Lord of the Flies By William Golding Character Analysis Roger

Roger represents the sadist, the individual who enjoys hurting others. His evil motives are different from Jack's, who pursues leadership and stature and enjoys the thrill of the hunt. Roger just likes to hurt people. He is described in Chapter 1 as a boy "who kept to himself with avoidance and secrecy." His secret is that he is, in some ways, more evil than even Jack. All his life, Roger has been conditioned to leash or mask his impulses. The "irresponsible authority" of Jack's reign offers him the chance to unleash his innate cruelty. Initially, in a mean-spirited prank, Roger throws rocks at the unsuspecting littlun, Henry, but he throws them so that they miss, surrounded as Henry is by "the protection of parents and school and policeman and the law. Roger's arm was conditioned by . . . civilization." Once he joins Jack's tribe, he has lost that conditioning and eventually kills Piggy with one boulder, which was not intended to miss.

Roger carves out a distinct niche in the tribe as the hangman, the torturer who plays a key role in all dictatorships, and relishes the role of a killer. From his point of view on top of Castle Rock, "Ralph was a shock of hair and Piggy a bag of fat" — not other human beings. Mentally dehumanizing those not in his group frees Roger from the restraints of decency, an effect he feels as "a sense of delirious abandonment" when he releases the rock to kill Piggy.

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

By the end of the book who is dead?




Quiz