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#166482 - Fri Apr 04 2003 04:33 AM Lord of the Flies?
ren33 Offline
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I am on chapter five, and finding I am , once again, wanting to kick their heads in! It says in the blurb that "Golding really knew about boys". I know I am going to , once again, wish that he didn't. They are all awful. I had forgotten just how awful, in fact.
Has anyone else made a start?

('edited on order of the Mod for including 'ren33's thread on...' in the title!)


Edited by ren33 (Fri Apr 18 2003 04:16 AM)
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#166483 - Fri Apr 04 2003 05:46 AM Re: Lord of the Flies?
MotherGoose Offline
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I was forced to read this book at school for English and I hated it. Nothing could induce me to ever read it again.
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#166484 - Fri Apr 04 2003 07:40 AM Re: Lord of the Flies?
DieHard Offline
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ren, I managed to crack into the first few pages and it took me one page to start disliking Ralph. I last read the book in high school but already the dread of what's to come is present.
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#166485 - Fri Apr 04 2003 09:14 AM Re: Lord of the Flies?
Islingtonian Offline
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I have to say I like it. The children are horrid, but then children sometimes are. I recall seeing an 8 year old on TV once who was boasting about attacking her friend (who had a weak heart) and "punching her in the heart".

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#166486 - Fri Apr 04 2003 02:37 PM Re: Lord of the Flies?
skylarb Offline
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The thing is, it isn't just the children who are horrid. The island and the children are portrayed as a kind of ironic microcosm for the war. They're wrecked there, after all, during a World War.

I read this book twice, once in high school and once in graduate school. I appreciated it both times, but much more in high school because (1) I was more cynical then, in keeping with the theme and (2) I hadn't read as much literature, and didn't have as many greater works to compare it to.

The book paints a bleak picture of a mankind tainted by original sin, motivated by a beast within, inevitably bound for brutality and chaos. I find truth in this, but I also find truth in the idea that man is capable of creating civilization, of living for long extents of time in peace in liberty. I don't think what happens on the island is inevitable, but it is sort of portrayed as though it is inevitable, as though it is but a mirror of what is going on in the larger world as a whole, which is currently engaged in a world war.

I think one interesting question to discuss once people have read more is the very question Ralph asks: "What makes things break up like they do?" What really causes the problems on the island?
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#166487 - Fri Apr 04 2003 06:36 PM Re: Lord of the Flies?
ren33 Offline
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Quote:

I don't think what happens on the island is inevitable, but it is sort of portrayed as though it is inevitable, as though it is but a mirror of what is going on in the larger world as a whole, which is currently engaged in a world war.




I think I agree, Skylarb. What I believe is that the problems arise from the lack of experience, guidance and maturity of the boys. Fourteen is not a good age to be asked to make decisions, is it? One of the worst, in fact.
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#166488 - Thu Apr 10 2003 06:49 AM Re: Lord of the Flies?
moonchild Offline
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At last...I have now got my copy of the book and I shall begin reading as soon as my manager has left the office Oh alright I'll wait until I'm on the train
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#166489 - Sat Apr 12 2003 02:58 PM Re: Lord of the Flies?
moonchild Offline
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Gosh. I just finished it and it was horrible! I was fine until they actually killed Simon - what? I am going to read it again and want to read Coral Island....anyone else finished? What did you think?
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#166490 - Sat Apr 12 2003 04:51 PM Re: Lord of the Flies?
LadyCaitriona Offline
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I had to read this for grade 11 English. I hated it! I think what disturbs me the most was that a quote from the original publication (by Ralph, I believe) was "You're all acting like a bunch of niggers!" This was changed in a subsequent publication to "You're all acting like a bunch of Indians!" (that's BETTER!?). I believe anything printed today says "You're all acting like a bunch of savages!"

Yeah, that's a great lesson for kids today...
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#166491 - Sun Apr 13 2003 08:41 AM Re: Lord of the Flies?
skylarb Offline
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Well, it doesn't matter what word is used there, since that is not his point--i.e., that any group of people are more "savage" than any other. His entire point, as far as I can tell, is that ALL men are savages; that what is happening on the island is a kind of mirror reflection of what is happening in the supposedly "civilized" world; the British naval officer who stops the savagery on the island just goes back onto his own ship to engage in the savagery of war. So I don't really care about whether he says they are acting like Indians or niggers. That's not the message. Everyone is acting like fallen men. It's another version of "The Heart of Darkness."

