Lord Of The Flies 8 Essay, Research Paper
Lord of the Flies
A Report by Mitchell Allen
I The Characters…
Ralph – Ralph is one of the older kids stranded on the island, one with a natural leadership quality about him. He is one of the stronger, if not the strongest of the boys; 12 year old with common sense to help him get along on his own; unfortunately, common sense doesn t fly too well with small children. Ralph is stuck between what is considered fun, and what needs to get done in order to have peace on the island. Not a position many would like to be in, but as he was chosen leader, he has the respect of most of the kids on the island.
Piggy – Piggy is an eager, chubby kid, who likes to poke his nose where it doesn t belong. Piggy is the only one on the island that wears glasses to aid his vision, and seems to be a character easily disliked because of his babyish personality. Although he is one of the most rational and logical thinkers, his ideas are seldom heeded, mainly because of his persistent whining. Piggy has asthma, and this makes it difficult for him to work. Ralph, being the first to meet Piggy, became his guardian, and protector from the other children s cruelty on the island.
Jack – Jack Merridew is a singer, head of the choir, and has an intimidating appearance and way of talk. Jack is jealous, and when Ralph is elected Chief, Jack forms a bit of hatred in his heart, not revealing it even unto himself until time passes. He is head hunter, and likes fun more than work, and eventually wins the favor of the children, claiming Ralph as a coward, and a person who just dreams about being rescued.
II The Conflict…
The main conflict in Lord of the Flies is that a fairly large group of boys have been stranded on an island in the Pacific with no adults around to lead and guide them. They do set up a leadership consisting of a chief, and then workers who carry out the chiefs orders. This works great for about a week, but soon the children tire of the work, and do not realize the long term consequences involved with not having necessities like shelter and a signal fire, and before long, fun rebels against common sense, turning the island into chaos. Eventually there is a war, the hunters against the worker/dreamers.
III How About the Themes….
The author, William Golding, helped describe the theme of Lord of the Flies when he said, The attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects in human- nature. The moral is that the shape of a society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual and not on any political system however apparently logical or respectable, he goes on to say that the whole book is symbolic in nature except for the end rescue where adult life appears, dignified and capable, but in reality doing the same thing the children were, fighting, the cruiser on which the children were taken from the island in is a war machine, designed to kill other sea going ships, but who is there to rescue the adults?
The other theme is about the way people treat others. In the book there are two murders, both in cold blood. When Jack got control, everything was consumed with hunting, and martial law, in a sense, took over. Punishment consisted of beatings, being tied up and poked and battered with a spear. Human life is now regarded as almost nothing, though when someone is killed, the are not spoken of, or referred to something that had to happen.
IV Objects of Importance
One of the important objects in the novel was the Conch , a shell that could be blown and made a sound like that of a booming trumpet. It was used as a symbol for control, whomever held the conch had the right to speak. Other important objects in the book include Piggy s specs, used as a magnifying glass to start fires, and that of the fire. A symbol of comfort and also of smoke, a sign to hopefully be seen, that a ship might come to the rescue. Meat was also something that the characters desired, but meat required hunting, and hunting involved much skill, and time, so much time that hunting; rather than working, caused a great deal of friction between Jack and Ralph.
V So What?
As I was reading this book, I was able to relate to Ralph, his feelings, his confusion, as the 8th grade president at my middle school, I often had to tell the kids the rules, and though we wanted to have fun, there were certain guidelines we needed, but after a while, those guidelines became lax, and soon I felt as if I was holding up the entire Student Body by myself, much like the way Ralph was as he and Simon tried to construct the last shelter without outside help. I experienced many different emotions, including fear of the same thing happening in our society, although it has already begun. I see the characters around me, just like they are described on the pages. I loved reading this book up until the last page, the book s setting and the characters in the book were so easy to relate to. I have been there, I know what it was like. The plot was fast paced, full of vivid detail, although rather obscure at times, leaving the reader wondering for another few pages. I would warn someone about to read this book that it is dangerously close to the truth, even though the truth is not very pretty.