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AS and A Level: William Golding

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  1. Peer reviewed

    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 an

    5 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
  2. Peer reviewed

    "Why Did William Golding Name His Novel 'The Lord of the Flies'?"

    5 star(s)

    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
  3. Peer reviewed

    How Does Golding Create The Impression The Fire Has A Life Of Its Own?

    4 star(s)

    "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
  4. Peer reviewed

    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
  5. Peer reviewed

    To what extent can Lord of the Flies be considered a Marxist piece?

    3 star(s)

    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
  6. Peer reviewed

    The Beast in Lord of the Flies

    3 star(s)

    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

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