British Soc & Mod Novels Blog Post 3 (Lord of the Flies)

Lord of the Flies – William Golding (1954)

Blog posts due and presentation day: Wednesday, November 7

  • Group 5: Is Ralph’s or Jack’s leadership better for the island?
  • Group 6: How does Golding show WWII through the novel?

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing Lord of the Flies. Feel free to make your post a reply to someone else’s post if you like. Choose one topic for your presentation or for online discussion or your paper. One topic per group. A narrow, focused discussion is usually more interesting.

What is the importance of ___________ in the novel? What does it/he symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages?

  1. The conch shell
  2. Piggy (the boy)
  3. Piggy’s glasses
  4. Ralph’s leadership versus Jack’s
  5. The gender of the characters–why no girls?
  6. The fire
  7. Scars (on people, or on the land)
  8. The pointed sticks
  9. The “littleuns” (the younger children)
  10. The naval officer

19 thoughts on “British Soc & Mod Novels Blog Post 3 (Lord of the Flies)

  1. SHIN Yunjeong

    10) What is the importance of ‘the naval officer’ in the novel? What does it/he symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages?

    On the surface the encounter with the naval officer in this story means the end of living in the island. Here I could see how the boys realize adults. Jack, the most ruthless character, firstly cries after seeing the naval officer. The reason why he never does so before is because he just doesn’t need to cry then; he finds and acts with what decides subjectivity of himself to live in that island in his own way.
    In addition, I started to make up a later story after reading the final chapter because the appearance of the naval officer described there implies that they are still in a war. He has a revolver, and the trim cruiser that he comes by is also a kind of a battleship. Ralph thinks what if there is an adult near them when he gets into troubles. However, although they finally find the adult at the end, still no one knows what would happen in the future. Maybe they have to start again that ‘role play’ onto the cruiser, just like in the island.
    I found out that good and evil, rightness and human nature are the main themes dealt with by the readers of this book. However, in my opinion, rather than right and wrong the writer may emphasize the importance of situation where he or she is. The more dramatic a situation is, the more influential it is for a person’s behavior, I think. Since there exists kind of a specificity on conditions, it is always hard for us to figure out the sources of each aspect.

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  2. Na JongIn

    Q. What is the importance of 6.The Fire in the novel? What does it/he symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages?

    A. In the story Fire has an important role. Throughout the story Ralph always say that fire is most important thing. On the other hand, Jack emphasizes hunting. As a result, this difference made each group of Ralph and Jack and effect the end of the story. It means that Fire do important role making the start and the end of the story.
    I think the meaning of fire symbolizes two things. First one is their instinct of survival. From the start to the end, they do not forgive having a fire. It means that they try their best to survive whole days. Even if they fight each other, they try to have fire (Jack even try to steal it). It shows they always want to ‘escape’ and survive.
    The second one is power. The group which has the fire has power. Apparently at the end of the story Ralph`s group has no power at all. However, Jack`s group still tries to have a fire even steal from them. It shows that the real power comes from the fire so Jack tries to have the fire even if he has more people than Ralph. Ralph also try to keep it even if he has not many power and people around him.

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  3. Heeran Kang

    What is the importance of “Piggy’s glasses” in the novel? What does it/he symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages?

    In my opinion, Piggy’s glasses in the novel mean the invention of the human beings. As Piggy himself represents some sort of intelligence of the small society among the boys, I suppose that his glasses, through which he sees the world, have something to do with the way he thinks better than the others as well. He is the only person who needs glasses to see things clearly while the other boys need his glasses for the fire, not for better vision. In fact, he is the only person who uses those glasses for its original purpose, which is to help people be able to see things farther. However, it is obvious that they need those glasses to cook the meat and to make a warm shelter for themselves.

    Therefore, when Jack and Ralph eventually get separated from each other, they end up waging a sort of war because of the glasses, which is the only tool that they have in order to start the fire. Ralph gets angry since Jack and his gang take the glasses in the middle of night, not even trying to ask Piggy to lend them. I think that maybe from the scene the author tried to depict greedy people who never try to share things with others but only want to take advantage of them. Moreover, Piggy is not able to see things in front of him without his glasses, which can be seen a kind of disease that he suffers from. Thus, Jack and the other boys may represent those people who exploit the vulnerable, only looking to benefit themselves in the materialistic society.

