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Lord of the Flies shuddering


Lord of the Flies shuddering

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									                                             Lord of the Flies
     Watch the movie
     1. What is going on?
     2. What role is each boy playing? How can you tell?
     3. Do you think the scene is one of
           a. tension?
           b. fun?
           c. both?
        Justify your answer.
     4. Is this a typical boys' game? Why?

     Part I: Fun and games
             Alone on a desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean after a plane crash, a group of British schoolboys from
     wealthy families have at first tried to organize a civilized community life. However, things go badly wrong... Here, several
     months later, a rescue ship has just arrived.

             The officer looked at Ralph doubtfully for a moment, then took his hand away from the butt of the
 5           Squirming a little, conscious of his filthy1 appearance, Ralph answered shyly.
             "Are there any adults – any grown-ups with you?"
             Dumbly2, Ralph shook his head. He turned a half-pace on the sand. A semicircle of little boys, their
10   bodies streaked with coloured clay3, sharp sticks in their hands, were standing on the beach making no
     noise at all.
             "Fun and games," said the officer.
             The fire reached the coconut palms by the beach and swallowed them noisily. […] The sky was
15           The officer grinned cheerfully at Ralph.
             "We saw your smoke. What have you been doing? Having a war or something?"
             Ralph nodded.
             The officer inspected the little scarecrow4 in front of him. The kid needed a bath, a hair-cut, a nose-
     wipe and a good deal of ointment.
20           "Nobody killed, I hope? Any dead bodies?"
             "Only two. And they've gone."
             The officer leaned down and looked closely at Ralph.
             "Two? Killed?"
             Ralph nodded again. Behind him, the whole island was shuddering5 with flame. The officer knew,
25   as a rule, when people were telling the truth. He whistled softly.
                                                                              William Golding, Lord of the Flies (1954)
                                                                                    Slightly abridged by H. C. Quinson

       filthy: very dirty
       dumbly: in a shocked silence, without understanding
       clay: argile, glaise
       scarecrow: épouvantail
       shuddering: trembling violently
                                           Lord of the Flies

Read the extract
1. How many characters actually speak? Who are they? Which one is the more talkative? Why?
2. What do his interventions mainly consist of?
       a. advice
       b. questions
       c. commands
Is this appropriate here?
3. Are any other people present?
4. What is happening to the island? Quote any relevant signs of this. What exactly enabled the
   officer to find the boys?

5. “[The officer] took his hand away from the butt of the revolver.”
What does it indicate about the officer? At different points, he says:
       a. "Fun and games"
       b. "Nobody killed, I hope"
       c. "Two? Killed?"
What changes in the officer's appreciation of the situation does this show?
6. Using the definitions below, find the precise gestures Ralph makes to answer three of the officer's
   questions. What do his answers signify about the situation? How does the officer react?

             nod: v. Incline one's head to show agreement.
             shake: v. Move from side to side, tremble. Shake one’s head: say "No".

7. Seven adverbs, all ending in -ly, can be found in this passage. Their first and last letters are given
below. Pick them out and complete the chart, as in the examples:
                                 Person (or thing)
        Adverb                                             Action it qualifies        What it reveals
doubtfully                   the officer               looked at Ralph           his hesitation,
                                                                                 uncertainty about Ralph
Sh……….ly                     Ralph

d……….ly                                                shook his head

n……….ly                      the fire

cheerfully                   the officer                                         he thinks the boys are
                                                                                 just playing

s……….ly                                                whistled

8. Find expressions associated with the following semantic fields:
                a. dirt
                b. death
                c. destruction
What does this tell us about the boys' "community" and recent events on the island?
9. Sum up the situation, the boys' physical condition and the officer's changing impressions.
                                                    Lord of the Flies

     Part 2: The end of innocence
              Other boys were appearing now, tiny tots6 some of them, brown, with the distended bellies of small
     savages. […]
              The officer turned back to Ralph.
              "We'll take you off. How many of you are there?"
 5            Ralph shook his head. […]
              "Who's boss here?"
              "I am," said Ralph loudly. […]
              "And you don't know how many of you there are?"
              "No, sir."
10            "I should have thought," said the officer as he visualized the search before him, "[…] that a pack of
     British boys […] would have been able to put up a better show than that! […]"
              "It was like that at first," said Ralph, "before things –"
              "We were together then –"
15            The officer nodded helpfully.
              "I know. Jolly good show. Like The Coral Island."
              Ralph looked at him dumbly. For a moment he had a fleeting picture of the strange glamour that
     had once invested the beaches. But the island was scorched up like dead wood – Simon was dead – and
     Jack had.... The tears began to flow and sobs7 shook8 him; […] and, infected by that emotion, the other
20   little boys began to shake and sob too. […] With filthy body, matted9 hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept10
     for the end of innocence, […] the darkness of man's heart […].
              The officer […] was moved and a little embarrassed. He turned away to give them time to pull
     themselves together11; and waited, allowing his eyes to rest on the trim12 cruiser in the distance.
                                                                      William Golding, Lord of the Flies (1954)
                                                                            Slightly abridged by H. C. Quinson

     Read the extract
     1. Why does the officer insist on the fact that they are all "British boys"? Why does he consider this
        to be in contradiction with the situation they are now in?
     2. From what you know of the current situation on the island, complete Ralph's two unfinished
        sentences in any way that seems appropriate:
         a) "It was like that at first, before things – " (l.12)
         b) "We were together then – " (l.14)
     3. Pick out all expressions in lines 18-25 evoking the protagonists' feelings. Why do you think these
        feelings emerge at this particular moment?
     4. Taking into account the summary below, say why Ralph looked at the officer "dumbly" when he
        compared their situation to that of The Coral Island, a book which is well known to British

       tot: toddler, baby
       sobs: sanglots
       shake: (faire) trembler
       matted: dirty and stuck together (hair)
        weep: pleurer
        pull themselves together: reprendre leurs esprits
        trim: in good order
                                       Lord of the Flies
The Coral Island: a novel written by R.M. Ballantyne in 1858, which tells an idealistic, optimistic story of
boys surviving a stay full of exciting adventures on a desert island and returning unchanged to civilization.

5. Ralph wept for "the end of innocence" and "the darkness of man's heart" (l. 21). In concrete
   terms, what do you think these two expressions mean?
6. Speaking of this novel, Golding once said: "Man is savage at heart". What message do you think
   he wants to put across about education, civilization and man's inborn nature?

Indirect questions
7. Transform these direct questions (based on the texts Fun and Games and The end of Innocence)
   into indirect questions, as in the example:
                              "What time is it?"    He wants to know what time it is.

a) "Where do you come from?"
       The officer asks them...
b) "Where is Ralph going?
       He wonders...
c) "Are all the trees destroyed?"'
       He'd like to know...
d) "Who is the person in charge of your group?"
       He wants to find out...
e) "Are there any adults with you?"
       He wants to know…
f) "What have you been doing?"
       He asks them...

g) "Who’s boss here?"
       He is curious to find out...

8. Now transform these indirect questions into direct questions:
a) He wants to know how many adults there are.
b) He asks how long they have been on the island.
c) He wonders if they aren't hungry or thirsty.
d) We’d like to know what they'll do when they are in England.


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