Study Guide Prepared by Michael J.
Revised in 2010 ©
Type of Work
The Lord of the Flies
is an allegorical novel, a
literary work in which characters, events, objects,
and ideas have secondary or symbolic meanings. In The
Lord of the Flies, the island on which the
boys are stranded after a plane crash symbolizes the
world at large. The boys themselves represent adult
civilization. The conflicts that divide them into
opposing groups symbolize the conflicts that lead to
war in the adult world.
popular allegorical novel is George Orwell's Animal Farm,
about farm animals vying for power. On the surface,
it is an entertaining story that even children can
enjoy. Beneath the surface, it is the story of
ruthless Soviet totalitarianism. Other famous
examples of allegories are John Bunyan's Pilgrim's
Progress and the fifteenth-century morality
Date of Publication and Source
The Lord of the Flies
was published in 1954. In writing the novel, Golding
drew upon his experiences as a British naval officer
during the Second World War. He based much of the
plot and several of his characters on an 1858 book,
The Coral Island, by Robert M. Ballantyne.
Ballantyne's story recounts the adventures of three
British boys—Ralph, Jack, and Peterkin—who survive a
shipwreck and create their own little society on an
island where pigs run wild. Film versions
of the The Lord of the flies appeared in 1963,
The action takes place on a
tiny coral island in the South Pacific during a war
in which an atomic bomb may have been used. The
weather is hot and sunny. Although the island is
uninhabited except for the boys who survived the
plane crash, it offers necessities to support life,
including fresh water, fruit, and game in the form
of pigs. The island, which is shaped like a boat,
has a forest, two small mountains, and a sandy
beach. The boys form their own society on the
island, with a leader and a rudimentary form of
government. Their little world becomes a microcosm
symbolizing the world of adults.
Antagonists: Jack, the Imagined
Beast, the Evil Inside the Boys
Handsome, athletic twelve-year-old elected leader by
the boys. He is sensible and self-confident but
gradually becomes disheartened under the burden of
leadership, and Jack plots to overthrow him. Note:
Many British pronounce the name Ralph as Rafe.
Merridew: Aggressive older boy who envies
Ralph and vies with him for leadership. He leads the
Fat, clumsy, asthmatic older boy who befriends and
advises Ralph. Piggy is an orphan.
Timid, highly sensitive older boy who respects
everyone and learns a dark secret.
Eric: Twins who support Ralph in his struggle
Cruel older boy who seems to enjoy harming
Choirboys: Singers led by Jack. They remain
loyal to him in his struggle with Ralph.
Officer: British seaman who arrives at the end
of the novel to rescue the boys.
By Michael J. Cummings...©
schoolboys ages six to twelve survive a plane crash
on a small coral island in the South Pacific during
a world war. There are no adult survivors. The boys
are intelligent, well-to-do children—the sons of
aristocratic families that run society and
government—who had been evacuated from a battle
zone. Under a hot sun, two older boys—one fat and
clumsy and the other handsome and athletic—are on a
beach getting acquainted as they discuss their
plight. They are uncertain whether there are other
survivors. The fat boy confides that his school
chums call him Piggy, a nickname he despises. The
other boy later introduces himself as Ralph.
Ralph says his father
will rescue them when he learns that their plane is
missing, but Piggy rejects this possibility: “Didn’t
you hear what the pilot said? About the atom bomb?
They’re all dead.” While they get their
bearings, Piggy continually urges Ralph to go
look for other
survivors. But rather than taking this advice, Ralph
goes swimming in a lagoon near a slab of pink
granite. There, he finds a conch about eighteen
inches long. Piggy recognizes it as a valuable find,
telling Ralph that blowing into it will make a sound
loud enough to be heard a long way off. If there are
other survivors, they might come running.
Ralph tries it out and surprises himself at the
deep, booming sound he produces. Within a short
time, a small boy comes toward them. Then others
arrive, including a group of choir singers led by a
boy of superior bearing barking commands. His name
is Jack Merridew. When the boys introduce
themselves, Piggy pipes up, asking that a name be
repeated. But Jack says, “You’re talking too much.
Shut up, Fatty.” There is laughter all around.
Meaning well but further embarrassing the fat boy,
Ralph says, “He’s not Fatty, his real name’s Piggy.”