But as far as the message IS concerned--I don't know how much I agree with it. I fluctuate hourly between an almost Calvinistic belief in original sin, to a Romantic or even Randian belief in the mighty potential of human kind, to a Victorian Christian humanist concept of man as imperfect but reformable, as capable of moral progress in a structured, civilized society.

Things break down on the island, just like they have broken down in the world at large, which is engaged in a World War. Is that breakdown inevitable, no matter what the conditions of society, simply because man is inherently sinful? I think Golding believed that it was inevitable. He said in a 1962 lecture:

"So the boys try to construct a civilization on the island; but it breaks down in blood and terror because the boys are suffering from the terrible disease of being human."

But critics have argued for all sorts of other reasons for the breakdown, which Golding did not give. Some reasons include:

(1) Suppression of the natural, bestial side of man results in its unhealthy eruption and the consequent societal breakdown. (I don't buy this one at all, personally. I don't see the "beast" as ever being supressed. People who take this line genrally see Jack as representing the bestial side of man, Ralph the rational side. There is generally talk of symbolic sexual repression vs. its indulgence, too, with reference to the pig killing scene.)

(2) Or, quite the opposite: Some say that the beast is not suppressed strictly enough; when law and order is lax, evil erupts. (The argument here is that Ralph's government is lackadaisical, giving evil free reign.)

(3) Another view is that society's failure to reconcile reason with mystery causes the breakdown. (Simon represents mystery; Piggy reason)

These are interesting views to consider. What do people here think? Why did things end up the way they ended up? I can certainly see why this book is so often taught in high schools. It's a practical instruction book on symbolism.
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#166492 - Sun Apr 13 2003 03:53 PM Re: Lord of the Flies?
ILuv2Teach Offline
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Okay, time to put my two cents in. I also read "Lord of the Flies" in high school. As most high school students do, I hated it. This was mostly because it was required reading rather than something I would be reading for pleasure. Also mostly because I didn't really understand it then.

Then during my Literacy methods class in college I chose to do my novel study on it. I read it again and LOVED it! I loved the way Golding wrote! I loved the way he used shorter consonant filled words to show quick movement in a scene and long vowel centered words to show slow passage of time. I loved the vivid images and had my own mental image of what the island looked like.

My favorite character has to be Simon. Even at age what...11? He had the most depth but was antagonized by the other boys because he spoke over their heads so they wrote him off as "odd". When in fact, he was the one who discovered what the beast actually was - the fear in each of them. It idealized the famous quote "We have nothing to fear but fear itself". There was no actual "beast" but the boys were so afraid of this imaginary creature that they convinced themselves there was one. This revelation came to Simon when he went into one of his...I don't know what they actually were...some people say "epileptic fits". Some people say "fainting spells". I don't know what it was that actually happened but Simon "spoke" with the "Lord of the Flies" and it confirmed for him what he already knew - that fear was the only beast the boys were in danger of.

Unfortunately, this realization lead indirectly to Simon's demise. He ran out onto the beach where the other boys were having a pig roast in celebration of their capture of a pig. It was nighttime and they were dancing around the fire like...well, like savages. The grave, instinctual manner that uncivilized men needed to have to survive had taken over. They saw something coming out of the woods, in their blind fury, thinking it was the beast, they pounced on poor Simon, killing him.

It made me sad when this happened but I knew it had to happen. Simon was about to tell them something that their 11 yr old minds would probably not be able to comprehend. They wouldn't have believed him anyway. They never would. He was too wise to be with them. They had no structured society to tell them to listen to him so they didn't. They had no patience for what they didn't understand.

Piggy was another good character. While all the characters had faults, Piggy's faults were more prevalent than others. Starting out with glasses or "specs" and being an overweight asthmatic were strikes against him. Since at that age, children tend to judge people based on outward appearance. It didn't help that he was a bit whiney and annoying to the other children.

He did hold a position for Ralph as his confidant and proverbial judge of right and wrong. Ralph, finding himself on his own, with only Piggy, Simon and a few others, faced with the danger of Jack's "tribe" and the pressure of having to be the leader or "brains" of their own "tribe", he turned to Piggy asking what he should do.

