. His head is light, dipping up and down with no thought, and his body is crumpled, overpowered by life. Simon, who is often depicted as a Christ figure, comes to the airman's rescue he 'literally' saves him from entanglement in the tree of life. ...read more.


His character represents order, leadership, and civilization in the novel. Golding uses Ralph to represent the ideal human; someone who does well but is not so out-of-touch that he can't relate to typical human temptations. This chapter uses many symbols to represent ideas and concepts important within the novel. The most significant symbol in the chapter is the parachutist. It symbolises the end of adult supervision of the boys on the island. This shows that society's rules and democracy is failing and starting to crumble on the island. A good example of this in the chapter is when Jack speaks out against the conch: 'Conch! Conch! We don't need the conch anymore. We know who ought to say things.' Jack has spoken out strongly against the power of the conch, and democracy, that this is a pivotal point in the novel. The airman stands for the loss of civilisation and slow decline of old ways in the boys' new society. Civilisation has died and cannot be saved. This tells us the boys were preoccupied with events on the island. They were no longer children of the Old World, nor did they care for it, they were now children of the island. The dead man was no longer one of them, but an outsider, who did not matter. The symbol of the parachutist brings up another important symbol in the chapter and novel, the island. The Lord of the Flies takes place on an island during a nuclear war sometime in the future and the night time battle that takes place at the beginning of the chapter serves as more evidence that a war is going on in the outside world. ...read more.


Ralph remains focused on the clear objective of keeping the fire burning to alert possible passing ships, while Jack is dedicated to only those pursuits that allow him to behave in a vicious manner. From the very start of the novel Jack takes a certain dislike to Ralph, although this may be small at first; as Jack has always been jealous of Ralph for being elected to become the island's leader. However further on into the novel we see a reversal of changes with Jack's status among the boys consistently increasing, while Ralph's status declines. Within this it can be foreseen of the coming trouble between these two characters. An interpretation of this chapter can be made. So far, the beast has only supposedly seen by the littluns, but now Sam and Eric have also claimed to have seen the beast. A search takes place to find the beast, but Jack begins manipulating the boys' fear of the beast so as to gain a firm hold over them. His is the best hunter they have, who else is better than him to hunt and kill the beast? Little do the boys realise, that if they to go down the same path that Jack is leading them they all become beast-like. Only Simon is the one to understand fully what the beast is and that it is not a creature, but a paranormal force which is beginning to grow in some of the boys. In conclusion, I believe chapter six 'Beast from Air' is an important chapter for its small, key details and elements of prophesy within the plot of the chapter. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE William Golding section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE William Golding essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Read the passages in Chapter 3 where Jack and Simon are each in the ...

    5 star(s)

    However, this simply serves to fuel his determination. When we learn about Jack advancing on his victim, the language suggests that it is not just the pig being hunted. There is a feeling that something is preying on Jack, though we do not learn what it is.

  2. Lord of the Flies - What factors lead to the island community becoming increasingly ...

    He is described as a "slight, furtive boy... who kept to himself with an inner intensity of avoidance and secrecy". He also faints in the heat, implying physical weakness. Simon is the most appreciative of the island. He is always trying to help others, for example when Ralph is building

  1. To what extent do you consider the Lord of the Flies to be a ...

    Cut her throat. Spill her blood. The responsibility that came attached with headship was an added extra that Jack hadn't bargained for. When he could no longer resist the urge to hunt, he left his duty of keeping the fire going, to rope more boys into his army and war-like chant.

  2. Lord of the Flies Essay: Importance of Ralph

    This shows Jack's disregard for other humans; while at the same time demonstrates Ralph's compassion and ability to empathize with others, thus illustrating his understanding of people. Ralph's 'government' is a form of democracy which gives each boy equal rights and an ability to express themselves.

  1. Themes, Motifs, and Symbols - Themes are the fundamental concepts addressed and explored in ...

    experiences the exhilaration and thrill of bloodlust and violence, and when he attends Jack's feast, he is swept away by the frenzy, dancing on the edge of the group and participating in the killing of Simon. This firsthand knowledge of the evil that exists within him, as within all human

  2. Analysis of Lord of the Flies.

    As the group drifts off to sleep, the sound of a littlun crying echoes along the beach. Analysis "What I mean is ... Maybe it's only us ..." The boys' fear of the beast has been an increasingly important aspect of their lives, especially at night, ever since the first littlun claimed to have seen a snake-monster in Chapter 2.

  1. Explore the importance of the character Simon in "Lord of the Flies".

    Jack realizes his frustration and humiliation by picking on the scapegoat Piggy, but sensibly and maturely, Ralph supports his wise companion and realizes his value. He also becomes conscious that Jack is manipulating the boys by acting noble and apologising in front of everyone.

  2. How does William Golding use language in his description of the island and the ...

    Without the continuous beat, the boys would break apart, they wouldn't feel like a group and the dance wouldn't be a strong but with it they are the dominant animal on the island, they are in control. The "blue white scar" is now constant and unendurable, the boys have taken

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work