Lord of the Flies study guide questions

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How did the boys end up on the jungle island?

the plane in which they were being transported to safety was shot down.

Describe Ralph's physical features and also his reaction to being on the island. List at least 3 attributes.

Ralph is described as being pale with fair hair in the beginning. He is taller in relationship to Piggy, and thinner as well. He has wide shoulders and is built like a boxer. You can tell that he is better educated by his grammar. Finally, Ralph is a natural born leader which is evident when he creates order among the boys and makes sure everyone has a job.

Descibe Piggy's physical features and also his reaction to being on the island. List at least 3 attributes.

Piggy is first described as short and fat. This creates an obstacle when it comes to athleticism. Piggy's weight most likely gave him his asthma which hinders his ability to be active. Also, it can be assumed that he is either younger or less educated due to his grammar. Lastly, Piggy yearns to be accepted by his peers. For example, when Ralph was teasing him, "Piggy grinned reluctantly, pleased dispite himself at even this much recognition," (11).

How does Ralph respond to Piggy's practical suggestion to have a meeting?

He first ignores it and daydreams. But once they found the conch shell, Ralph decided to use it to call any others together for the meeting, using Piggy's original idea.

How does Ralph think they will be rescued?

Ralph thinks that he will be rescued by his father who is in the Navy when he gets his leave. He thought his dad would find out from the airport, but Piggy says it has been bombed.

What had Piggy overheard the pilot saying?

Piggy overheard the pilot saying that an "atom bomb" went off at the airport and killed everyone.

How does Ralph attract the other boys on the island? What does he do?

Ralph attracted the other boys on the island by blowing into the conch that him and Piggy found which produced a loud sound that could be heard for miles.

How do the younger boys act when they get there?

The younger boys acted obediently when they found Ralph and Piggy . They listened to what Ralph had to say with manners.

Describe the way Jack and his band of choir boys looked as they came toward the assembled group. List 3 attributes.

They looked like a mysterious creature while advancing towards the rest of the group. They were walking very orderly in two parallel lines and dressed in," strangely eccentric clothing" (19). The choirboys carried garmets in their hands and each had a square black cap with a badge and a cloak except the leader's was golden.

How does Jack treat the others?

Jack treats the others like he is more superior and dominant while they have to obey his orders. He achieves organization by bullying the other kids and gets everyone to join in against his victim.

What conflict soon arises? How is it solved?

The conflict that arises is that the boys need to choose a chief to lead them. Both Jack and Ralph want to lead so the conflict is solved by voting. Ralph wins the votes so he becomes leader but he allows Jack to lead the hunters.

What does Ralph do to make Jack feel better? What is compromised?

Ralph makes Jack feel better by giving him the power to decide what the choirboys get to do and lead them in it. In this way, Ralph compromises by giving away a power that he received to Jack.

What is the purpose of the expedition of Jack, Ralph, and Simon?

to determine whether or not they were on an island. This discovery would gauge the liklihood of being rescued and allow the boys to form a course of action.

How does Simon describe the unusual buds on the bushes?

green candle buds

Why hadn't Jack been able to kill the pig?

He couldn't get past the thought of taking a living thing's life. He hesitated and the pig escaped.

What rule concerning the conch is made?

The rule of the conch is that it is given to whoever is speaking and they won't be interrupted.

What does Piggy attempt to call the group's attention to?

Piggy attempts to draw the group's attention to the fact that nobody knows where they are because they never got to their final destination since the plane was shot down.

How does the talk of the beastie affect the boys?

This is a situation of unknown and they look to Ralph for reassurance. Some kids do not believe Ralph that the beastie is not real and he feels his power is being questioned. Everyone is on edge.

At this time, Ralph says the boys appear to have 2 goals. What are they?

for the boys to have fun and get rescued

How does the group react to Ralph's suggestion that they build a fire? How does Piggy describe their actions?

The boys react by acting without question. They got onto their feet at once and got down to business. Piggy describes their actions as childish because they didn't have time to think for themselves and put all of their faith in Ralph.

How does Piggy treat a small boy? What does this tell us about Piggy?

Piggy treats a small boy kindly and respectfully by getting the group to listen to what he had to say. This action tells us that Piggy will look out for other people and that they can count on him.

How do they manage to start the fire?

by using Piggy's specs as burning glasses to reflect the sunlight.

What responsibility has Jack taken on for his choir?

to keep the fire going and keep a look out for the rescue ship.

What goes wrong? Do you see any symbolism here? What is going on in the adult world at the time?

The boys accidently set trees ablaze. The fire symbolizes their attempts to connect with civilization and be rescued. The "adult world" is currently going through WW2.