There is more laughter, louder this time.
rules of civilization taught at school, the boys
assemble to choose a leader. Jack nominates himself,
and all of his choirboys vote for him. But Ralph—who
seems bright and sensible and who is, moreover, the
holder of the conch, which is perceived as a symbol
of authority—gets the majority of votes. To pacify
Jack, Ralph appoints him and his choirboys as
hunters. Of course, there is plenty of fruit on the
island, the boys have discovered. But they hunger
for more substantial fare: meat.
Ralph, Jack, and another boy, Simon, explore the
inland forest, Jack carries an invaluable tool: a
long, sharp knife—ensconced in a sheath—that he
brought with him from the plane wreckage. They climb
a summit from which they observe the entire island,
which is boat-shaped. On their way back, they hear
rustling and squeals. The source of the sounds is a
baby pig caught in a tangle of plant growth. Food!
Jack has an opportunity to stab it with his knife,
but he hesitates and loses his chance. The next
time, he says, he will show no mercy.
the afternoon, Ralph blows the conch, summoning all
the boys for a meeting. First, he tells them that
he, Jack, and Simon found no signs of other human
life on the island; they are alone. They did
discover, however, that there are pigs on the island
to enliven their diet. Next, he makes a rule:
Whenever anyone speaks at a meeting, he will hold
the conch, signaling that no one must interrupt him.
When another person wishes to speak, he will raise
his hand and the conch will be passed to him.
boy, crying, says he has seen a “snake-thing.” The
other boys doubt his story, suggesting he had a
nightmare. There are no “beasties” on the island,
they assure him. To further hearten everyone, Ralph
says his father, a navy man, will rescue them. The
British, after all, have maps of every island
everywhere; one day, rescuers will come. When Ralph
suggests that they build a fire on a nearby
mountain, everyone jumps up and carries leaves and
dry wood to the site. No one has any matches, so
Jack snatches Piggy’s eyeglasses and gives them to
Ralph, who kneels down and holds the lenses over the
wood pile until the concentrated sun rays start the
fire. There is applause.
When it is
decided that someone must maintain the fire and
continually create smoke visible at a distance, Jack
volunteers to have some of his hunters take on this
task. While the boys are talking, the fire burns out
of control. Piggy—annoyed that the others have been
acting hastily—“like a pack of kids,” says they
should have put more planning into how to maintain
the fire; instead, everyone just jumped up and built
it without deciding what to do next. What’s more, he
says, “The first thing we ought to have made was
shelter down there by the beach. How can you expect
to be rescued if you don’t put first things first
and act proper?”
later, an explosion from the fire sends vines into
the air. Some little boys shout “Snakes! Snakes!
Look at the snakes!” Before sunset, Piggy discovers
that one of the little ones is missing. He is never
boys build huts, they all pitch in enthusiastically
at first. Then many of them—mostly the “littluns,”
as the youngest children are called—gradually drop
out to swim, play games, or forage for fruit.
I’ve been working with Simon,” Ralph tells Jack, who
has just returned from an unsuccessful hunting
expedition. “No one else. They’re off bathing, or
eating, or playing.”
asks Jack to help, but Jack says he has to pay
attention to hunting. “We want meat.” The boys are
on the brink of an argument when they change the
subject and talk amiably. Ralph confides to Jack an
unsettling thought: When he was in the forest, he
felt that something was hunting him. The
conversation then returns to pigs and shelters—then
the fire. Ralph reminds Jack several times not to
forget about the fire.
day, Jack and his boys smear clay on their faces as
a sort of camouflage, then go off on another hunting
expedition. On the beach, Piggy suggests to Ralph
that they plant a stick in the ground to make a sun
dial. But Ralph, preoccupied with the burden of
leadership, turns away. By and by, he spies a
silhouette on the horizon. A ship! He turns to check
the signal fire, but sees no smoke. Maybe the fire
is out. Frantically, he tears up the mountainside,
then stops. Piggy’s glasses! If the fire is out, he
will need them. But if the fire is still alive—. No
time to waste. He keeps running up the mountain. At
the top, he discovers the worst: The fire is dead.