Ralph liked Simon. Probably because Simon was quiet and didn't have anything against Ralph but Ralph didn't understand Simon any better than any of the other boys.

Ahhhh I am being called away at the moment but I shall return with more commentary

Take care and keep reading between the lines,
Chris

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#166493 - Sun Apr 13 2003 04:22 PM Re: Lord of the Flies?
ILuv2Teach Offline
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More on Piggy. It is pretty ironic that although Piggy was the least liked and the one used as a scapegoat most of the time, he was a useful character. Even though most of the other characters did not like Piggy, they knew they needed him, or at least his specs for survival.

They used his "Coke-bottle glasses" to start the fires that kept them warm, that cooked their food, that created a smoke signal that might possibly help them get rescued.

Eventually, Jack's tribe realized that they didn't need Piggy, just his glasses. They ambushed Ralph's camp and stole Piggy's specs leaving Ralph's camp without any way to start a fire.

One thing we need to remember is that these boys were only 11 or 12 years old. In normal society, they would still be learning what is appropriate and how to be responsible. Since they ended up on this deserted island, with no adult supervision, they could not possibly know how to effectively govern themselves.

Remember that early on, they were still under the influence of society. Jack's troops marching in their lines, Ralph calling meetings. But eventually, without a mature adult perpetuating these structured events, it all gave way to chaos. The boys simply were not old enough to know how to survive in a civilized way.

Initially, it was all a game to the boys. They were "playing" war. They weren't serious about it but eventually, it became real war. Jack was out for blood. Remember how squeemish Jack was about killing the baby pig in the beginning? Well, eventually he got better at it and started to like the feeling of control and power which ended up showing in how he controlled the children who were in his "tribe".

More later, dinner time here.
Chris

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#166494 - Mon Apr 14 2003 04:10 AM Re: Lord of the Flies?
TabbyTom Offline
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When I came to Ralph's question "What makes things break up like they do?", I was tempted to choose the second of skylarb's alternative interpretations, i.e. that Ralph's lax rťgime gives evil a chance to erupt.

But I'm not so sure. I read somewhere (I can't remember where) that Golding, who was a schoolmaster, disliked the strict discipline that was imposed in his day in most British schools, and didn't think it did much good.

People have different ideas of the nature and purpose of "law and order". At the assembly after the first reconnaissance of the island, Ralph says that they've got to have rules in their assemblies because "we can't have everybody talking at once. We'll have to have 'Hands up' like at school." His concern is that everyone will be heard and have a chance to contribute. But Jack's immediate reaction is "We'll have ... lots of rules! Then when anyone breaks them ...", and the boys respond with "Whee-oh!", "Boing!", "Doink!" etc. To Jack and many of the boys the attraction of rules is the opportunity to punish people - other people, of course. This is a not uncommon attitude in society - many of our politicians, police and others seem to be more concerned with inflicting punishment (preferably but not necessarily on the guilty) than with improving conditions. The boys have been subjected to the kind of discipline that Golding disliked, and it has produced this attitude in many of them.

Like skylarb, I find myself fluctuating between the belief that the periodic eruption of the beast is inevitable and the belief that it might be possible to create a genuinely civilized society. As Simon realizes, the beast has its origins in fear. Jack knows how to play on the boys' fear and keep it alive for his own advantage (as well as how to tempt them with goodies like freshly killed pork instead of fruit which often makes them sick). Ralph and Piggy areunable to counteract the fear. The way to prevent the eruption of the beast would be to create a world in which people saw no reason to fear others, either at home or abroad. But this requires a heroic effort, and a saintlike capacity to overcome discouragement. So most people (including me) won't even try, and the beast will continue to thrive among us. So my answer to skylarb's question as to whether the breakdown was inevitable is "in theory no, on practice yes".
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#166495 - Mon Apr 14 2003 05:33 AM Re: Lord of the Flies?
ILuv2Teach Offline
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I agree, I think Ralph's attempt to set up some kind of organized society was his attempt of maintaining order, the only way he knew how. The same way the adults did. It seemed to work for the adults so why SHOULDN'T it work for the kids? Except that the kids aren't quite sure how to pull it off. The idea is good in theory but like previously said, not in practice.

Then Jack, in his natural leader qualities, snapped up the chance to impose rules on others and dispense discipline the same way. He knew how their teachers and probably parents punished them and he couldn't wait to have a chance to turn the tables and be the punisher rather than the punished.

