Lord of the Flies By William Golding Study Help Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 5, Golding writes, "In a moment the platform was full of arguing, gesticulating shadows. To Ralph, seated, this seemed the breaking up of sanity." How is sanity defined? How does this novel contribute to an understanding of sanity and of madness? What are some other instances of madness in the novel?

2. Explain Piggy's point of view when he responds, "Course there aren't [ghosts] . . . 'Cos things wouldn't make sense. Houses an' streets, an' — TV — they wouldn't work" (Chapter 5). What does Piggy mean when he says that technology couldn't function if a supernatural beings existed?

3. Ralph says in Chapter 12 "there was that indefinable connection between himself and Jack; who therefore would never let him alone; never." What is that connection? How does it develop and what does it signify?

4. When Simon sees the Lord of the Flies, Golding writes that his "gaze was held by that ancient inescapable recognition" (Chapter 8). What recognition is Golding referring to?

5. Why does Simon's role as a visionary make him an outcast in the group? What other visionaries have been outcasts in their societies?

6. How does Golding use color to link Jack with the Lord of the Flies? Are there other instances of Golding using color to link characters or provide symbolism?

7. In Chapter 11, when Ralph announces that he's calling an assembly, he is greeted with silence. How do silence and speech function in this novel, and why is silence so threatening to the boys?

8. In Chapter 3, Piggy asks the boys "How can you expect to be rescued if you don't put first things first and act proper?" What does Piggy mean by "act proper?" Why does he feel acting properly will bring them success in being rescued? Contrast this sentiment to the actual reason a rescue ship spots their smoke signal.

9. Who or what is being described with this phrase: "There was the brilliant world of hunting, tactics, fierce exhilaration, skill, and there was the world of longing and baffled common-sense" (Chapter 4)? How do the two worlds represent facets of humanity?

10. Describe some of the ways the vision of a human "at once heroic and sick" (Chapter 6) is represented in the novel and within the larger context of history as well. Does Golding prescribe a remedy for the "sickness"?

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