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Lord of the Flies – Discussion Questions

Group 1 – Discussion Questions Chapters 1-5 * Review the main events of each chapter in your section. 1. The two main characters, Ralph and Piggy, are introduced. The background of the situation deals with a plane carrying a group of English boys crashing into a deserted island. Ralph finds a conch, and uses it to summon the rest of the boys from around the island, including a boys’ choir led by Jack. Ralph is voted leader, and goes exploring with Jack and Simon. During their exploration, they discover and almost kill a wild pig. 2.

The conch is given further power by being a crude version of a “talking rain stick”, where the person who holds the conch is given the right to speak and be listened by the rest of the boys. Rumours of a ‘beastie’ monster, or a snake, scares some of the younger boys. Roles with different tasks are given to different groups of boys, in an attempt to be organized. The boys make a ‘signal fire’ on the top of the mountain to attract passerby vessels to the island, in hopes of rescue. 3. Ralph and Jack have a falling-out, which centres around Jack’s inability to catch a pig, and the lack of work that the rest of the boys do make Ralph frustrated.

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Ralph and Simon build the shacks that the other boys failed to complete, and Ralph begins to harbour a mutual dislike with Jack. 4. Jack’s crew let the signal fire go out in order to find and kill a pig, which they do achieve. Ralph sees a ship on the horizon, but realizes that the fire went out and the ship passes by without noticing the stranded boys. Furious, Ralph rebukes Jack and makes him apologize, but not before Jack slaps Piggy and breaks one of his glasses lens. 5. Ralph commences another meeting and berates the boys for not working hard enough.

The group continues to be scared of the monsters in the forest, despite Ralph and Piggy’s protests. Jack torments Piggy, and gains the attention of the group, causing Ralph to have a lapse of faith in his own leadership. * Identify changes in setting and their effect on the novel. 1. The setting is very limited in the beginning, only featuring a beach on the seaside where Ralph and Piggy first find each other and go swimming – the rest of the island has not been explored, but we know that there is a larger stretch of land, where the rest of the boys come from. 2.

The boys find a central mountain, the highest point of the island, and originally this is deemed as ‘off limits’ of the power of the conch and the power of leadership, which may symbolize the new uncharted territory as ‘free ground’ for the boys to do whatever they want. However, this idea is soon stifled as Ralph decides for the conch rule to be in effect everywhere on the island. 3. The main jungle is introduced, when Simon leaves the group to wander among the beautiful foliage. Many descriptions are given here, which helps to make the atmosphere of the island more mysterious and magical. 4.

The island is now a constant presence, and the boys are more comfortable in the setting and travel throughout it as if they have known it for a long time. They become more relaxed and carefree, and settle into a daily routine. This comfortable presence of the island contributes to the lazy events that happen in this chapter. * Trace changes in existing characters and make note of consistent behaviour of others * Piggy is always speaking his mind, and is almost simple-mindedly honest. He is also intrinsically kind-hearted and this makes it easy for the other boys to take advantage of him, including Ralph (who usually feels pity for him).

However, Piggy is still consistent in his actions and personality, and does not change in attempt to appease the boys. * Ralph is a natural born leader, and is naturally very confident in his actions and he has a rational and intrinsically good-hearted and well-meaning personality, aided with charisma and sociability. However, he loses self-confidence after meeting and interacting with Jack, someone who he clashes with. They have arguments and rivalry, which frustrates Ralph and makes him less sure of himself as the chapters progress. Explain the presence of new characters as they are introduced. * Jack is the leader of the choir boys, and therefore has a heightened sense of egomania and leadership. He desires power over everything else, and clashes with Ralph due to this. He also shows a savage side in his obsession with killing and hunting. * Simon is deeply connected to nature, as can be seen from his passage where he connects with the jungle and the nature around him. He is also very nonchalant and spiritual, although this can be misinterpreted as being weak-kneed.

Simon also has a very strong moral fibre, and is a symbol of the innocence and the goodness that the other boys lose as the chapters progress. * Identify and analyze significant passages from your section. “They found a piglet caught in a curtain of creepers, throwing itself at the elastic traces in all the madness of extreme terror. Its voice was thin, needle-sharp and insistent; The three boys rushed forward and Jack drew his knife again with a ? ourish. He raised his arm in the air. There came a pause, a hiatus, the pig continued to scream and the creepers to jerk, and the blade continued to ? sh at the end of a bony arm. The pause was only long enough for them to understand what an enormity the downward stroke would be. Then the piglet tore loose from the creepers and scurried into the undergrowth. They were left looking at each other and the place of terror. Jack’s face was white under the freckles. He noticed that he still held the knife aloft and brought his arm down replacing the blade in the sheath. Then they all three laughed ashamedly and began to climb back to the track. “I was choosing a place,” said Jack. “I was just waiting for a moment to decide where to stab him. “You should stick a pig,” said Ralph ? ercely. “They always talk about sticking a pig. ” “You cut a pig’s throat to let the blood out,” said Jack, “otherwise you can’t eat the meat. ” “Why didn’t you—? ” They knew very well why he hadn’t: because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living ? esh; because of the unbearable blood. “I was going to,” said Jack. He was ahead of them, and they could not see his face. “I was choosing a place. Next time—! He snatched his knife out of the sheath and slammed it into a tree trunk. Next time there would be no mercy.

He looked round ? ercely, daring them to contradict. ” This is a significant passage because of the enormity of the situation bringing out the real feelings of the boys; reminding the reader that they, after all, are still only young children who are not fully confident or prepared for the trials that they inevitably will have to face in the near future, fending for themselves in the wilderness. It is a perfect example of the innocence that the boys still have at the beginning of the novel, and how they are still naive and foolish, albeit rightfully so, in the way they act so far.

They cover up their inner fear and unease with false bravado, which is easily seen through – but in friendship, they do not uncover it for each other in order to keep the peace. It is also significant since it symbolizes the goodness and humanity that the boys have in the beginning of the novel, which they lose as the book progresses (when they lose their inhibitions and Jack actually does kill the pig in Chapter 4-5). * Select a visual representation that encapsulates the central message of your section and explain why you chose it. * I chose the conch as the main symbol of Ch. 1-5 of LOTF.

I chose this because it symbolizes perfectly the initial dependence, power struggle, and confusion of the group as they first become accustomed to their presence on the island. The boys are disillusioned, disoriented, and helpless as they realize the depth of their situation, and are therefore desperate for a form of leadership, some control that can ease their suspicious minds. This symbol of authority, the conch, is the perfect replacement for an adult figure – it symbolizes order and is a replacement, albeit a non-effective one, to an adult figure that the children are used to.


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