Kevin HughesMs. HardyBritish Lit11/20/17Independent Reading Assignment Quarter #1Section 1 The first impression that I got from this book was a sort of survivalist/adventure type of plot. The setup and intro to the characters almost perfectly resembled that of one of my favorite novels, Hatchet.Because the intro scenes resembled each other so closely I felt that I was mentally prepared for the plot to come.
Although the first impression leads me to believe this, I was mistaken. From the start, when Ralph is elected leader over Jack, I could already foresee physical conflict in the future. The lack of adults did peak my curiosity as well as the children stranded on the island, because a gap in superiority forced onto a child by a parent, is the most wanted gift in the world to youth. I really appreciated how the author included the short and grim backstory of the British boys and the kick-starting atomic event that began the story. I can already see the group of boys splitting up and following either the leadership of Ralph or Jack. It’s really interesting to track how their minds work, in the sense that some want to prioritize hunting animals and others want to build shelter first. Neither option is wrong, but I could see the individual personality traits become tainted by strong leadership.
With such two simple options, I could also tell that the people who wanted to hunt, followed characteristics of irrational, reckless, and hostile. This differed from the people who wanted to build huts, they tended to be more diplomatic and cautious.Kevin HughesMs.
HardyBritish Lit11/22/17Independent Reading Assignment Quarter #1Section 2 The author put the “Lord of the Flies” (Pig head on a pike), to bolden his overall viewpoint of mankind. The “monster” that lived in the forest, in my opinion, symbolized fear in it’s most common state, meaningless fear. Even when there was obviously nothing there, the fear found its way into their conscience, making them paranoid and violent. If the main point of the novel was that humans are inherently bad, then the character development of all characters follow a speedy decline in morality. Ralph is a prime example of this theory. From the beginning, Ralph stood for civility and respect by instituting the conch rule, allowing people to talk only when in possession of the conch.
When this simple power is revoked from him by Jack, Ralph, instead of creating a search party of hunters, relies on the support of the group. Ralph’s whole character finally becomes skewed with Jack holds a hog feast and forces Piggy and Ralph to do his hunting dance, initiating them into the tribe of savageness and eventually killing Simon. Before his death, the conversation between him and the Lord of the Flies was bound to happen. I believe that this interaction is meant to symbolize the battle between God and the Devil. This is in respect to the fact that all human have free will and the choice to decide right from wrong without the interference from higher powers.
The death of Simon was an interesting twist to me because of Simon, in my opinion, always exemplified a saint-like personality. For the author to have killed such a symbol of goodness and purity, the author’s point must have been to show that the inherently bad nature of man, extinguishes the light of good people. Kevin HughesMs. HardyBritish Lit11/25/17Independent Reading Assignment Quarter #1Section 3 The author made it clear in the intro of the book that a nuclear war was occurring in Britain while the boys were stuck on this deserted island. I feel that this is one of the main reasons no one was searching for them, or at least not that the author recognized. The plot development resembled a waterslide, in that the further the plot went, the faster the characters developed and matured.
The forest was a fascinating background scenery to me because it transformed into a place where the children were able to cast their fear into and personify to the point of a real threat. The genuine danger in the forest was not the fear that gave off, but it was the sporadic and thoughtless reaction of the children to the “monster” hiding within. The author made sure to not only describe the protagonist’s and the antagonist’s personalities by including details and scenes focusing on a different character. A good example of this would be Roger.
In the scene that he is throwing rocks at a small child in the water, the author lets me see the borderline psychopathic behaviors of some of these children. I believe the symbolism behind Roger throwing the rocks at the small child is that the strong prey on the weak. Although it is more simplistic, this truth also presents itself when the boys hunt and kill the pig for food. The boys quickly began following the law and the jungle and the world famous truth, “eat or be eaten”.Kevin HughesMs.
HardyBritish Lit11/26/17Independent Reading Assignment Quarter #1Section 4 The reader is lead to believe that the acts of savagery and aggression transpired because of their childish behavior. Although this is true to some degree, I believe that the author wanted to use children because of their worldwide reputation of innocents. The author harnessed this belief and used that sense of irony to shock and excite the reader. Instead of utilizing petty disputes among the children as the conflict, the author took the plot to another level by introducing death and alliance. The evolution of the plot mainly stems from a lack of authority in which the children were allowed to establish right and wrong for themselves. Following the law of the jungle that the children followed, they would also tend to side with the leader who has the most power.
The children seemed to do this for a sense of protection and were easily swayed from Ralph or Jack. This is shown when Jack catches a boar and invites people to eat his catch and join his tribe. If the stranded persons had been adults, the outcome would occur very differently. Although some believe that if the adults were in the scenario, the plot would be civilized and they would be able to build structure and government. However, I disagree. For children, executive authority is adults, but for adults, the main authority is the police. Since all the adults would have been given the same resources, no one person would have any authority over the other thus igniting an anarchic plot.
To add, the author clearly showed the reader that the Lord of the Flies was simply a distraction to what was really causing the violence, themselves.