Who is missing?

Piggy realizes the little boy who warned about the beastie is now missing and he had been playing over by the fire consumed area.

What is Jack preoccupied with?

Jack is preoccupied with the obsession of needing to find a pig and kill it. The first time, and every other time he has either been mentally or physically unable.

What complaints does Ralph have? What has he noticed about the people?

Ralph complains to Jack that there are only three people who are actually working;himself, Jack, and Simon. He says that after they have meetings the littluns work for 5 minutes and get bored or hungry so they take a break and play, all of which he did not have a chance to do because he was working on constructing the huts. Then, Ralph complains about his job because, "everyone gets to do something they like but him."

How are the littluns dealing with things?

They are hopeless and not able to help much with the tasks that need to be completed. Instead, they go off bathing, eating, and playing. Also, they are frightened about the beastie situation and are up screaming at night because of bad dreams. In other words, the children do not feel safe.

Explain the love-hate relationship between Jack and Ralph.

They are together through the best and worst. They have a lot in common because of the pressure that is put on them to lead the other boys. But at the same time, the pressure can cause them to get irritated with eachother like when Ralph was talking about how no one ever works. They know that they need eachother to be the best "civilization" they can be which makes them try even harder to love each other. In many respects, this relationship is similar to sibiling relationship which shows that if they work well, their futures can be positive.

Where had Simon gone and what does he do there?

Simon went into the jungle alone. He went deep into the forest where there is a thick jungle glade ( an open space filled with nature from flowers to butterflies). While he is there, he lays down and thinks, taking in the tranquility of his surroundings.

What might Simon represent?

Simon might represent the good of humans. He is kind to the littluns, like when he helped them all get fruit, and works hard for the good of the whole group to be advanced. He even spent all day working on the shelters with no break and then selflessly devoted his time to help the younger boys.

What strange things happen at midday?

The water rises up and the reflection of the sun causes bizarre images to appear over the water and land appears where there is no land. Everyone dismisses the images as mirages.

How did the littluns spend their day?

Playing and eating fruit which gives them stomach aches and bad diarrhea

In what ways does Roger seem cruel?

Roger seems cruel because of the way he treats the littluns. In the beginning of the chapter, he and Maurice came out of the forest and walked straight through the littlun's sand castles that they mad with such care. This sent sand into their eyes, making them cry. Then, later, he had fun throwing stones at Henry who was playing peacefully by the water.

What is Henry doing while Roger watches him?

At the waters edge, Henry was poking things with stick that washed upshore. Also, he made, "runnels that the tide filled and trid to crowd them with creatures."

What does it mean when Roger felt the "taboo of the old life"? Also, what does it mean when Jack approached Roger "a darker shadow crept beneath... [Roger's] skin."? What effect is Jack having on Roger?

It means that when Roger was doing mean things to the littluns, there was a psychological effect on him; it caused him to remember the repercussions that cruelty would have involved in his old society. At this point, Roger still feels limited by authoritative figures like adults, policemen, school rules, and laws even though he could technically do whatever he wanted to. Also, when Roger recalls being around Jack, he says a dark shadow crept beneath his skin. I think that means that Jack brings around a sense of evilness and that influences the way that Roger treats other people.

Describe the transformations that take place after Jack paints his face. This mask serves a few purposes. List them.

When Jack paints his face, his whole attitude towards hunting changes. He is no longer discouraged, but instead laughed excitedly with the confidence that this time he would catch the pig. Also, it fueled his blood thirsty fire. The mask camouflaged Jack so the pigs would not sense that they were being hunted. Also, "the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self- consciousness" (64). This quote means that it allowed the other boys to think he was more confident than he was in reality and he could do things he wouldn't normally.

What does Ralph discover that upsets him greatly?

There was a boat, visibly off in the distance but the hunters let the smoke signal burn out while they went hunting. If it had been going, there is a possibility that the boys would have been saved.

What do the hunters chant?

"Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood."

How does Jack's attack on Piggy and the breaking of one of the lenses in his spectacles symbolize the degeneration of the group?

Because Piggy is an intelligent and rational thinker, therefore, Piggy is an asset to the group. But when the glasses are broken, it shows that the group members are acting more violent towards eachother and there is a shift in power. Jack and the hunters are breaking the rules and not even Ralph can stop them, Finally, it shows that they are not longer tolerant of eachother. Piggy and his glasses held the group together and the tie was severed.

What is Ralph realizing is necessary in order to be a leader?

In order to be a leader, you must be wise. You have to be ready when an occasion slips by to make decisions that will benefit the whole group. The attribute of wisdom was valuable and he saw that it got results. He saw this in Piggy and knew it was how he had to lead.

