Lord of the Flies - CFE Higher English

Daniel Cormack
Flashcards by , created over 4 years ago

Notes on Lord of the Flies including such details as: themes and quotes with analysis.

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Daniel Cormack
Created by Daniel Cormack over 4 years ago
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Question Answer
Overarching theme: Transgression - Novel can be seen as deeply ominous illustration of the consequences of internal, moral transgression. - By the end of the novel the vast majority of boys have succumbed to this Promethean impulse. - Golding suggesting mankind has an inherent longing to transgress and when this desire is given full expression it can develop momentum of its own. - Golding asserting that the problem with mankind is internal - but implications external.
Overarching theme: Civilisation versus Barbarity - Through course of the novel Piggy and Simon try to establish a civilised society, however island descends into barbaric dystopia. - Reason for this is mankind's limited insight and flawed judgement - highlighted by "everyman character" in Ralph who fails to value qualities of Simon, such as his intuitive wisdom. - This is Golding's way of suggesting through mankind's lack of insight that it is destined to forever repeat the same fundamental errors and so barbarity will erupt through society's thin veneer.
Overarching theme: Democracy versus Autocracy - Throughout novel there is a struggle between democratic practices and autocratic impulses. - In the end regressive autocracy - as symbolised by Jack and coupled with aggressive oppression - as symbolised by Roger - triumphs! - Piggy and conch inextricably linked and symbolically connected with democracy. - Death + destruction of both highlights Golding's pessimistic suggestion that forces of democracy are not resilient enough when faced with sustained attack from those with autocratic ambitions.
Overarching theme: Leadership - Although Ralph is elected leader by vast majority at start of novel, he is unable to establish an ordered, harmonious society and prevent disintegration. - His plight helps Golding illustrate the formidable challenges faced by well intentioned leaders when faced with a population inclined to transgress and showing limited insight who may be drawn to autocrats - eg. Jack may appeal to their basic desires without cyncial manipulation.
Significant turning point: Possibility of civilised society establishing itself (Lagoon) - "sounding like the bass strings of delight" - Powerful use of setting and symbolism because presented as a beautiful and peaceful environment with connotations of safety and security. - Echoes of the Garden of Eden and connotations of unison and harmony. - Therefore, lagoon represents possibility of boys and mankind living in democratic harmony with each other providing they resist temptation to act sinfully + transgress.
Significant turning point: Position changes to Castle Rock because Jack punches Piggy - "seemed like the breathing of a stupendous creature" - Powerful use of imagery/symbolism because sea is compared to a vast mythical creature. - Conveys a strong sense of colossal power lying dormant + with potential to erupt violently. - Sea may represent boy's capacity for evil + boys now appear increasingly savage. - Gives greater understanding of novel as a whole because theme of Civilisation vs barb. - link with notes on this topic.
Significant turning point: Prior to Jack's punch characters resist desire to transgress - "Roger's arm was conditioned by civilisation - Powerful use of characterisation because Roger close to the point of transgression. - Roger has disturbing impulses and the desire to hurt physically as he throws stones around him. - However, Roger is restrained by social conditioning he has previously experienced in the past.
Significant turning point: After Jack's punching of Piggy, social conditioning crumbles. - "Robert was screaming and struggling ... Ralph too was fighting to get near" - Powerful/memorable use of key incident because novel becomes more sinister. - Boys are clearly overwhelmed by the intensity of their emotions and desire to inflict pain. - Powerfully shows the horror that can arise when individuals get caught up in a group mentality in a transgressive manner. - Ralph's involvement shows even people who normally act in a civilised manner can be seduced to act transgressively. - Greater understanding of the novel as a whole because links to theme of transgression (notes can be found on this topic)
Significant turning point: Ralph's changing attitude to Piggy - negative initially. - "the proffer of acquaintance was not made" - Ralph's cool response to Piggy is ill-considered. - Powerful use of characterisation because it shows his initial dismissive attitude towards Piggy and emphasises he may be unfairly judging Piggy.
Significant turning point: Ralph's positive attitude afterwards. - "true wise friend Piggy" - Effective use of characterisation and symbolism as Ralph conveys emotional reaction with shows increased respect for Piggy. - Ralph aware of inherent evil within mankind and showing better judgement because he is acknowledging Piggy's friendship belatedly + what he represents - Piggy represents: commitment to democratic procedures, rationality and verbal dexterity. Quals worth valuing because no other boys in jungle have them. - Linked with theme of civilisation versus barbarity.
Character develops significantly: Contrast between Ralph's immaturity at start of novel with his clear perception at its conclusion - this highlights significant development. - "No grown ups" - Powerful use of characterisation/dialogue because Ralph is ironically thrilled at idea of environment without adults. Response is immature and demonstrates poor judgement given boy's descent to savagery later on in novel. - Prior to end of novel Ralph fantasises about being in civilised environment and this is ill-considered.
