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Copy of Lord of the Flies: Background Information

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Christina Chatel

on 20 December 2012

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Transcript of Copy of Lord of the Flies: Background Information

Lord of the flies William Golding William Golding 1911-1993 William Golding was born in 1911 in Cornwall, England
His father tried to bring him up as a scientist, but Golding revolted after two years of studying science at Oxford
He changed his major to English Literature and education Golding: Influences on writing: He joined the British Royal Navy when WWII broke out. His active service included the sinking of the German ship Bismarck and the Normandy invasion.

He taught at a boy’s prep school for about 20 years (both before and after the war)

In 1983 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature: “for his novels, with the perspicuity of realistic narrative . . . illuminate the human condition of the world today.” Golding's beliefs: Could not believe in man's innocence any longer Believed that no one was innocent until society made him pretend that he was innocent Believed that when man was facing a difficult situation, then he would probably show his other nature: his dark and guilty side Believed that there was a certain capacity for evil that resides within man... Allegory a story expressing truths or generalizations about human nature through the use of symbolic characters or events Lord of the Flies A group of schoolboys,

trapped on an island,

gradually become savages Critical overview On one level, the novel is an engaging adventure story.
On a deeper level, it is a symbolic story open to many interpretations... social (the study of natural man's behavior)
political (critique of Western governments)
psychological (the power of human instincts)
moral (a modern version of the biblical fall) 4 interpretations Type of work: Symbolic Novel First Published: 1954 Time of Novel: Action takes place in an undefined future, during an atomic war. The boys were evaculated on a plane and crashed on a deserted island in the pacific or Indian ocean. The action occurs over several months, with events presented in chronological order Setting of novel! Boat-shaped tropical island situated somewhere in the Indian or Pacific ocean IsLaNd bReAkDoWn: Barrier Reef: runs along one side of the island
Lagoon: between the reef and island; boys hold assemblies on the inland portion of the lagoon; Ralph and Piggy find the conch here...CONCH? The Conch... BrEaKdOwN cont... Orchard: provides fruit
Mountaintop: Location of the signal fire
Burned-out section: quarter of a mile long
Clearing: where Simon "communes" with nature
Jungle: where Jack Hunts; hanging vines remind littluns of snakes
Castle Rock: tip of the island Main Themes Human Evil
Loss of Innocence
Power Main Symbols Conch
Lord of the Flies
Piggy's Glasses
Face paint Key Characters Ralph: Elected leader after finding the conch; age 12.
Common sense, courage, strong, attractive and intelligent.
Insists the boys be responsible to the group.
Novel is structured around his psychological growth from innocence to maturity. Piggy: Fat (as a pig), nearly blind without his glasses; asthmatic.
Outsider; becomes Ralph's adviser; thinks clearly.
Faith in scientific progress. Key Characters Continued Simon: Skinny; age 9 or 10.
Intelligent, saintlike; communes with nature.
Lonely, independent truth seeker; logical, very mature for age.
Discovers that evil exists in everyone; moral understanding Jack Merridew: Villian; age 12. Tall, thin leader of the choirboys; Ralph's enemy.
Easily angered, cruel.
Strong political instincts.
Achieves control through fear, threats, and rituals.
Desires power. Roger: Jack's main henchman; a quiet, sneaky bully
Rapidly sheds his social conditioning and becomes a barbaric sadist, torturer, and cold-blooded murderer Lord of the flies About the Novel Lord of the Flies was published in 1954 after being rejected by 21 publishers

Golding was influenced by the historical events of the time period: the Holocaust, Nazi brutality, the atrocities caused by the atomic bombs, the rise of Communism, his war experiences, and the rise of technology “. . . the main power behind Lord of the Flies, it was, in fact, just sheer grief. We’d found out about the human condition and it was just sheer grief at having gone through the war and to know that the war had been an event, but it hadn’t settled much.” Golding said about his novel... “an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature”

(i.e. he wanted to show that what is wrong with our structure of society is caused by human imperfection) Golding said in 1954 that the novel was...  = civilization, democracy
 = anarchy, dictatorship “Lord of the Flies” is a literal translation of the Greek word Beelzebub, a term used for the Jewish and Christian concept of Satan/the devil. Golding investigates these desires of the human psyche:
Desire for social and political order (through governments)
Tendency toward evil and violence (military)
Belief in supernatural/divine intervention Psychological Aspects While you are reading... Look for symbolism and archetypes! Ralph and Piggy The Choir Boys Jack Ralph As for the test.... When you return from break, you will have an Essay test that Monday.
You can use the symbolism note sheet that is posted on Edmodo.
Notes on this sheet must be handwritten--no typed notes allowed!!!
You can use your book. Feel free to write notes or use sticky notes.
You will have the whole hour to analyze a symbol and a theme from the book. I will have options from which to choose for the symbols, but you will be writing your own theme and explaining it.
I have already looked at the symbolism and themes listed on Cliffsnotes.com and Sparknotes.com. Don't plagiarize!
Your response will be in the form of body paragraphs. No intro or conclusion needed!
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