Each day in class this week we will be discussing the chapter you were assigned to read for homework the previous night – please make sure that you not only read the assigned chapters, but that you take notes over what you’ve read, so that you can participate fully in the discussions taking place in class.
For this novel you will be completing an analysis workbook – please see the post on that assignment in particular if you have any questions about the requirements – and engaging with the text through rigorous questioning and discussion is a large part of that analysis. Please be sure to review the analysis questions that we discuss at the beginning of class for each chapter, as they should guide your discussion of the text and point you in the direction of the important characters, plot devices, symbols and themes that you need to understand in Golding’s work.
If you have misplaced your questions, please review them below for each chapter. These should be answered and included in your notebook – fully developed, in complete sentences with evidence from the text when asked for.
1. The author spends much of Chapter One describing the island and the boys. One example is on page 19, where “the creature stepped from mirage on to clear sand, and they saw that the darkness was not all shadow but mostly clothing. The creature was a party of boys, marching approximately in step in two parallel lines and dressed in strangely eccentric clothing.” How does the author’s figurative language contribute to the mood and setting? (Discuss this example or one of your choosing from Chapter One).
2. In his description of the beach, the narrator says, “always, almost visible, was the heat” (p. 10). Why does the author choose to emphasize this feature? What comparison might he be suggesting for the reader? Explain.
3. Why do the boys react to their island surroundings by stripping off their clothes? What might their actions symbolize?
1. Explain the irony when Ralph pretends to be a fighter-plane, machine-gunning Piggy.
2. How do the boys try to establish order on the island? What is the effect on the boys’ behavior?
1. In the opening scene of Chapter Three, Jack is “bent double. . . . his nose only a few inches from the humid earth” (p. 48). Analyze the impact of Golding’s characterization and imagery here.
1. Piggy’s glasses are used to start the fire. What might be their symbolic significance? How does the significance of the glasses change or deepen after Jack breaks them (p. 71)?
2. What order of business is most significant to Ralph? What is most important to Jack? What does Piggy believe to be most pressing? How might these different motivations affect their future interactions?
3. What does the conch represent and why is it so important to Piggy?
1. Describe Ralph’s state of mind at the beginning of Chapter Five. Explain his insight when he asks himself, “If faces were different when lit from above or below—what was a face? What was anything?” (p. 78). What does this insight reveal about the changes that he is undergoing?
2. How does Piggy defend his view that there is no beast? Summarize his argument.
3. Ralph says of Piggy, Simon, and himself, “Fat lot of good we are.…Three Blind Mice” (p. 93). Explain his reference. How are the boys “blind”?
1. What is the “sign” that comes “down from the world of grownups?” (p. 95). Analyze its literal as well as figurative meanings.
2. When the hunters let the fire go out, Ralph asks, “Hasn’t anyone got any sense? We’ve got to relight that fire…. Or don’t any of you want to be rescued?” (p. 102). Do the boys want to be rescued? What reasons might there be to reject civilized society?
1. What might be Golding’s purpose in including the mock hunting scene where Robert is surrounded by the other boys?
2. How does Jack use rhetorical structures in his attempt to wrestle power from Ralph (p. 126)?
3. Explain the irony in Jack’s saying, “I’m not going to play any longer. Not with you” (p. 127).
1. Simon climbs the mountain to face the beast alone, asking “What else is there to do?” (p. 128). Why does Simon stand and act apart from the other boys? Why does he not take sides? How are Simon’s perceptions different from Ralph’s and Jack’s?
2. Analyze the contrasting imagery of butterflies and blood in the death scene of the mother pig (p. 135). What emotions might this imagery evoke in the reader?
3. What is Simon’s “ancient, inescapable recognition” upon speaking to the lord of the flies (p. 138)?
1.Why do the boys attack Simon? What does his death indicate about how the boys have changed?
1. Why don’t Jack and his hunters take the conch when they attack Ralph, Piggy,and Samneric (p. 168)?
2. Ralph argues that when they confront Jack and the hunters, they should go “washed and brushed” (p. 170). Explain the significance of appearance at thispoint in the novel.
1. Prior to his death, Piggy once again argues on the side of logic. What does his death signify? “You let me carry the conch, Ralph. I’ll show him the one thing he hasn’t got.” (Piggy, p. 171)
1. “A semicircle of little boys, their bodies streaked with colored clay, sharp sticks in their hands, were standing on the beach making no noise at all. ‘Fun and games,’ said the officer” (p. 200). How is this line ironic?