Lord of the Flies
10th Grade English


Key Facts:
~Author- William Golding
~First Published in 1954
~Set in a deserted tropical island
~Adventure novel
~"Lord of the Flies" translates as Satan




Ralph
~Protagonist
~Original leader of the boys

Jack
~Antagonist
~Becomes the leader
~Obsessed with power

Other Characters
~Simon-sensible character, naturally "good"
~Piggy-Ralph's main follower, represents scientific and rational side of civilization
~Roger-Jack's main follower, sadistic, mean to the younger boys
~Sam and Eric-twin boys allied with Ralph but eventually fall under Jack





Major Symbols
~The Conch Shell-power, civilization, order
~Piggy's Glasses-the power of science, intellectual endeavors in society
~The Signal Fire-the boys' connection to civilization
~The Beast-the primal instinct of savagery that exists within all human beings
~The Lord of the Flies (severed sow's head)-the power of evil, Satan figure




Climax
~Jack's rebellion against Ralph to form his own tribe resulting in the "war" between the two groups of boys
~Ralph fights Jack/Piggy's death




Irony
~The boys are rescued from Britain because of a major war going on only later to be in a major war with each other
~Piggy's eyesight is weak but his insight is strong
~The British naval officer who arrives to rescue the boys appears to represent civilization and sanity.  But he and the society he represents are a mirror image of the boys and their corrupt island society.
~Jack's fire, meant to find Ralph and kill him, actually saves the boys from the island



Themes
~Civilization vs. Savagery-Living by the rules compared to violence and evil
~Loss of innocence-results from increasing openness to evil and savagery




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