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Lord of the Flies Introduction

Introduction to William Golding's novel about a group of boys ranging in age from 6 -12 who become stranded on a deserted island without any adults. In the novel, Golding explores his views about human nature.

Stefanie Napolitan

on 6 September 2013

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Transcript of Lord of the Flies Introduction

LOTF as an Allegory
William Golding
Being stranded on a tropical island would be paradise.
Children can naturally organize themselves.
Our environment can greatly impact the course of our lives.
Leaders rarely dominate weaker people.
People tend to follow a charismatic leader.
People often misjudge things they don’t understand.
Children act differently from grown-ups.
There is usually a clear-cut winner in conflicts.
Respond Agree, Disagree, or It Depends
Inspiration for the novel:
Golding was inspired to write the novel after the horrors he witnessed as a naval officer during World War II. He believed that the evil within people caused these horrors.
Additionally, Golding based his novel on the popular English novel, The Coral Island (1857).
Three boys are shipwrecked on an island – live in happiness until they encounter cannibals – their fear proves to be unfounded – they are released into the hands of their teacher
LOTF is a more realistic alternative to TCI
Plot & Setting
Golding’s characters (all boys) are marooned on an island (somewhere in the South Pacific)
They set up their own society – BUT, Golding’s boys do not live in harmony and order
LOTF takes place during a fictional nuclear war (Golding wrote the novel less than a decade after WWII – think of the atomic bombs)
a novel by William Golding
Introduction to
Lord of the Flies

born in Cornwall England
Lord of the Flies was his first novel (1954)
Won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1983
Member of the Royal Navy in World War II
His experiences in the war and as a teacher influenced his views about human nature
These views are expressed in the novel
Allegory – a symbolic narrative in which people and objects have abstract or spiritual meanings.
The structure of LOTF operates on an allegorical level; this means that almost every character, action, object, and detail can be interpreted on a symbolic level.
. We will track symbols throughout the novel and decide what “lesson” Golding is trying to teach us through them.
Three Views of Interpretation
Psychological Interpretation
- Sigmund Freud – conflict between the Id, the Ego, and the Superego
-Lawrence Kohlberg’s 7 Stages of Moral Development
Historical Interpretation
-War-like images and allusions
Biblical Interpretation
-Conflict between good and evil
-fall of man (based on Christian
-Biblical allusions
Characters: Ralph
Ralph is the most charismatic of the group and is twelve. He is initially chosen as leader due to his many positive qualities, such as his athleticism and pleasant appearance. He maintains a conflict with Jack throughout the entire novel, attempting to keep order whereas Jack isn't concerned with it. Ralph and Piggy together come to represent the struggle for order and democracy. His name was derived from the Anglo-Saxon word for “council”
Piggy is a short overweight boy who wears glasses, has asthma, and represents order and democracy. While probably the smartest boy on the island, he lacks any social skills whatsoever, and has trouble commumicating or fitting in with the others. His glasses play an important part of the book, as they are used over and over to start fires.
Jack is about Ralph's age, with a skinnier build and red hair. From the very beginning, he seems to harbor emotions of anger and savagery. At first, he is the leader of his choir group, who become hunters as the book progresses. His goal becomes to overtake Ralph as chief/leader. His name is derived from Hebrew name Jacob which means “supplanter” or “one who takes over”
Simon is younger than the previous three boys but older than the littluns. He is good, loyal and pure, and he has the most positive outlook. Additionally, Simon is very in tune with the natural and spiritual worlds, therefore he is perceived as strange by the others because he likes to go off by himself to meditate. He suffers from epileptic episdodes/seizures. His name is derived from the Hebrew name "Shim'on, which means "one who listens" or "one who observes."
Literary Terms
Theme: the idea the writer wishes to reveal about the subject
Parable: a saying or narration in which something is expressed in terms of something else’s.
Setting: the time and place of a story
Characters: the individuals in the story
Characterization: the process of revealing the personality of a character in a story
Literary Terms
Plot: series of events that make up a story (exposition, rising action (conflict), climax, falling action, and resolution)
Climax: the exciting or tense moment in a story when we realize what the outcome of the conflict will be
Conflict: struggle or clash between opposite characters, forces, or emotions
Symbolism: a person, place, a thing, or an event that stands for itself and for something beyond itself.
Literary Terms
Point of View: the vantage point from which the writer tells the story
-Third Person Omniscient: all knowing; narrator knows the thoughts, feelings, and actions of all characters
-Third-person limited: narrator zooms in on the thoughts and feelings of just one character
Lord of the Flies alternates from third person omniscient to third person limited.
Resolution: the moment when all the problems are resolved and the story is closed
Some other information
to consider:
Beelzebub – comes from a Greek word that means “lord of the flies” – today, Beelzebub is known as another name for the devil. What do you think that means in relation to the novel?
Some other information
to consider:
Jean Jacques Rousseau argued that man in the state of nature was essentially good and that the corruption of the natural state of goodness can be attributed to living in the unnatural state created by society.
MAJOR QUESTION TO BE ANSWERED WHILE READING LOTF: Do you think Golding agrees or disagrees with this viewpoint? Do you?
Pay close attention to:
Setting – why is the novel set on an island?
Point of view – the pov shifts frequently throughout the novel – sometimes the narrator follows just one character, and at other times the narrator assumes the role of an omniscient observer
Sam and Eric are identical twins who become Samneric because they are inseperable. The pair is treated like one character in the novel.
Roger is one of the older choir boys who is described as a slight, furtive boy who has a sadistic streak that reveals itself as the novel progresses.
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