Lord Of The Flies reading summary

Theme

Civilisation-fragile…. Civil/social division… Power…. Survival

RULES AND ORDER

The novel suggests to us that in order to have a fully functional society there must be rules and laws which people follow. If the rules are set it is more likely to be a longer lasting situation. In the book the rules which Ralph sets are often broken and in many cases ignored, people just do what they want and don’t care about the consequences such as living on a dirty island. “All this I meant to say. Now I’ve said it. You voted me for chief, now you do what I say.” a quote by Ralph which proves just how unstable the government system on the island is.

Plot

The events and order in which they unfold

During a war a plane is shot down over the Pacific Ocean. The plane only holds a group of young English schoolboys and the pilot, no adults. The pilot is killed as the plane crashes but lots of the boys survive, they are alone on a deserted island without without any guardians. Their system of government is unstable and rules are often broken. The set leader Ralph has a rival Jack who strives to be leader, but a bad one, he wants to use the top position for a form of inhumane power such as murder. When Jack manages to get a group of the older boys on his side the island becomes a very dangerous home for everyone. Simon gets stabbed to death and Piggy gets bowled over by a boulder which Jack pushes. When Ralph is running for his life he finds a navy officer on the beach who rescues everyone on the island and puts an end to their battle ground.

Character

Name, appearance, relationships, language, status

PIGGY- fat with glasses, has asthma, motivated by his desire to be accepted in society (the other boys), “I just take the conch to say this. I can’t see no more and I got to get my glasses back. Awful things has been done on this island. I voted for you for chief. He’s the only one who ever got anything done. So now you speak, Ralph, and tell us what.” this quote shows us that Piggy relies on other people to make the decisions for him. “life is scientific, that’s what it is. In a year or two when the world is over they’ll be traveling to Mars and back. I know there isn’t no beast—not with claws and all that I mean—but I know there isn’t no fear either.”, this quote gives us insight into Piggy’s rational and scientific brain. He is very smart but he is physically weak. Rodger pushes a boulder to crush Piggy.

RALPH- the leader of the boys, the cool kid, he is the one that holds the conch which symbolizes power and order. “All this I meant to say. Now I’ve said it. You voted me for chief. Now you do what I say.” This quote shows us a little about Ralph and his personality, it shows us that he wants order and control on the island but he wants to be the one to set the rules. A train of thought through Ralph’s head is “was vexed to find how little he thought like a grown up and sighed again, the island was getting worse and worse.” This thought shows us that although it is quite clear to us as readers that Ralph needs a bit more education to be able to control a large group of boys and keep the island with order, he cannot see this and he blames the island as getting worse and worse instead of the people living on the island.

JACK- Jack is like Ralph as he is both strong in personality and driven towards leadership. He, on the other hand is not a nice leader though, he takes all advantage of the position and turns it into a way to get to the top rank, whether its nice or not. He turns into a murderer by the end of the story. “The madness came into his eyes again. “I thought I might kill”” This quote shows us that Jacks true nature is hard to hid, he is a killer and the island is bringing the bad side of him out. “Ralph is like Piggy, he says things like Piggy therefore he is not a proper chief” This gives us insight into how Jack thinks, he believes that as Ralph uses logic and reasoning, as does Piggy, he cannot be a suitable leader.

SIMON- Simon is the nice guy, he is timid, thoughtful and he is wise, he is also very mature for his age. He helps people when they need it, he helped the littluns pick fruit and he found Piggy’s glasses after Piggy got punched in the face by Jack. Simon faints, gets bleeding noses and he is sick, yet he is not weak.    He brings the thought of christianity.

 

Setting 

Time, place, social setting and atmosphere

Lord Of The Flies is set on a deserted and uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. The world is at war and the boys all aged between 6 and 12 are needing to learn new survival skills such as work out how to hunt for food and build themselves a shelter to protect from the bad weather. Everything starts off with good order as they slowly begin to understand they will need a form of government and Ralph is selected to be the leader, they have a conch, used as a talking stick. Things slowly turn to custard as Jack begins to want power above everyone else and starts to murder living things, even people.

Language

choices made by the author

 

Structure 

Over-arching sequence of events, including flashbacks and foreshadowing

 

Symbolism

Elements in the text that represent something greater

CONCH- It was Ralph that found the conch, yet he thought it was a stone. Piggy was the one who identified it as a shell and explained to Ralph how to make a sound out of it, it had the power to make Ralph the leader, but not Piggy even though he was the  first one to know how to use it.

 

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