I don't think Ralph's regime necessarily was lax in and of itself. It had some merit in that the rules were established but within a setting of rules there has to be an understanding that those rules would be followed. Rules were set up but what were the consequences for breaking the rules? What was to motivate the others to follow those rules?

I think Ralph just was unaware of the need to have a consequence system set up and Jack didn't care about a fair consequence system, he just wanted to punish people and control them. Remember how upset he got when the other children "elected" Ralph to be the leader? To him, it meant that part of his control was taken away. I think it was probably then that he started formulating his plan for starting his own group and being the leader of that group.

Although I agree that Jack tried to perpetuate the idea of the "beast" in order to keep his tribe loyal to him, I do think that he actually believed there was a beast as well. I think that was the other reason he was motivated to keep his tribe together, to protect him.

On the issue of creating a genuinely civilized society. I don't think it was possible on the island. If the characters were adults, yes but they were 11 yr old boys who were unable to set up a fair governmental system. They simply did not know how. They only knew from what they saw the adults doing but imitation is not the same as knowledge. Parrots can imitate speech but it doesn't mean they can generate original thought and speak for themselves.

Originally they just wanted to have fun as would be the natural inclination of children. For once there were no adults telling them what to do. I don't think they had the maturity enough to be responsible. Ralph started to see the need to be responsible (in order to get food, make a fire, set up camp, etc)but no one wanted to follow through to continue on like that. They weren't used to being the only ones doing all the work. Adults usually took up the bulk of the responsibilities. Now it was only them and they would rather play.

Now I pose this question: What was Golding's reason for deciding that a Naval officer arrives at the island at the end of the book?

I personally believe that he wanted to remind us that although these boys were their own entity on the island, that there was also a war going on. I always find it interesting that as soon as the boys come out of the forest and onto the sand and see the officer standing there, that although they have been their own "government" for the extent of the story, they instantly revert back to being 11 yr old boys. Some even start crying not that this is what 11 yr old boys do but for so long they had been forced to be strong for survival, now someone was there to take care of them and the urges they had before to cry were now coming to the surface.

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#166496 - Tue Apr 15 2003 03:00 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
izzi Offline
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It appears that my choice for our book of the month has met with mixed reaction, some love it and others hate it...perhaps it depends at what stage of life it was first read. I'm a little late starting on my copy this month and although I've read it before, long ago, I'll be playing catch up with you all I'm afraid. It will be interesting to see if my views on Lord of the Flies have changed over time. Some excellent points have been raised so far, and I'll bear these in mind during my reading.

Piggy has to be by far my favourite character, and I think he is very easy to identify with. He's a realist who knows his own limitations, his strengths and his weaknesses...most unusual in one so young. He acknowledges that he will never be leadership material but is happy to be advisor to the chief, in effect his second in command, a role his personality is ideally suited to.

Early on he confided in Ralph about his medical condition and his nickname and even though Ralph betrayed his trust and humiliated him in front of the others he still stuck by him, partly I think through loyalty, but probably also because he saw Ralph as his best form of protection within the group as a whole. He'd had to deal with bullying all through his school life and through trial and error had found the best way to come to terms with it.

Piggy was a very down to earth, sensible lad making suggestions to Ralph about all the important leadership decisions, even to the extent of allowing Ralph to take full credit for some of those suggestions.

>>>quote:

" We can use this (conch shell) to call the others. Have a meeting. They'll come when they hear us... That was what you meant, didn't you? That's why you got the conch out of the water? " <<<

It was Piggy, if I remember correctly, who suggested holding an assembly, making a list of all the children's names, looking for fresh food and water, starting fires and making basic shelters. All the necessary steps towards basic survival and eventual rescue.

On the issue of the eventual breakdown on the island, we only have to look at the recent events in Iraq to see how easily law and order can be broken down without some form of authority to uphold it.

There was an element of discipline in the beginning. Even though Ralph and Jack were rivals, there seemed to be an unspoken understanding between them that they needed to pull together and work in tandem for the greater good of all.

I think that the turning point and crucial breakdown came when Jack realised that he couldn't bring himself to kill the pig. He knew that for survival and at the time more importantly in his view, to save face amongst his peers, he would have to find that strength from somewhere. Eventually he found those barbaric, primal instincts deep within himself, bringing them to the fore in himself and the others by reverting to atavistic tribal rituals through body painting and dance.