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  4. Lee ji yeon

    I think Piggy is the most important person in this novel.
    The reason is that his death reveals the cruelty about the chaos that has no rules and inhumanity.
    He observes the morality that he has learned at school and does not give up his principles, but unfortunately he is killed by Roger. It represents the collapse or extinction of Democracy and values that our human beings have kept because he is only hope after Simon’s death that acts as a prophet.
    Piggy seems like a recent intellect. In fact, terrible eyesight and fatness can hardly help survival in an island. However, he is smart, logical and rational. He resists the hunters and their dictatorial rules and adheres to the thing that is natural as a human. On the other hand, hunters do not like him and they want to have a power rather than survive. Hunters forget the original goal that they are saved and found and kill Piggy on purpose to become a main power. At this part, we have to focus on the fact that Piggy, who is an elite model in today’s intellectual society, is killed by ‘Roger’. Eventually, he surrenders the group’s strength and power. Moreover, Piggy is fallen down from the cliff and dies. Falling down from the top of the cliff to the bottom means the failure of his effort to become rational and live for everyone’s survival peacefully until rescue. If a navy officer did not arrive at that time, Ralph would be captured by the hunters and the island would be the place where no morality and belief exist. That is the chaos of disorder. I think that writer represents broken democracy and immorality through piggy’s death.

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  5. Ma Chunyu

    9. The importance of littleuns

    I think they represent the general public where the evil of human nature is hidden in their hearts. At the beginning of the story, they are regulated by some rules, morals. They listen to Ralph and lead a relatively peaceful, orderly life. In this sense, they are educated by some advanced cultures such as democracy, reason and science. So they get rid of some natural evil. However, as the story develops, order quickly turns into disorder. The responsibility of building a shed and keeping a fire make the littleuns feel restricted. So they choose Jack because it gives them freedom and meat (pursuit for materials). It also implies that barbaric, ignorance eventually replaced democracy, fairness and reason.

    Actually, the story in this island is an Epitome of the adult society. Public are innocent in a way. When they are led by a violent person such as Jack and Hitler, or when the order is destroyed the evil may be aroused. It is one of the most risky factors to cause massacre and tragedy. Notably, the first step to get away from evil is to realize its existence and then reflect on it cautiously. Finally, maybe we will become better and create a more harmonious world.

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  6. Jeong Hayong

    What is the importance of conch shell in the novel? What does it/he symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages?

    Ralph and Piggy found a conch shell in the first part of the novel. Piggy suggested Ralph to blow it to gather other people in the island. It is the point. By blowing it, Ralph is elected as a leader of the children. The conch shell is used as a means of reason and humanity. However it becomes a symbol of power as time goes by. At first, the children made a rule that no one can speak up without conch shell. In the middle of the novel, Ralph never blow it, because he knows that if the children refuse to follow the rule, conch shell will lose its meaning. Finally it is broken by Roger, and then Jack rushes to be a new leader. It means that conch shell means power itself. In addition as mentioned above It is also a symbol of reason, so when it is broken, the children’s last reason is also broken, and second phase starts. All except Ralph, Piggy, Simon, and twins becomes monster, ‘the beast itself.’ The conch shell appears as a key object of the novel, and i think the author wants to use it as a trigger to go beyond next stage.

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  7. Yoon Chang Ho

    Q.
    I think that Piggy is the symbol of ‘rationality’ in the isolated island. Ralph can be thought as rationality, too. But Ralph symbolizes leadership (only beginning in the novel) and undeveloped democracy. Although Piggy is the only one rationality that can make the boys survive in the island, but the boys ignore and repress Piggy because the boys who are in danger are vulnerable to be instinct in the non-cultural small world (island). Piggy has insisted the reasonable opinion among the instinctive boys. For example, making fire in the mountain. But it cannot be accepted without Ralph’s help (democracy). And whenever Ralph falls in a feeling of helplessness, Piggy continuously encouraged Ralph to act like a leader. I think that relationship between Piggy and Ralph means the clever democracy should base on the firm rationality.
    A.
    Piggy, the rationality, is excluded from the Jack’s gang family, the instinct. Rationality has strong driving force to develop the society. But is is so weak when it stands alone without any support from the public. So, the savage boys attacked Piggy and get what they want easily. What I found in this novel is ‘poor rationality and undeveloped democracy cannot overtake human instinct’.