As the ship begins to disappear, he shouts at
it—“Come back! Come back!” No use. In moments, it is
later, Jack returns triumphantly from the hunt. Two
of his boys are carrying a pig on a pole resting on
their shoulders. All of the hunters are chanting:
“Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood.”
livid with anger, shouts at Jack, “You let the fire
go out!” When Piggy also rebukes Jack, the latter
doubles him over with a punch to the stomach. Then
he slaps at Piggy, and his eyeglasses go flying. One
of the lenses shatters on rocks. Ralph and Jack
argue, but after tempers cool the boys build a new
fire, roast the pig, and eat. When Jack doesn’t
offer any meat to Piggy, Simon gives Piggy a
evening, Ralph calls a meeting to restore discipline
and respect for the rules, presenting the following
grievances: (1) The boys neglect to refill coconut
shells used to hold fresh water for everyone; (2)
they shirk their duty to work on shelters; (3) they
do not use the rocky area designated as a “lavatory”
but, instead, excrete their waste wherever they
please; (4) they make separate fires, causing them
to neglect the signal fire on the mountain.
on, he says, everyone must abide by the rules—and
there will be only one fire, the signal fire. To
allay growing fears, Ralph declares that there are
no beasts to be afraid of; there are only overactive
imaginations. Jack seizes this opportunity to
ridicule the small boys for believing in such
creatures, calling them crybabies and telling them
they must learn to live with their fears. But a boy
named Phil nevertheless swears he saw something “big
and horrid” in the forest. Another boy, Percival,
claims that a beast hides in the sea and comes out
at night. There is also talk of ghosts. Then boys
start talking out of turn; confusion and disorder
result. Piggy asks, “What are we? Humans? Or
animals? Or savages?”
to declare himself the new chief, then storms off
when he fails. Ralph begins to doubt his ability as
a leader and speaks of resigning. Piggy and Simon
urge him to remain the leader.
under shimmering stars and a bright moon, an
explosion erupts in the sky, and an airplane goes
down in the sea, leaving behind a spiral of smoke
and a parachutist falling to earth. He lands in the
island’s forest, his lines tangled and hung up
between a tree and a rock. He is dead. But his body
bobs and sways in the wind, and the parachute
billows and flaps. Nearby, twins Sam and Eric, who
are tending the mountain fire, hear strange noises.
As dawn nears, they investigate and, in the dim
light, perceive . . . the beast!
down the mountainside, they awaken Ralph and the
other boys, crying out their tale of horror. There
is an assembly at which the boys recite the details
of their experience, describing the beast as furry
and having wings.
notices the cuts and tears the twins suffered in
their rush down from the mountain through the heavy
forest growth. He is now convinced that there really
is a beast after all. The faces of the others are
stricken with terror
the boys are all genuinely frightened, they realize
they must hunt the beast down. To remain confined to
the beach, cut off from their food supply, is out of
the question. So Jack, Ralph, and the rest of the
older boys set out to track the creature while Piggy
remains behind with the small boys. Jack leads the
way. Simon, not far behind him, is the only one who
doubts the existence of the beast. He regrets that
he lacked the courage to speak up at the
destination is a high point on the far side of the
island where they believe the beast has his lair.
After nearing the site, Ralph, as chief, decides to
steal forward alone. The others observe from bushes.
Moments later, however, Jack joins him. When they
arrive at the site, they find nothing. Ralph then
notices that no smoke is rising from their signal
fire in the distance. Other boys, realizing that
there is nothing to fear where they are, come out of
hiding and begin to roll rocks down the hill. When
Ralph orders everyone to leave, some of the boys
want to stay and play. Ralph says, “There’s no
signal showing. There may be a ship out there. Are
you all off your rockers?”
They all then head back to the other side of the
island. On the way, they discover fresh pig
droppings. Jack says, “Ralph—we need meat even if we
are hunting the other thing.” Ralph agrees.
When a big
boar crosses their path, Ralph hurls a spear that
strikes it. The animal then changes directions and
disappears into the forest. Ralph brags about his
spear throw, and Jack shows a brush burn on his arm
that he says the pig caused. The boys are excited
now, and they reenact the scene, one boy, Robert,
playing the charging pig, and the others jabbing at
him. Later, as the afternoon merges into evening,
they climb the mountain to the signal fire. There,
like Sam and Eric before them, Jack, Ralph, and
Roger hear noises and see the monster, a figure
resembling an ape sleeping in a sitting position.
(It is, of course, the dead parachutist, his body
still lodged between the rock and the tree.)
following day, Ralph tells Piggy about their
sighting of the beast. Downcast, Ralph thinks there
is no way to kill it and no way to maintain a signal
fire, for the beast sits near the mountaintop as if
ready to attack anyone who goes there.
about my hunters?” Jack says.
armed with sticks.” Ralph replies sarcastically.