Character develops significantly: Ralph's initial judgement of Piggy - "the proffer of acquaintance was not made" - Ralph's cool response to Piggy is ill-considered. - Powerful use of characterisation because it shows his initial dismissive attitude towards Piggy and emphasises he may be unfairly judging Piggy.
Character develops significantly: Ralph's perception of Piggy at end. - "true wise friend Piggy" - Effective use of characterisation and symbolism as Ralph conveys emotional reaction with shows increased respect for Piggy. - Ralph aware of inherent evil within mankind and showing better judgement because he is acknowledging Piggy's friendship belatedly + what he represents - Piggy represents: commitment to democratic procedures, rationality and verbal dexterity. Quals worth valuing because no other boys in jungle have them. - Linked with theme of civilisation versus barbarity.
Character develops significantly: Ralph attacking Robert. - "Ralph too was fighting to get near" - Powerful use of characterisation and key incident because it conveys that Ralph, a normally decent individual is capable of transgression. - Allowing evil to overwhelm and get caught up in the moment. - Cannot contain emotions and no longer an active individual as he is now caught up in collective mentality of the group - Pace of transgression rapid.
Character develops significantly: Ralph showing more discipline later in novel. - "Fiercely he hit out at the filthy thing" - Powerful use of characterisation and symbolism because the pig's head represents Lord of the Flies which is man's innate capacity for evil. - Portrays Ralph's emphatic development not to allow the evil within to dominate. - Contrasted with Simon's apprach to Lord of Flies, in which he comes to terms with it and does not allow it to overwhelm. -Link with theme of good versus evil.
Dark and pessimistic mood: Simon's body being washed out to sea -"coat of pearls ... the tone of his cheek silvered" -Effective use of symbolism/characterisation/word choice because words "pearls" and "silvered" have connotations of being valuable and something which ought to be valued. - Golding suggesting that reader should value the special quality Simon represented: intuitive insight, quiet courage and ability to accept mankind's nature. - Golding darkly recognising that the possibility of mankind's salvation remains remote as his qualities will always be overwhelmed by mankind's desire to transgress. - Greater understanding because connects with theme of civ vs barb. (SEE NOTES)
Dark and Pessimistic Mood: Golding's presentation of the murder of Piggy. -"the conch exploded into a thousand fragments" -Powerful use of key incident and symbolism because Piggy and conch are inextricably linked in what they represent. - Piggy reps: democracy, rational thought and verbal dexterity. - These quals help establish degree of civilised society. - Conch represents democratic procedure and moral authority. - Their mutual disruption marks their final collapse of civilisation as they boys revert to barbaric state. - Gives greater understanding because linked to theme of autocracy vs democracy.
Dark and Pessimistic Mood: Initial Lighting of the Fire - "the shameful knowledge grew within them and they did not know how to begin confession" -Effective us of characterisation/symbolism/setting because it can be seen to represent the boy's Promethean impulse to transgress and their misguided impulse to tamper with forces they don't understand. - Fire initially compared to bright squirrel but quickly becomes jaguar as it develops momentum of its own. By end of novel it is seen to have overwhelmed island as a whole. - Gives greater understanding because links to theme of transgression. (SEE NOTES).
Dark and Pessimistic Mood: Presentation of Ralph's apparent salvation. - "White drill, epaulettes, a row of gilt buttons down the front of his uniform" -Powerful use of characterisation, symbolism and irony because superficially represents their order, authority and so the savage pursuit of Ralph is brought to end. - However, dark irony as officer wearing military uniform - which indicates participating in worldwide war and echoes Jack's choir uniform. - Arguably officer is no saviour but guilty of being involved in savagery himself. -Gives greater understanding because linked to the theme of civ vs barb.
Effective Ending: Presentation of Ralph being confronted with the Lord of the Flies - "Fiercely he hit out at the filthy thing" - Powerful use of characterisation and symbolism because the pig's head represents Lord of the Flies which is man's innate capacity for evil. - Portrays Ralph's emphatic development not to allow the evil within to dominate. - Contrasted with Simon's apprach to Lord of Flies, in which he comes to terms with it and does not allow it to overwhelm. -Link with theme of good versus evil/ civ vs barb.
Effective Ending: The ending is also effective due to the presentation of the naval officer "White drill, epaulettes, a row of gilt buttons down the front of his uniform" -Powerful use of characterisation, symbolism and irony because the officer is immediately contrasted with the filthy appearance of the boys. - However, dark irony as officer wearing military uniform - which indicates participating in worldwide war and echoes Jack's choir uniform. - Arguably officer is no saviour but guilty of being involved in savagery himself. -Gives greater understanding because linked to the theme of civ vs barb.