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  8. Lim Hyeonju

    6. What is the importance of the fire in the novel? What does it/he symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages?

    ‘Fire’ is a kind of signal that the children are trapped on an island and the signal is for passing ships near the island. The children make a fire several times until they get out of the island. At the beginning of the book, the fire reflects thoughts of them who want to return to city, and as the story goes to the second half, the fire is a measurement to show that the viciousness of the group where Jack is captain becomes more and more savage. And for Ralph’s group, the fire is very important as the only means of returning to civilization, but for Jack’s group, it is no more than just a means of roasting meat. I can clearly see the difference of idea about fire between the two groups.
    Fire is necessary for humans, but it is like a double-edged sword that can cause great damage to humans. And the book describes this obvious feature of the fire as confrontations between Ralph and Jack.
    I think fire serves as two mediums in the story. First, from the start of fire, conflicts between Ralph and Jack are created, and there are more boys to adapt to life on the island than civilization. In this way, fire serves as a medium for the story to progress. Second, the last fire is lit by Jack’s group to make Ralph out from the burning jungle. And it brings the ship to the boy’s island. The last fire becomes a way to brings children back to their original, pure form.

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  9. Hoe Jong, Sim

    4. Ralph’s leadership versus Jack’s

    What I want to say is that the Ralph’s is more ideal, and the Jack’s is more influence. Ralph thinks that they have to maintain the civilized society, and they can do it. Therefore, he keeps following the rule of the world. It seems to be working at the first time, however, it is finally collapsed. He is not able to predict what would happen among them, and, as a result, he cannot control the children as well. Otherwise, although what Jack does is not virtuous or humane, he controls other children. At least, his vile leadership works on the island.

    The children in this novel are exposed to savage conditions, and they go wrong eventually. First of all, children are essential and changeable. In addition, they have never run the world by themselves, because they are too young to do it. At last, wrong authority can ruin the world so easily. The mixture of misfortune makes the children aggressive and radical. The Ralph’s thought is more right way to make the island better, because everything that happens in his way is based on showing their respect to other people. However, it is useless, when it has no effectiveness. It is just not enough to have an ‘idea’ to run the world, because there are always practical obstacles and resistance. Ralph has a great frame, but there is lack of support and contents that make his thought work. The readers probably have a thought that Ralph would maintain their little society with his great leadership and his knowledge of democracy, but he cannot make it. As a result, I think that the author wanted to show how the common sense is fragile and vulnerable. If the world is just slightly off the track, it might turn in to the circumstances like the island. Maybe he suggested this idea.

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  10. Han-sol, Lee

    6.What is the importance of the fire in the novel? What does it/he symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages?
    In this book, there are so many meanings in fire. Firstly, it has sense of hope and life. As many people says, fire is one of great discoveries. Because of that, boys can cook their foods and make their temperature warm. It is essential part for survival. Also it is a root of civilization. On the one hand, it means hope. Fire can make smoke and smoke is needed for their rescue. They are isolated in the remote island and the fire is the only way for them to send signals to country where adults and civilization exist. Therefore, fires mean basic civilization and the means for returning to the civilization.
    Secondly, fire also signifies barbarism. The boys in Jack’s group burn all forest to catch Ralph. As boys burn all forest, not only Ralph but also his group become hard to live. They cannot gain foods as there is no more fruit tree. Moreover, they cannot catch pigs because pigs also lose their territory. So, fire symbolize boy’s barbarism that destroy everything even the people who create and use. It is lunacy which is so uncontrollable and unrefined that it finally become self-destructive. It is instinct itself which doesn’t care itself.
    Lastly, it takes ironical roll. As it is so big and appealing, it draws navy’s attention, the rescue. The big barbarism, paradoxically drags the civilization.