Insulted, Jack goes off in a huff.
assembly, Jack informs everyone about the beast,
then twists Ralph’s words, saying he accused his
hunters of being cowards. He concludes that Ralph is
not a “proper chief, ” then leaves, soon to be
joined by his loyal followers. He believes he is the
glad to be rid of Jack, tells Ralph all is not lost;
for they can build a fire on the beach. Ralph perks
up, and so do the rest of the boys. They immediately
gather wood and start the fire, although they
realize it is a formidable task to keep a big fire
going without the help of Jack’s boys. So they
settle for a small one.
Jack and his boys go on another hunting expedition,
deciding to search only for pigs. If they kill one,
they will leave part of it behind to appease the
beast. In almost no time, they find and kill a sow
in a bloody struggle. Simon, who had wandered into
the forest, is observing everything from the cover
of leaves. The hunters cut off the head of the pig
and impale it on a stake, leaving it behind as a
gift for the beast. After they leave, Simon
gazes intently upon the head and the flies buzzing
hunters now have meat but no fire and no means of
starting one, so they storm Ralph’s beach site and
steal burning sticks from his fire. Before leaving,
Jack invites everyone to join him and his boys at
his site for food and fun. He and his raiders then
tells his followers they must remain at the fire to
keep it going. There could be a ship. They could be
rescued. But one of the boys, Bill, argues in favor
of attending the feast, saying it would give them an
opportunity to ask for help in maintaining their
fire. Besides, there will be meat. Sam and Eric
think it would fun to attend and, of course, they
would have meat. Back in the
forest, the impaled pig’s head—the Lord of the
Flies—seems to speak to Simon:“Fancy thinking
the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You
knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close,
is no beast in the forest, Simon realizes; there is
only the beast inside the boys—the evil that has
been gradually corrupting them. Simon wanders off
again, this time to the mountaintop—and verifies
that what others thought was a beast is really
something else, a dead parachutist. He must go down
immediately and tell everyone.
clouds are gathering on the beach. It is hot. Ralph
and Piggy are bathing in the pool while little ones
play at the edge. Bill, Sam, and Eric have gone to
Jack’s party. Piggy suggests that he and Ralph go
too—“to make sure nothing happens.” Jack accepts the
advice. Sam and Eric remain behind.
arrive at Jack’s site, boys are dancing and singing,
their faces greasy with meat. There is also fruit,
and coconut cups are full of water. There is a
moment of silence and uneasiness when Ralph enters
the camp. However, after Ralph and Piggy join in the
laughter, merriment returns and Jack passes around
meat. A short while later, Jack creates discord when
he invites Ralph’s boys to join his tribe. When
Ralph and Jack argue over who is chief, Ralph
declares that he is the keeper of the conch, giving
him the power to call assemblies. Jack says the
conch means nothing to him. Meanwhile, some of
Ralph’s boys abandon him for Jack.
booms. Raindrops fall. The flashes of
lightning—followed by cracks and rumbles—make
the bigger boys uneasy and terrify the little ones.
Jack rallies them by telling them to do their dance.
Forming a circle, they dance and chant, “Kill the
beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!” Little ones
form their own circles. Ralph and Piggy watch and,
considering the storm and the darkness of the night,
are only too willing to be part of the festivities.
dancers work themselves into a frenzy—just as Simon
walks out of the forest, a shadowy figure whom some
of the boys say is the beast. In a moment, the
dancers are upon him, poking sticks, clawing,
biting, tearing. Simon dies.
day, Piggy and Ralph are back at their own beach
site, disheartened. Piggy tells Ralph that the only
other ones left in their group are Sam, Eric, and a
few little ones; the rest have all gone over to
Jack. When they talk about the night before, Ralph
characterizes Simon’s death as murder. Piggy says it
wasn’t so—especially because of the way Simon came
out of the woods, taking everyone by surprise. Ralph
outside. Outside the circle. You never really came
in. Didn’t see what we—what they did.”
insists it was an accident. After they ruminate
further over Simon’s death, they turn their
attention to maintaining a fire started earlier by
next night, Jack, Maurice, and Roger attack Ralph,
Piggy, and Sam and Eric. Piggy isn’t any use, but
Ralph, Sam, and Eric give their adversaries a fierce
fight and drive them off. However, Jack comes away
with a prize—Piggy’s eyeglasses.