What rules have been ignored? List at least 3.

The rules of getting water from the stream put into a coconut for storage, where the lavatory was placed, and keeping the fire going have all been ignored. And, no one does their fair share of work.

What does it mean when Ralph refers to the littluns as taken short? What does that show about their behavior?

The term taken short means having to go to the bathroom when there are no facilities around. This means that the littluns were having diarrhea everywhere from their fruit consumption. This shows that they are desperately hungry to eat fruit even when they get sick and that they are reversing to more primitive behaviors.

What rules does Ralph make regarding fires?

Ralph makes the rule that they, "ought to die before letting the fire out." Also, as a safety precaution, no where can have fire but on the top of the mountain so they have to cook up there.

A littlun says he sees something moving in the jungle at night. Who/what was it?

He saw Simon wandering about in the trees coming out from the secret jungle glade.

How does Jack explain the beast?

Some sort of creature coming out of the water.

Why are rules important to Ralph?

Rules are important to Ralph because he knows that the are the only thing that sticking to an agreed set of rules is the only thing that will allow the group to maintain order. This is evident when the boys are meeting and Jack ignored the rules saying, "Who cares?". Ralph replied simply saying, "Because rules are the only thing we've got."

What does Simon mean when he says, " What I mean is.... maybe it's only us... We could be sort of.."? What do you think mankind's essential illness is? Why does he ask ," What is the dirtiest thing there is?"

Simon means that maybe the beast is not a scary unknown creature, but the boys themselves because evil humanity does exist. I think that mankind's essential illness is the evil spiritedness itself; it consumes people and causes them to act in a certain way. He asks what the dirtiest thing there is because he is unable to convey (inarticulate) what mankind's essential illness is.

Why doesn't Ralph blow the conch when the meeting dissolves into chaos?

He knows that no one would listen; his authority was taken away. He said, " If I blow the conch and they don't come back, then we've had it. We shan't keep the fire going. We'll be like animals. We'll never be rescued."

At the end of the chapter what does Ralph look for?

He could communicate with his father or other grown ups because they know what to do. He wishes for, "a sign... or something."

Ironically, what Ralph wished for came true. What happens? Why is the answer to his wish depressingly ironic?

Ralph wished for an adult to come and save them, and a fighter jet gets shot down so a dead pilot falls out of the sky and crashes into the forest. This is depressingly ironic because what he wished for came true, but the whole purpose was for the adult to bring them back to civilization which a dead person cannot do.

What do Sam and Eric claim they have seen on the mountain top? How do they describe it?

They claim they have seen the beast on the mountaintop. Some of the phrases they include when rehashing what they believed to have seen. " It was furry. There was something moving behind it's head-wings... There were eyes..teeth...claws."(100). They also described it's behavior as sly and able to sit up.

What does Jack say about the conch?

Jack says that the group no longer needs the conch because they know how to act when other people are talking and that silence is really the best anyways.

How has the significance of the conch changed?

It has lost power and influence as a tool for keeping order. In the beginning Jack made a greater attempt to follow the rules of the conch but now he doesn't even care. He ignores that people are even talking.

When Simon thought of the beast, what picture came to mind?

He pictured, "a human at once heroic and sick."

As the boys are searching the island, who leads the group when they get to the ledge?

Ralph leads the boys once they get to the ledge, over the rocks and sort of a half cave.

What strange thing does Ralph notice as the boys are playing around the rolling rocks?

The word smoke was obscurring his idea as he saw the rock's base crack and roll into the sea and then a huge plume of spray was produced.

What has Ralph come to accept as normal?

Ralph has gotten used to the state of his personal hygiene; he is dirty all the time. His hair has gotten long and filthy, hasn't been able to bathe with soap, brush his teeth, and the other children's faces made them appear to have face planted in mud or been brought down on a rainy day.

Why are Ralph's fingernails bitten? What is Ralph insinuating when he says, "be sucking my thumb next?"

He restarted his habit of chewing them. His comment is a way for him to insinuate he will revert back to his old habits from earlier in his life.

How do the 2 different sides of the island affect his hopes for rescue?

When Ralph ventures over to the other side of the island, the vastness of the ocean makes him feel isolated and lose hope of being rescued. Also, one side of the island has an unlikely chance of boaters passing by because of the rough sea conditions. This makes the chance of being rescued cut downby 50%.

What predicition does Simon make?

Simon predicts that Ralph will get back safely from the other side of the island.

Notice the complete reversal of mood on page 102. What happens to Ralph as he partipates in his first hunt?

