Lord of the Flies - Characters and Conflicts

Lord of the Flies
Characters and Conflicts
Simon
Different to Jack and Ralph
Has an innate goodness that is
as primal as Jack's savagery
Morally grounded
Simon acts as he does because he
believes in the natural value of
morality
Behaves benevolently to the
younger children
"Then, amid the roar of bees in the afternoon
sunlight, Simon found for the fruit they could
not "
The other boys act immorally
when there is no adult to impose
rules
The other boys are conditioned
to be good
Shows Golding feels humans are more
naturally disposed to savagery than
civilisation
Even Piggy and Ralph take part
in the hunt
Christfigure?
The beast
Simon is the first to understand the beast is a
natural part of the boys and not an external
monster
Symbolised by the conversation
between Simon and the sow's
head
Echoes of Christ's temptation in
the wilderness
Christ comparison continues in
his role as a semiprophet
"'You'll get back to where you
came from.'"
"'Maybe there is a beast....maybe
it's only us.'"
"'You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you? Close,
close, close! I'm the reason why it's no go? Why
things are what they are?'"
The inherent evil within each
human is the moral conclusion of
the book
Simon represents the idea of
essential human goodness
Simon's murder suggests an abundance of
human evil and a scarcity of human
goodness
"However Simon thought of the beast, there rose
before his inward sight the picture of a human at
once heroic and sick."
Nature is indifferent to suffering
"Then Jack found the throat and the hot blood spouted over
his hands. The sow collapsed under them and they were heavy
and fulfilled upon her. The butterflies still danced,
preoccupied in the center of the clearing."
Piggy
Identified as physically weak
Overweight
Asthma
Spectacles since he was three
A symbol of weakness to Jack
Betrayed immediately by Ralph
“’They used to call me Piggy!'"
Working class
For a moment the boys were a closed
circuit of sympathy with Piggy on the
outside...
Piggy's spectacles
A symbol of intelligence to Ralph
Indicates that science and
intelligence bring progress
There can be no fire without the glasses
Piggy understands there are no
"ghosts"
I know there isn't no beast not with claws and
all that, I mean but I know there isn't no fear
either...Unless...Unless we get frightened of
people.
Piggy represents the law and
order of the adult world.
He attempts to act according to
an absolute set of standards.
Piggy attempts to condition the island society to
mirror the society they all lived in in England.
He tries to pull Ralph towards the
reasonoriented side of human
nature.
Piggy and the signal fire
Piggy is obsessed with the signalfire.
"How can you expect to be rescued if you
don’t put first things first and act
proper?"
This is because he wants to return to England where adults are,
but also because the fire is one of the only symbols of order on the island.
"What could be safer than the bus
centre with its lamps and wheels?"
Piggy's death
"The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from
chin to knee; the conch exploded into a
thousand white fragments and ceased to exist."
Piggy's death leaves Ralph alone
he must makes his own decisions
now
"What was the sensible thing to
do? There was no Piggy to talk
sense."
It also exposes to Ralph the cruelty
of nature, and "man's essential
illness"
He regrets not having been able to
save Piggy, and mankind's
essential flaw
"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."
Ralph
Appearance
“The was a mildness about his
mouth and eyes that proclaimed no
devil.”
Contrast with the red and black
appearance of Jack (the devil)
Initially delighted at absence of
adults stands on his head
Naturally athletic as such is a contrast to Piggy.
He is, at heart, a dreamer who, unlike Piggy, does not see the seriousness of the situation they are in.
As Ralph’s perception of the island changes his dreams revert to dreams of home.
Elected leader of the boys
Belongs to same class as Jack
Initially insensitive
Doesn't ask Piggy's name
“this proffer of acquaintance
was not made.”
Mocks Piggy's nickname tells
the others
A good leader
Listens to Piggy's ideas
Main concern is rescue
Recognises the need for order
“We’ll have to have ‘Hands up’
like at school.”
Responsible child
Takes shelter building very seriously
Furious when the others do not
take their responsibilities
seriously
Bitter with Jack when he allows
the fire to go out
This marks the dissolution of his
cooperation with Jack
“Not even Ralph knew how a link between him
and Jack had been snapped and fastened
elsewhere.”
Ultimately leads to Ralph realising that he hates
Jack for the way he seeks to disrupt the order
he craves
Leads to closer bond with Piggy
“Piggy, for all his ludicrous body, had brains.
Ralph was a specialist in thought now, and
could recognise thought in another.”
The isolation of leadership
“The world, that understandable
and lawful world, was slipping
away.”
Sign of Ralph maturing
understanding the concerns of adults
and society
"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."
Leadership struggles
Takes responsibility for
investigating "the beast"
“I’m chief. I’ll go.”
Increasingly frequent
daydreams of home
“Ralph leaned against a tree and at
once the daydreams came swarming
up.”
Ralph is disillusioned with the
paradise he initially thought the
island was.
The death of Piggy means there is no
possibility of two leaders on the
island
“The breaking of the conch and the deaths of
Piggy and Simon lay over the island like a vapour.
These painted savages would go further and
further.”
Civilised
He refuses to wear paint
“we won’t be painted because
we aren’t savages”.
Jack
First appearance at head of "a creature"
"…The creature was a party of boys,
marching approximately in step in two
parallel lines"
Private school
All the boys are from a private school
These rules are adhered to at
the beginning
Despite these rules, Jack was also given a
position of power at school as leader of the
choir
Class resentment
Dislikes Piggy because he is
lower class
Sense of privilege and entitlement
Immediately dislikes Piggy for
his weakness
Physically different characters
Different personalities
Feels Ralph is protecting Piggy
"'We musn't let anything happen
to Piggy, must we?'
Representative of savagery,
violence and power
The antithesis of Ralph
Power
Jack's fundamental desire
He is furious when he loses the
election
Pushes the boundaries of the rules
Uses Ralph's similarity with the
weak Piggy against him
"He says things like Piggy. He
isn't a proper chief.'"
Violence
Initially he is unable to kill the pig
Suggests he was still governed
by the civilised rules he had
learned
Overcomes his civilisation by
wearing warpaint
...the mask was a thing on its own, behind
which Jack hid, liberated from shame and
selfconsciousness.
Becomes obsessed with hunting
Gives in to his own bloodlust
The overwhelming emotion Jack and his hunters
have to "kill the pig" is an indirect metaphor to
suggest the boys are also killing a part of Piggy.
While Jack and his gang continue to kill, the
logic and reason which Piggy symbolises
progressively diminishes.
He tried to convey the compulsion to
track down and kill that was swallowing
him up.
Savagery
The more savage he becomes,
the more he can control the
group
The boys largely follow Jack's
lead and ignore their moral
restraints
The authority he has makes him
feel powerful
The Beast
Jack learns to use the boys' fear
of the beast to control them
The beast is a hunter... we
couldn't kill it.
Shows how religion and
superstition can be used as
instruments of power
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