Piggy, accompanied by Sam and Eric, go to Jack’s
camp and, using the conch, attempt to call an
assembly. When Jack orders them out of the camp,
Ralph demands Piggy’s glasses. Jack refuses to
return them. Ralph calls Jack a thief, and Jack
lunges at him with a spear. Ralph parries it with
own spear. They fight close in for a while, then
break off. Ralph appeals to reason, saying their
only hope for rescue is to join forces and maintain
the fire. Some of Jack’s boys surround, capture, and
tie up Sam and Eric. Ralph loses his temper and
attacks Jack. They exchange blows.
holds up the conch and demands to speak. Out of
curiosity, everyone listens. “Which is better,” he
says, “law and rescue, or hunting and breaking
his boys form into a solid wall to launch an attack.
From above, someone pushes a rock from a precipice.
It strikes and kills Piggy. When Jack and his boys
charge, Ralph runs and hides in the forest while the
others track him down. They set a fire that forces
Ralph onto the beach. Running for his life, he
stumbles and falls. When he looks up, he sees a
British naval officer, who tells him he has seen the
breaks down, crying “for the end of his innocence,”
author Golding writes,and for “the darkness of man’s
heart,” and the death of “the true, wise friend
distance, a cruiser waits to return the boys to
civilization. Text Used
for Plot Summary: Golding, William.The Lord
of the Flies. New York: Berkley Publishing
Group, a Division of Penguin-Putnam, 1954..
The Meaning of the Title
The title of the novel is a
translation of a Hebrew word, “baal-zevuv,” which
means chief or principal devil—Satan. In Greek, the
word is “Beelzeboub.” An English word derived from the
Greek word is “Beelzebub,” which can mean any of the
following: Satan, chief devil, an assistant devil
second only to Satan, or fallen angel.
In the novel, the decapitated head of a pig is
referred to in Chapter 8 (“Gift for the Darkness”) as
the "Lord of the Flies" after Jack and his boys impale
it on a stake driven into the ground. When the head
begins to decompose, it attracts many flies. However,
the head is only a symbol of the devil, or evil. Simon
learns while staring at it that the real evil on the
island lies inside the souls of the boys. It is
interesting to note that the boys call their leader
“chief,” which could be interpreted as a shortened
version of the meaning of Beelzebub, or
chief devil. Theme
All human beings have a dark
side that can cause the breakdown of individual or
community moral standards if this dark side gains sway
over reason and right thinking. This is a common motif
in literature, occurring in short stories, novels, and
poems. Examples of other works with this theme
are Shirley Jackson’s “The
Lottery” and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.
Explained by the Author
publicity release prepared for American publishers of
The Lord of the Flies, William Golding
explained the theme of his book as follows:
theme is an attempt to trace the defects of society
back to the defects of human nature. The moral is
that the shape of a society must depend on the
ethical nature of the individual and not on any
political system however apparently logical or
respectable. The whole book is symbolic in nature
except the rescue in the end where adult life
appears, dignified and capable, but in reality
enmeshed in the same evil as the symbolic life of
the children on the island. The officer, having
interrupted a man-hunt, prepares to take the
children off the island in a cruiser which will
presently be hunting its enemy in the same
implacable way. And who will rescue the adult and
his cruiser? (E.L. Epstein. "Notes on Lord of the
Flies." The Lord of the Flies, by William
Golding. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1954,
The Lord of the Flies
contains many symbols used by the author to develop
and support his theme. These symbols include the
Crash: Failure or breakdown of society in the
world outside; spread of corrupting ideas.
Scar: This path of destruction through the
forest, caused by the crashing plane, appears to
represent the encroachment of corrupt civilization
on the pristine island.
Before the arrival of the boys, the Garden of Eden;
after the arrival of the boys, the corrupted world
Civilized authority, democracy.
of Piggy and Piggy Himself: Insight, wisdom,
Piggy and Destruction of Conch: Failure or
breakdown of society on the island.
Beast: Fear, superstition. (The boys imagine
that a monster in the form of a snake, a sea
monster, an ape, or other "beasties" that they dream
about lurks nearby.)
Parachutist: The beast. (In fact, the
parachutist is a beast, for he has taken part in a
war to kill fellow human beings.)
and Dancing of the Hunters: Blind emotion,
loss of reason.
Which Ralph and Jack Sit: Seats of authority;
Boys: The emerging generation of evil.
Little Boys: The next generation of evil.
Naval Officer: The present generation of evil.
Killing of the First Pig: Original sin.
Killing of the Second Pig, the Sow: Release of
perverted, Oedipal urges.