While Ralph is participating in his first hunt, his personality changes from his normal nonviolent self to being overly excited about stabbing the pig. His excitement is evident in the fact that he keeps repeating over and over again that he stabbed the pig.

How do you think Robert feels during this ritual?

Robert feels frightened during the ritual and actually fears for his life. By the description of him crying, you can tell that he feel they took things too far.

Why does Simon go off alone?

Ralph did not think it was a good idea to leave Piggy alone with the littluns and he needed someone to relay the message that they would be back after dark.

What do Ralph, Roger, and Jack find on the top of the hill? Do they realize what it is? Do you think the story would be better if the reader didn't know what it was?

They find the parachutist at the top of the hill. They do not realize this because the shadow distorts the image, so they think it is really a beast. The story would be more suspensful if we did not know that it was a parachutist, but the story wouldn't have the dramatic irony of the readers knowing something that the characters don't know.

Explain the exchange of power at the beginning of chapter 8.

Jack and Ralph get into an argument. Ralph insults Jack and his hunters while Jack says that Ralph is not a good leader. As a result, Jack asks the boys if they should replace Ralph and no one responds. With hurt feelings Jack storms into the forest and says he is no longer going to follow Ralph. This takes away Ralph's power because Jack is an essential part of his group and he just lost him. Also, the other kids have to decide who they want to be their leader. In this way, Ralph goes from having absolute power to limited power.

What does Simon suggest?

Simon suggests that the boys in Ralph's group climb the mountain and deal with the beast business once and for all. The others are not thrilled with this idea at first.

How does Piggy change?

Piggy becomes more confident and excited. This is evident in the quote, "Piggy was so full of delight and expanding liberty in Jack's departure, so full of pride in his contribution to the good of society, that he helped fetch the wood." (120)

Why do the boys plan on raiding Ralph's camp?

They need fire. While they are getting fire, they also wanted to recruit more people to join Jack's lot and take control of the conch which means they wanted authority.

What happens when Simon goes back into the woods?

He hides behind the leaves and witnesses Jack's lot hunt a pig and then cut off it's head as a gift to the beast. Once they leave, he hallucinates that the head has come to life and is mocking him.

What do you think he actually sees and talks to?

I think he actually is just seeing the normal pig's head but is hallucinating because of the madness of everything that is happening on the island. At the same time, I feel that the hallucination was influenced by Satan. In many ways, the pig's head is full of evil spiritedness.

Describe how Jack and the hunters change. List several qualities.

One thing that has changed about Jack and his hunters is the way they respond to him. In the beginning, they obeyed his orders and Ralph's orders, but as power shifted into Jack's hands the hunters treat him like a god. This is demonstrated by the situation in which Simon was killed. All Jack had to do was say, "Do the dance!" and the other hunters followed his orders with blind faith; without question. Another way they have changed is they aren't thinking logically. For instance, under the direction of Ralph they were forced to focus on other important things than hunting. But under Jack as a ruler, they only focus on the things that give them a great thrill. In this way, they have reversed behaviorally.

List in order what happens to Simon. Try to picture it in your mind.

- The others notice there is something different about him. They call him batty because he believes that the littluns are right about there being a beast. They also notice that he is reversed in the fact that he keeps to himself.
-Simon volunteers to go out. While he is out, he witnesses teh pig being hunted. While hallucinating, Simon hears the Lord of the Flies threatening him.
-Simon sees the dead parachutist and tries to make his way back to the rest of the people at Jack's party to deliver the news that there is no beast.
-The boys mistake Simon for the beast and beat him to death.

Why do you think Ralph, Piggy, Sam and Eric deny being at the dance?

I think they deny being at the dance because they realize what happened was a huge mistake and they are in denial. They do not want to admit that they were a part of the dance because that would mean that they are murderers.

Why does Jack deny that the beast is dead?

Jack needs to convince the others that the beast is still alive because oddly enough, the fear of the beast unites them in wanting to be under Jack's direction for safety reasons. Also, it gives him an excuse to go hunting. They are all wrapped around his finger and he has lots of power.

Why does Jack think that dressing the way that they were dressed would help them when dealing with Jack?

He wants to confront them in a civilized way and remind them that they are not savages, but proper school boys.

How does the contrast of paint and smoke symbolize the two forces?

The paint was used by Jack whereas smoke was a key thing in Ralph's lot. The paint was used to symbolize liberation into savagery while the fire was a proactive tool for rescue. One device was used for good and another was a catalyst for evil.

How does Golding begin to portray Jack's group as heathen?

He calls them savages, not mentioning their names

Why were the boys so scared of the war paint?

It was a symbol of savagery and behind it, many cruel acts could be freely committed.

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