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Lord of the Flies

Senior Project for Sarah, Diane, Mohamad, and Hayden

Diane Monchusap

on 14 May 2013

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Transcript of Lord of the Flies

The Circle Golding's first novel, written in September 1954, begins with a large group of young British boys crash landing onto a deserted island while evacuating during an unspecified war, with no supervision whatsoever. Initially, they manage to come together under two of the older boys, Ralph and Jack, and as a large group, set out to light a signal fire in hopes of a ship or plane seeing them and thus, rescue the boys. However, as days pass by and their hope for being rescued dwindles, the boys eventually split into two tribes, one being led by Jack, and the other led by Ralph. The two tribes have extremely different methods in going about living on the island, and they eventually clash, resulting in the deaths of Simon and Piggy, two other older boys who supported Ralph's ideas. Soon enough, Ralph is left alone in his endeavors to find a way back to civilization, but Jack is adamant in his goal to kill Ralph for going against him. The novel climaxes with Jack and his boys pursuing Ralph across the island, and ends with Ralph falling into the sand with a ship captain standing above him. Summary A Recap
of Structuralism Seminology: general science of signs
Look at the text as a system of signs/symbols and their interactions
Narratology: analysis of the structural components of a narrative, how they interact, and how they combine to create a storyline

Basically, look at structure of the story and the use of signs within the text. Archetypes in The Lord of the Flies The Fall
Good vs. Evil
The Hero
The Devil
The Scapegoat
The Outcast
Creature of Nightmare/The beast

“...Golding’s novel is arranged around the concept of two important kinds of circles, the first being the socio-political circle where the assembled boys engage in rational discussion in order to plan their way out of difficulties, and the second being the tribal circle where the regressive boys dance ritually and kill savagely” (Hollahan 26).

Representative of the unending struggle they face (until they are rescued, of course)

Two circles: a tribal circle, and a social circle
Tribal circle: emphasis on atavistic and barbaric qualities associated with violence, very chaotic and basic. Also used in the tribal war dance.
Social circle: emphasis on structure and rules, very organized and evolved. Mainly seen when Ralph blows the conch to call attention. by William Golding The Lord of the Flies “The history of all
hitherto existing society
is the history of
class struggles.”
-Karl Marx The Beauty of Marxism
Lord of the Flies In The Communist Manifesto,
Karl Marx describes society and culture,
along with all that it brings,
as directly dependent on the
economy. The culmination of all of these facets is deemed a superstructure. In The Lord of the Flies
translates into... Conch
(Equalizer) Jack
(Antithesis) Ralph
(Thesis) A push for all boys
to be on their own
Anarchy/Savagery) Accountability and
subordination between
the boys develops
(Pure Capitalism Class
Separation) A sense of order and
economic stability
(Foundations of Democracy) Accountability and
Equity between the
boys age groups.
(Socialist Class
Equality) Darkness Thesis + Antithesis = ERUPTION Conflict between thesis (Ralph) and antithesis (Jack) erupts in “dialectic synthesis” or “a revolutionary class war”. (Murfin 246-247) In a theoretically contrasting fashion, Golding poses the thesis as socialism and the antithesis as pure capitalism or primal selfishness. Psychology in Lord of the Flies What is the psychoanalyst perspective ? ID EGO SUPEREGO JACK : THE ID Entirely based on desires( hunger, power, etc.) Based on Golding's childhood He loved to fight and loved nothing more than gaining "complete subjugation of [his] adversaries and thought they should enjoy it too". Once a bully who loved to fight Piggy: The Superego Views things from a completely logical standpoint Tries to keep the rules and laws from the real world alive Two Items: The conch -order Glasses-intellectualism; lights the fire that becomes the children's contact with the adult world Death is symbolic of the collapse of civility altogether and the fall into savagery Golding believed that a logical society would not work People would not be honorable without force Symbols Circles
The Conch
Party of three (Ralph, Simon, and Jack)
Piggy's glasses “[Golding] immediately comes to terms in a masterly way with his main preoccupation: the problem of evil… he shows how evil is dormant in human nature and how the world may appear a sunny place when in fact the corruption of darkness can arise from man himself and cast shadows over it…” (Hodson 83). Juxtaposition of adolescence and barbarianism
Ralph vs. Jack
The Lord of the Flies is a "creature of the darkness"
Manifestation of the boys' fears
Tribal life vs. structured society
Emphasis on the inherent darkness present in mankind The Theory of Dialectical Materialism Economic order grows to a state of maximum efficiency,
while simultaneously developing internal contradictions
and weaknesses that contribute to its systemic decay. Inevitable Failure As soon as order is established, conflict bubbles up
through the means of conspiracy and internal cultural dissonance.
Jack and Ralph play a game of tug of war
just as the proletariat and bourgeoisie or thesis and antithesis
all with the intention of conquering one another
and establishing their own superstructure. Thesis + Antithesis + Dialectic Materialism =
Total Failure Lord of the Flies projects the idea that any form of society,
whether socialist or capitalist,
is inherently flawed and
doomed to failure. Marxist Conclusion Class conflict, greed, and cultural dissonance rip any hope of societal functionality to pieces. Golding creates a scenario where the stranded boys play as pawns in an isolated experiment with the goal of creating a functioning society. One in which the boys solely dictate the methodology, equity, and civil responsibility. Although they started strong with qualified leadership and a mentality surrounded around survival with no ulterior motives, the inevitable conflict between thesis and antithesis led to utter failure. Golding’s finale of failure makes clear civilization’s inherent flaws and how the economy and equity of human beings has no objective foundation except for its guarantee of discord. Historical Analysis What is it ? Significance of literature within the context of its social and cultural era. World War II: A Brief History Global War: 1939-1945 Included a majority of nations, enlisting their economic,military and industrial powers in depleting forces. Marked by mass civilian deaths(50-75 million), nuclear threats, and the Holocaust. Victory of Allied powers, ending a time in history marked by chaos, terror, and death. How Does It Relate? http://video.about.com/psychology/Sigmund-Freud-s-Id--Ego--and-Superego-Theory.htm More explanation: Ralph: The Ego Acts as a chief of the boys Ego is the leader of the mind Mediates between Jack(Id) and Piggy(Superego) favoring neither over the other Looks for solutions that benefit in the long run Loses innocence similar to Golding Both realize that humans, themselves included, are morally corrupt Thesis Although Golding's criticism may stem from his love of conflict as a child, he implies that society's inability to branch away from primitive behavior and a fundamentally inborn structured civilization comes from the inherent weaknesses of man and inescapable human flaw. In order to create a successful society, Golding expresses his understanding of human nature with the inevitable arrogance of humans with a call for enlightenment and self realization. It encompasses the essence of the human condition, the plight of humanity and its inherent flaws. Although fictitious, the lessons sprouted from the environmental and human mishaps speak directly on the human psyche and are therefore invaluable. Golding's True Impact Questions? Golding's allusions and comparisons to war Evacuted from unknown warzone Kate Olsen: "Once Jack is seen as a Hitler stand-in, it becomes easy to assign roles to the various actors”. Let's Compare ! Ralph: British Prime Minister Chamberlain Jack: Adolf Hitler Piggy: Discriminated Jewish Population Reverting Back to Savagery Children are the purest forms of innocence Unraveling of a structured community into chaos Seemingly harmless boys become capable of murder Quickly retain tribal instincts A Question of Morals Keith Selby: Idea of moral righteousness and the questionable justifications for human kind’s morality Humanity walks a fine line between primitive instincts and sophisticated society A world at war holds more capabilities than physical destruction World War II : overall impact on society and culture
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