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  11. Yujin CHOI

    In this posting, I would like to talk about topic 4, Ralph’s leadership versus Jack’s.
    I cannot say that a certain character is the best leader in this novel, but I can choose better one.
    I think that Ralph has a better leadership than Jack’s. Although the boys in the island were found by soldiers because of a fire that Jack made, actually the fire was not meant for a rescue. Rather, the fire was an extreme way to find out Ralph and Jack made it. In my view, Jack is too violent to control the boy. Even though the boys in the island were getting violent because of the extreme condition, I think that Jack showed the greatest aggressiveness. To live an orderly life in bad conditions, we need to make a leader, rules, and shelther. In the novel, saw this points correctly ans tried to do this in practice. In fact, the consequences of his actions were not very good because he was a child who could not think as an adult. However, the ways that he tried to persue is to fit in the ways that people follow in the time we live. From these reason, I think Ralph showed the better leadershinp than Jack.

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  12. Lee Jin Sung

    What is the importance of ‘Piggy’s glasses’ in the novel? What does it/he symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages?

    In my opinion, Piggy’s glasses represent his physical flaws and at the same time represent one of his abilities. Piggy is the smartest, most inferior physical condition in the text. I think this setting is to ensure that Piggy is not the only protagonist. If Piggy had a strong body, he could unify the ‘small community’ without Ralph’s help. But William Golding gave him a weapon instead of physical abilities: glasses. By having the glasses, he has the ability to make fire that everyone needs.
    It also gives the novel a balance of power by having this tool. If Piggy didn’t have glasses, his words wouldn’t have worked. Jack would also have ignored him more easily, and as a result, he would not have been dead or central.
    I compared Piggy to Jews in my presentation. Although not included in the presentation, his glasses can be compared to the abilities of Jews. In fact, although this analogy is based on stereotype, I think it is possible in that Jews have abilities, not natural resources. Glasses are tools, but it can be compared to what Jews have in terms of its ability to make fire, and in terms of it is not depletable resource.

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  13. Chaehwa Song

    In the novel, Piggy is one of the important characters. Most of readers think that he was not inadequate leader compare to Ralf and Jack. But I think he is the one who really lead the boys into a one group. He found the conch that could make convene all survivors into the shore. He never tried to become a leader instead he kept persuade Ralf to lead the boys. And he kept advised Ralph what to do and what is important at the situation. Only he noticed the missing of the boy who talked about the snake and make the boys to realize what is the importance rather being panic with the situation. Ironically, no one tried to listen carefully and even Ralf ignored and teased him. He agreed Piggy’s idea and get helped from him, but he never really thinks Piggy is situated equal rank like himself. Through his actions, I think Piggy represents the intellectual symbol at the chaotic time. No one treated well and how he was important as a leader. Perhaps the ending of this novel might be changed if Piggy was the leader of the isolated island, I believe.

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  14. An Hee Jin

    6. What is the importance of The fire in the novel? What does it/he symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages

    For ralph, the fire was a kind of means to lead other boys and to achieve his ideal that is to escape from the island. From the beginning part of the story, he said that he want to light a fire, whereas Jack said that he need to catch a wild pig. For Jack, lightening fire was not important as much as catching a wild pig. It is because the value that Ralph and Jack thought was different. Ralph concentrated on escaping from the island, so sending SOS signal by making smoke was very important. To use a grandiloquent phrase, the fire was a lifeline. Also, he could make other boys follow him by presenting an ideal that the fire can save them from the island. Therefore, when the signal fire was gone out, Ralph was very angry about that Jack didn’t keep the signal fire. I think the reason Ralph was angry was not only that they missed a chance to escape, but also he lost a means to lead and unite other boys as presenting an ideal. Piggy behaved annoy but he had an intelligence that Ralph didn’t have. Actually, he suggested realistic solution to Ralph and also thought that the fire is a lifeline. For Jack, the fire was just for roasting wild pig.

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  15. Kim Jung Yeon

    What is the importance of ___________ in the novel? What does it/he symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages?

    3. piggy’s glasses

    In the novel, piggy suffers from asthma, has absolutely below-average eyesight. Piggy symbolizes the weak in our society. Considering that the time setting is right after The World War 2, Piggy can be seen as the symbol of Jewish people. As for the glasses, this is the thing that Piggy can’t live with, and this shows that he is a intelligent boy. For Jews, this can be money. During the war, it was taken. Without money, Jews have few things left. Also, this symbolizes his intelligence.
    Furthermore, it can be seen as a symbol for weak people, such as the disabled, or people who have a low status in the society.