Effective Ending: The ending is also effective due to fire raging across the island. (1) - "the shameful knowledge grew within them and they did not know how to begin confession" -Effective us of characterisation/symbolism/setting because it can be seen to represent the boy's Promethean impulse to transgress and their misguided impulse to tamper with forces they don't understand. - Fire initially compared to bright squirrel but quickly becomes jaguar as it develops momentum of its own. By end of novel it is seen to have overwhelmed island as a whole. - Gives greater understanding because links to theme of transgression. (SEE NOTES).
Effective Ending: The ending is also effective due to fire raging across the island. (2) - "the fire reached the coco-nut palms by the beach and swallowed them noisily" - Gives greater understanding of the novel as a whole because links to theme of transgression. SEE NOTES.
Place/Time Setting: Describes boy's first attempts at lighting a fire within jungle - "the shameful knowledge grew within them and they did not know how to begin confession" -Effective us of characterisation/symbolism/setting because it can be seen to represent the boy's Promethean impulse to transgress and their misguided impulse to tamper with forces they don't understand. - Fire initially compared to bright squirrel but quickly becomes jaguar as it develops momentum of its own. By end of novel it is seen to have overwhelmed island as a whole. - Escalation of the fire anticipates events that will happen later in novel - jungle on fire and boys overcome by evil impulses.
Place/Time Setting: Fire takes over and represent war taking place worldwide - "the fire reached the coco-nut palms by the beach and swallowed them noisily" - Gives greater understanding of the novel as a whole because links to theme of transgression. SEE NOTES.
Time/Place Setting: Presenting movement towards/death of Simon - "the build up of clouds continued... the air was ready to explode" - Effective use of setting because Golding is using this description as the build up of the storm represents the escalating evil which is building up within children prior to attack on Simon. - Therefore, the storm breaking coincides with the unleashing of the violent aggression towards Simon. - Represents likelihood of forebode occurrence.
Time/Place Setting - Simon's body being washed out to sea -"coat of pearls ... the tone of his cheek silvered" -Effective use of symbolism/characterisation/word choice because words "pearls" and "silvered" have connotations of being valuable and something which ought to be valued. - Golding suggesting that reader should value the special quality Simon represented: intuitive insight, quiet courage and ability to accept mankind's nature. - Golding darkly recognising that the possibility of mankind's salvation remains remote as his qualities will always be overwhelmed by mankind's desire to transgress. - Greater understanding because connects with theme of civ vs barb. (SEE NOTES)
Time/Place Setting - Lagoon compared to Castle Rock - "sounding like the bass strings of delight" - Powerful use of setting and symbolism because presented as a beautiful and peaceful environment with connotations of safety and security. - Echoes of the Garden of Eden and connotations of unison and harmony. - Therefore, lagoon represents possibility of boys and mankind living in democratic harmony with each other providing they resist temptation to act sinfully + transgress.
Time/Place Setting - Lagoon compared to Castle Rock - "seemed like the breathing of a stupendous creature" - Powerful use of imagery/symbolism because sea is compared to a vast mythical creature. - Conveys a strong sense of colossal power lying dormant + with potential to erupt violently. - Sea may represent boy's capacity for evil + boys now appear increasingly savage. - Gives greater understanding of novel as a whole because theme of Civilisation vs barb. - link with notes on this topic.
Opening highlights central concerns. - "sounding like the bass strings of delight" - Powerful use of setting and symbolism because presented as a beautiful and peaceful environment with connotations of safety and security. - Echoes of the Garden of Eden and connotations of unison and harmony. - Therefore, lagoon represents possibility of boys and mankind living in democratic harmony with each other providing they resist temptation to act sinfully + transgress.
Opening highlights central concerns. - "the proffer of acquaintance was not made" - Ralph's cool response to Piggy is ill-considered. - Powerful use of characterisation because it shows his initial dismissive attitude towards Piggy and emphasises he may be unfairly judging Piggy.
Opening highlights central concerns - "true wise friend Piggy" - Effective use of characterisation and symbolism as Ralph conveys emotional reaction with shows increased respect for Piggy. - Ralph aware of inherent evil within mankind and showing better judgement because he is acknowledging Piggy's friendship belatedly + what he represents - Piggy represents: commitment to democratic procedures, rationality and verbal dexterity. Quals worth valuing because no other boys in jungle have them. - Linked with theme of civilisation versus barbarity.
Opening highlights central concerns -"the conch exploded into a thousand fragments" -Powerful use of key incident and symbolism because Piggy and conch are inextricably linked in what they represent. - Piggy reps: democracy, rational thought and verbal dexterity. - These quals help establish degree of civilised society. - Conch represents democratic procedure and moral authority. - Their mutual disruption marks their final collapse of civilisation as they boys revert to barbaric state. - Gives greater understanding because linked to theme of autocracy vs democracy.