I'm convinced that the capability for primitive, barbaric behaviour still lurks within us all, it's only self control and conscience which keeps those feelings in check. All that is required is the right trigger mechanism to set them off. I believe that given the right circumstances most of us could shake off our moralistic shackles and revert to an element of savagery without a second thought. How many of us, if honest, couldn't do whatever was necessary to protect a loved one under extreme conditions? I certainly don't mean any form of premeditation, but just simple gut reaction on the spur of the moment when faced with the ultimate decision. I also think that even though the instincts for self preservation are so powerfully strong, I wouldn't imagine that many would take the same course of action if it were only ourselves at risk. I suppose that's what makes us human.
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#166497 - Tue Apr 15 2003 07:52 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
ILuv2Teach Offline
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This is true. Piggy was, if nothing else, loyal. He's the kind of person you want when the going gets tough. Even if he can't help you win, he can keep your spirits up and put a positive spin on things.

I felt SOOOO horrible for him when he confided in Ralph, his school nickname and then Ralph told everyone. Although one could plead the case that he was too trusting for only knowing Ralph a short time and who can blame an 11 yr old boy for finding a mean nickname funny. I think, had Ralph known then, what a good friend Piggy was going to be to him, he would never have revealed his secret.

Kudos again on bringing up the fact that Piggy was humble. I think it's important to note that yes, Piggy knew his limitations. He had definite physical downfalls. Between the asthma, the obesity and the glasses, he probably had no choice but to accept his flaws and move on.

You have to give Piggy a lot of credit. Even in the face of all the antagonizing comments, he shook it off and continued on.

Personally, I think Piggy was Ralph's saving grace. He was the one who kept Ralph going. He encouraged him when Ralph was desparate to figure out what to do. He was truly a great friend to Ralph (whether Ralph realized it or not).

It's a rough game when both of my first and second favorite characters were killed in the story. I guess I can't help but root for the underdog, huh?

New comments? Favorite character(s)?

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#166498 - Wed Apr 16 2003 12:15 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
izzi Offline
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Quote:

Now I pose this question: What was Golding's reason for deciding that a Naval officer arrives at the island at the end of the book?





From memory once again, as I haven't finished the re-read yet:

The timely arrival of the naval officer on the beach always struck me as a convenient contrivance (the French term won't come to me as I type) on Golding's part to save Ralph from an almost certain brutal death. Had things been allowed to continue there would have been no possible hope for the future for the rest of the boys.

Simon's death, although brutal, was accidental and carried out in the darkness while all of the boys, apart from the twins, were in a state of heightened frenzy. Poor Piggy died at Roger's hand and shocked most of the others.

Ralph's imminent demise would be different...cold blooded and calculated. The sticks sharpened at both ends gave us the hideous insight of what was in store for Ralph. We know that he would have become the next trophy.

I think Golding had shown them to us at their worst and this way left us with a clear ending, not only to save Ralph, but to save the boys from themselves.

The sudden appearance of an authoritative figure broke the dark, oppressive spell of the island. The boys, although still wearing their masks of evil, instantly became childlike again.

Through Golding's words however, we are reminded that their innocence is lost forever.
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#166499 - Wed Apr 16 2003 04:37 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
skylarb Offline
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Quote:

Now I pose this question: What was Golding's reason for deciding that a Naval officer arrives at the island at the end of the book?




I think, as I believe someone else has mentioned, that the point was to remind us of the war going on. More specifically, the point was to show that what was happening on the island wasn't happening because these were "just kids." It was happening because there is something gone terribly wrong in the world, something sick in the heart of humanity--a beast within. I don't think the beast is "fear," as has been suggested here, though I can see some arguments in favor of that. I think the "beast" is the evil within men's hearts, that can be contained, but never utterly destroyed, by civilization. And it will erupt.

The point I think Golding is making here is that yes--a naval officer is coming to break up this war on the island. But what is he? He's a naval officer. He's a warrior. And he's in the middle of a World War. What's happening on the island is but a microcosm of what is happening in the entire world. What is happening with boys is happening with men. The beast is not contained in "civilized society" anymore than it is contained on this island. The boys think adults can solve everything (someone says something about "if we were adults, we could just sit down to tea..."), but Golding is suggesting that is wrong; adults don't just sit down to tea either; they crumble into war as well.