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  16. Yoo se dong

    What is the importance of The fire in the novel? What does it/he symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages?

    I think the fire means a hope in the Lord of the Flies. Ralph wants to keep the fire on because he thinks there might be some ships passing that island and the ship might be able to see the smoke from the fire. The fire is a kind of tools for escaping from the island. Without the fire, they can not let the ships know that they are in the land. For Ralph, the fire is more than hunting as written in this book. Because of the fire, Ralph has some trouble with Jack. Jack does not think the fire is important to them. Because they are starving and littluns want more food.
    Actually, there was a ship passing the island in the book. It was not described in detail but when Jack gathered boys who were in charge of keeping fires on for hunting boars, Ralph and a few boys saw the ship passing near the island. If the fire was on and smoke could be seen, they could be rescued at that time. Because of this event, they got a hope that ships are passing the island but they also lost a chance to escape. For these reasons, I think the message of the fire is hope in this book.

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  17. Lee so jung

    What is the importance of the conch shell in the novel? What does it/he symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages?

    I think the conch shell is the most important element. The conch shell can be interpreted as two things. Ralph was selected to be leader ,however, his is just 12-year old. Although he more thinks carefully than others, it is hard to control all and behave like adult. For example, he teases Piggy with other children. So, In my opinion, Ralph represents imperfect democracy. The conch shell supplements his part of power and make children to be more cooperate. Also Ralph feels more sense of responsibility. That is, Conch shell is a tool to be democratic, as a helper
    The conch shell also represents Ralph’s power. At first, because the reason the Ralph has the conch shell, he can become a leader Ralph blows the conch shell, the rule is that children must gather together. He is only one person who can call a meeting. But, children become the more savage, the conch shell loses its signification. After leaving all Ralph’s friendly forces, in the end of the novel, the scene in which the conch was broken by Roger, Ralph’s power is completely gone. No one follows him. – even sameric also.

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  18. Kang Byung hyun

    What is the importance of ___________ in the novel? What does it/he symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages?

    3. piggy

    I think he is the most civilized and democratic boy in the group of boys. He is the brain of Ralph. He possess glasses which is the most important material for the survival of the group. But ironically he is the weakest and is ignored by Jack. He has asthma and low average eyesight. In the book piggy is described as only one whose hair is not growing which means he is the one who has not lost one’s first intention.

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  19. PENG YUAN

    What is the importance of ‘the conch’ in the novel? What does it symbolize or mean to the characters, the story, or its messages?

    The conch is important. It is a silent character remained in the isolated island from the beginning till the end, seeing Ralph’s struggling, Jack’s changes and Piggy’s death. The moment when Ralph and Piggy found it, “it was no longer a thing seen but not to be touched”.

    For Ralph, the conch is a double-edged sword. He used it to call for an assemble and according to the rules he made that everyone could stand out to express themselves freely with the conch. Because of the conch, Ralph won the position as all littluns’ leader and changed toward an increasingly mature and responsible man. And because of the power everyone gave the conch, its attractions lured Jack changed from Ralph’s alliance to counterparts and lastly his enemy.
    For Jack, the conch is a lord of the flies hid deeply in his mind. Actually, Jack had a carving for power when he was chapter chorister and head boy in the choir. However, the conch had a supreme power in that island than any position he had ever owned before. His eager is destined to be the fume of his way to murder, to devil.

    For Piggy, the conch is a tool he could use to protect himself. Piggy was a poor boy, suffering from being teased and isolated in school, who longed for catching something powerful enough to make others listen to him or even feared him. He is the only one who not only noticed the heaviness of the conch, but also the one who sincerely feared and respected the power that conch had. That’s also the reason why Piggy was always the first person who suggested Ralph take measures by using the conch. When Piggy died, the conch broke up as well. It is strange that if Ralph is the one who should own the conch, it wouldn’t break into pieces along with Piggy’s death. Contrarily, Piggy seemed to be the guardian of the conch and the conch, in reverse, gave Piggy a sense of importance and confidence.

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