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Just as Lord of the Flies wasn't the last kids-stuck-on-an-island story, it wasn't the first. Golding was responding to another novel, , written by R.M. Ballantyne in 1857. In The Coral Island, some white, European boys end up on an island and use Christianity to "conquer" the "heathen ways" of the Polynesian natives.

the same vowel sound is repeated but the consonants are different; he passed her a sharp, dark glance, shot a cool, foolish look across the room.

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Yep, it's about as creepy as it sounds.

"Surely we've evolved past the days of gladiatorial combat and public executions," you say.

The most introspective character in the novel, Simon has a deep affinity with nature and often walks alone in the jungle. While Piggy represents the cultural and Ralph the political and moral facets of civilization, Simon represents the spiritual side of human nature. Like Piggy, Simon is an outcast: the other boys think of him as odd and perhaps insane. It is Simon who finds the beast. When he attempts to tell the group that it is only a dead pilot, the boys, under the impression that he is the beast, murder him in a panic. Golding frequently suggests that Simon is a Christ-figure whose death is a kind of martyrdom. His name, which means "he whom God has heard," indicates the depth of his spirituality and centrality to the novel's Judeo-Christian allegory.

Ralph reflects on his poor hygiene. He thinks he will be, "sucking my thumb next...." He is afraid someone might have heard him say that.

language that evokes feelings of pity or sorrow.

Answer: Roger's actions towards the twins are unauthorized by Jack, indicating that Jack's own authority is under threat. Golding hints at a shift in the power system among Jack's tribe, which highlights the inherent flaws in Jack's system of military dictatorship.

the version of language spoken by particular people in a particular area, such as Scots.

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the repetition of a word or phrase to achieve a particular effect.

The protagonist of the story, Ralph is one of the oldest boys on the island. He quickly becomes the group's leader. Golding describes Ralph as tall for his age and handsome, and he presides over the other boys with a natural sense of authority. Although he lacks Piggy's overt intelligence, Ralph is calm and rational, with sound judgment and a strong moral sensibility. But he is susceptible to the same instinctive influences that affect the other boys, as demonstrated by his contribution to Simon's death. Nevertheless, Ralph remains the most civilized character throughout the novel. With his strong commitment to justice and equality, Ralph represents the political tradition of liberal democracy.

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Names and naming are important in Lord of the Flies. Many characters have names that allude to other works of literature, give insight into their character, or foreshadow key events. Discuss the significance of the names of, for instance, Sam and Eric, Piggy, and Simon. What does the character's name say about him and his significance? Use external sources as necessary.

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Answer: The contrast between Ralph's group on the beach and Jack's tribe at Castle Rock represents the opposition between liberal democracy and totalitarianism. Golding presents the former as the superior system, demonstrated by the success of the assembly among Jack's group of boys and the ordered system that prioritizes the ongoing signal fire on the mountain, tactics that ensure the welfare of the entire group. Note, though, what happens in both groups over time.

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Naturally, this was a huge success in Victorian England—but Golding wasn't so impressed. His Lord of the Flies, which uses many of the same character names that Ballantyne did, shows almost the opposite scenario: instead of the boys conquering the heathen wild, the heathen wild conquers the boys.

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As an allegory about human nature and society, Lord of the Flies draws upon Judeo-Christian mythology to elaborate on the novel's sociological and political hypothesis. The title has two meanings, both charged with religious significance. The first is a reference to a line from , "As flies to wanton boys, are we to gods." The second is a reference to the Hebrew name Ba'alzevuv, or in its Greek form Beelzebub, which translates to "God of the Flies" and is synonymous with Satan. For Golding however, the satanic forces that compel the shocking events on the island come from within the human psyche rather than from an external, supernatural realm as they do in Judeo-Christian mythology. Golding thus employs a religious reference to illustrate a Freudian concept: the Id, the amoral instinct that governs the individual's sense of sheer survival, is by nature evil in its amoral pursuit of its own goals. The Lord of the Flies, that is, the pig's head on a stick, directly challenges the most spiritually motivated character on the island, , who functions as a prophet-martyr for the other boys.

Check out the section on , the , and the .

Um. When's the last time you were in a movie theater? Played a video game? Watched TV? From to , we love our violence. Sure, we come up with "civilized" ways to vent our bloodlust, on the six-hour school trip to D.C. But, says William Golding, put a bunch of kids on an island, with no governing authorities, no societal structure, and no consequences, and all that civilization breaks down.

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