Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Presentation by: Mr. Lindgren
Bit o’ Background on Golding
Born September 19, 1911
Studies science at Oxford—mainly to please his father
Gets sick of science and switches to English!
Joins the British Navy during WWII. Faces battleships,
submarines, and aircraft. The war severely sours his
view on the human condition, and his literature reflects
Lord of the Flies appears in 1954
Golding wins the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982.
Important literary elements to watch
One GIGANTIC theme, according to Golding himself,
is the “attempt to trace the defects of society back to
the defects of human nature.”
Basically, Golding’s claim is that without structure and
limits, man is inherently savage, or evil.
There are other themes as well,
but you will have to find
Why so dark, Will?
Based on previous information, why would
Golding write the penultimate pessimistic novel?
WWII and the present state of the world, of course!
Golding was surrounded with death and dismemberment
for nearly five years of his life. That tends to mess with
And in this frame of mind, Golding was determined to
create a perfectly opposite world devised by authors like
Thoreau in the 19th century, who pictured a utopian society
where a better world was something that could be attained,
even in an anarchical society.
Five symbols to watch…
Golding is a master of SYMBOLISM. Nearly
everything on the island serves a deeper literary
purpose. We’ll figure all of this out as well.
1. Piggy’s specs (glasses)
2. The conch (seashell)
3. Jack’s mask
4. The signal fire
5. The severed head on a stick (no more details until
later…duh duh DUHHHHH)
Set in the not-too-distant future during a war that
involves atomic bombs
Their plane is shot down during a violent storm.
All adults are killed, many children survive and
are stranded on the island.
The storm washes the plane away. The strip of
land torn up and burned by the crash is called
I want to be on that island!!!
Think about it…no adults, no adult rules, a
beautiful tropical paradise! How could go
anything go wrong?
Oh, but it will. The island will become a mess of
savagery, brutality, bloodshed, and pure,
Somewhat charismatic “Fair-haired”
“You could see now that he might make a boxer, as far as
width and heaviness of shoulders went, but there was a
mildness about his mouth and eyes that proclaimed no
Pay close attention to his conflicts with Jack
throughout the novel
He is chosen to be chief, therefore must create
and maintain the rules
He understands right from wrong, but will he
stick to that understanding throughout the novel?
Same age or slightly older than Ralph
“he was thin and bony; and his hair was red beneath the black cap.
His face was crumpled and freckled, and ugly without silliness. Out
of this face stared two light blue eyes, frustrated now, and turning, or
ready to turn, to anger”
From the beginning, Jack dislikes following rules
Cares only for good times and hunting
Watch his character development closely, keeping
in mind that he is still attached to society’s rules at
the start of the novel…
One of the most memorable characters of the novel,
Piggy’s physique and intelligence make him an outcast.
Same age as Jack and Ralph, but he is very fat, he is the
only child with glasses, and he has asthma.
Somewhat whiny, and physically cannot work. This,
combined with his unique physique, sets him up for ridicule.
As you read, try to determine Golding’s message about
human nature that lies in the way the children treat Piggy.
He also knows right from wrong, but he will NEVER stray
from that path.
Quiet, shy boy. Very important to several themes
of the novel.
“He was a small, skinny boy, his chin pointed, and his eyes so bright
they had deceived Ralph into thinking him delightfully gay and
wicked. The coarse mop of black hair was long and swung down,
almost concealing a low, broad forehead... [he was] Always darkish
Introverted…doesn’t like crowds. Says odd things
at odd times…the other kids think he’s batty.
He makes the most important discovery of the
novel, so pay attention to Simon!
“a slight, furtive boy whom no one
knew, who kept to himself with an
Inner intensity of avoidance and secrecy... the shock of
black hair, down his nape and low on his forehead,
seemed to suit his gloomy face and made what had
seemed at first an unsociable remoteness into
Roger is sadistic; he enjoys inflicting pain. He and
Jack have a close relationship, born from darkness
“They breathed together, they
grinned together, they
were chunky and vital.
They raised wet lips at Ralph, for they seemed
provided with not quite enough skin, so that their
profiles were blurred and their mouths pulled open.”
The twins are so identical and inseparable that they
are given one name.
Their loyalty is integral to Ralph’s survival, but how
far can their loyalty stretch?
The ages of these boys range from 4-6. They
don’t play a large role in the plot of the novel, but
they are HUGE when it comes to symbolizing
They are the ones who first see the Beast and
are in constant fear of it, especially during the
They are the “rest of society” and often go with
the flow and do what the bigguns are doing.
Your homework tonight is:
To complete the vocabulary assignment for
chapters one through four. Remember, your
sentences must express your understanding of
the word clearly.
To read chapter one and prepare for a quiz
tomorrow at the beginning of the period.
Following quizzes, there will almost ALWAYS be
notes that summarize the chapter, so bring your