Knife, Sticks Sharpened Into Spears: Weapons
of war in the macrocosmic world; phalluses as
representations of masculine aggression.
Ralph: Perhaps Cain and Abel (although Ralph
does not die, as Abel did in the Bible).
Impaled Pig's Head (Lord of the Flies): The
evil in every person's heart.
relies heavily on figures of speech and symbols to
undergird his story. A log becomes a metaphor for
the throne of the ruler, or chief; a conch, the
emblem of democracy; a fist fight, a military
battle; an island, the whole world.
language is vivid but easy to understand, and the
plot moves quickly. As in Animal Farm, by
Golding’s fellow countryman Eric Blair (pen name,
George Orwell), the characters and the action have
several layers of meaning, although readers can
enjoy the novel as an adventure story on its basic,
literal level. One fault of the book appears to be
that Golding sometimes violates a central tenet of
good writing: “Show, don’t tell.” In other words,
rather than allowing his figures of speech, symbols,
and descriptions to work their magic by suggesting
subtle meanings, interpretations, feelings,
character traits, and so on, he intrudes upon the
narrative to tell the reader what such and such
means or represents. This approach patronizes the
reader and destroys the sense of awe and mystery
that Golding is attempting to create. Notable
examples of this heavy-handed approach occur in two
first when the impaled pig’s head speaks to Simon,
the second when Ralph stumbles and falls at the feet
of the navy man at the end of the novel.
the first example, the impaled head (the Lord of the
Flies) tells Simon—and
the reader—what he
symbolizes (Golding 143). The head, in fact, assumes
the role of a teacher instructing a slow learner.
Golding writes, “The Lord of the Flies spoke in the
voice of a schoolmaster. ‘This has gone quite far
enough. My poor, misguided child, do you think you
know better than I do?’”
the second example, Golding is there again to tell
the reader what to think and, with a reference to
Piggy, to add a note of melodrama bordering on
bathos: “Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the
darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the
air of the true, wise friend called Piggy” (202).
Golding, William.The Lord of the Flies. New
York: Berkley Publishing Group, a Division of
climax of a novel or another narrative work, such
as a short story or a play, can be defined as (1)
the turning point at which the conflict begins to
resolve itself for better or worse, or as (2) the
final and most exciting event in a series of
events. The climax of The Lord of the Flies
occurs, according to the first definition, when
Jack rebels and forms his own tribe, resulting in
a "war" between his boys and Ralph's. According to
the second definition, the climax occurs when
Ralph fights Jack and Piggy dies.
There are several types of
irony. Usually, though, irony refers to an outcome
or a circumstance that is the opposite of what one
might expect. It would be ironic, for example, if
the shortest basketball player on a team is the
highest scorer—or if the most popular, most
intelligent, and most attractive student in the
senior class is unable to get a date for the prom.
Examples of irony in The Lord of the Flies
include the following:
Internal and External Conflict
survivors of the plane crash are boys evacuated
from a battle zone in a world war. However, the
society they form eventually breaks down, and the
children go to war with one another.
eyesight is weak, but his insight is strong.
British naval officer who arrives to rescue the
boys at the end of the novel appears to represent
civilization and sanity. But he and the society he
represents are actually a mirror image, on a large
scale, of the boys and their corrupt island
Jack sets a fire to roust Ralph from the forest,
he unintentionally saves the lives of all the
remaining boys. It was this fire that attracted
the attention of the British ship.
two main types of conflict in literature: external
and internal. External conflict pits a person
against another human or against an animal, an
object, the forces of nature, or any other thing or
things outside of him. Internal conflict involves a
struggle between a person and his emotions or
negative attributes. Both types of conflict occur in
The Lord of the Flies. Write an essay that
identifies several of them and explains how they
affect the course of events.
Study Questions and Essay Topics
Jack had been elected leader and Ralph appointed
hunter, would the story have ended
Ralph wise to appoint Jack the chief hunter?
does Jack hesitate at his first opportunity to
kill a pig?
does Jack pick on Piggy?
devices does author Golding use to build
and his hunters become less civilized after
killing a pig. What activities in everyday life
seem to make people less civilized? For example,
do video games or movies depicting violence make
people more prone to committing violent acts? Does
participation in certain sports? Does possession
of guns or other weapons?
character in the story do you most admire and why?
an essay telling what you believe happens after
the boys leave the island with the naval officer.
an essay explaining the extent to which Golding
based the novel on his own experiences.
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