I don't think this ending is supposed to be a convienent resolution--a contrived way to end the war and restore hope. I think it's meant to destroy hope, in a way; as a blatant way of saying the war on the island is but a reflection of the war in the world. What is the physical beast, after all, but the body of a dead soldier? This isn't about just being kids without guidance. It's about just being human.

I'm pretty sure this is Golding's message, but I don't particularly care for it. I believe it has more than a large grain of truth, but it is also too extreme. There IS a difference between civilization and savagery, and civilizations can and do persist for large stretches of time in relative peace. But I suppose he is right; the eruption of that beast occurs sooner or later.
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#166500 - Wed Apr 16 2003 06:11 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
ILuv2Teach Offline
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Quote:

Now I pose this question: What was Golding's reason for deciding that a Naval officer arrives at the island at the end of the book?




There are probably many theories about why this new character was suddenly brought into the scene but one thing is certain, when Ralph runs out of the forest onto the beach and the officer is standing there, it really brings the reader out of the scene.

If you remember, just previous to the officer's arrival, we had the island on fire and Ralph running through the jungle, literally to save his life. The story was written so that we were right alongside Ralph, experiencing his fear and need for survival. Similar, probably to what a animal feels like when being persued by a predator. The words were quick and short to simulate the chase and the urgency of Ralph to escape.

So there we are with Ralph running, darting around, jagged pieces of thoughts and suddenly, he runs out of the beach and suddenly, we have an adult. In one instant, we are taken from being in the midst of the chase, isolated on this island to being forced to remember that there is a whole other world outside this jungle. The officer was evidence of that.

As has been previously said, upon seeing the adult, the boys, these "savage beasts" instantly returned to being children under the influence of a grown up.

It is because of this that I believe that the story tells us that evil does not lie in the hearts of men (or boys, in this case). These boys were not "turned evil" by being on the island. The "evil" began to grow without a civilized society. Their society became one without rules and expectations of behavior. One without some kind of authoritative figure. Chaos began to rule once all structure was gone. All the boys knew was authority, without it, they didn't know WHAT to do with themselves. They weren't old enough but to try to imitate what they saw adults doing and they couldn't understand why it didn't work when they did it.

It is evident by the arrival of the officer that the boys themselves were not turned evil. Had this been the case, the boys would have acted no differently with the officer there. If the experience had truly changed them, having an adult presense would have made no difference but the fact that they automatically reverted back to their childlike behavior of obedience as soon as they saw the officer tells us that only the absense of authority caused the primal behavior in the boys. Once that authority figure was there, the behavior was gone.

Would the boys be changed once they left the island? Yes, I believe they would. How could anyone NOT be changed by that? I don't believe that the experience changed their hearts but I think it might influence what kind of person they are as adults. It's something to think about. How would the remaining main characters be as adults? What jobs would they have? What kind of friends would they have?

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#166501 - Wed Apr 16 2003 06:46 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
izzi Offline
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Perhaps I do Golding an injustice Skylarb. I've only ever skimmed quickly through the book before and never actually studied it in any detail, but I'll make a further reassessment when I've finished it.

This is why I'm finding some of the comments in this thread so useful while I'm reading it through again. Issues have been raised which I might never have given any thought to, such as Teach's observations regarding Golding's careful choice of words to emphasise action, speed etc. Some admittedly, are obvious even to the casual reader, like the description of the fire raging out of control, the section where the large boulder is being moved into place, and the solitude and peace Simon finds in his special place in the jungle. There are so many other very clever, subtle phrases which could so easily be overlooked.

I'm still at the stage where most of the boys can still be plagued by a conscience. When two of the older boys were teasing the littl'uns on the beach, Maurice felt guilty for kicking over their sandcastles and Roger was keeping himself amused by throwing stones just out of reach of the younger boys.


.....

"Now though there was no parent to let fall a heavy hand, Maurice still felt the unease of wrong doing."

.....
"There was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter into which he dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law."

.....

Then we are given an ominous glimpse of the change in Roger's personality to come.

.....

Roger's arm was conditioned by a civilization that knew nothing of him and was in ruins."
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#166502 - Fri Apr 18 2003 03:50 AM ren33's thread on : Lord of the Flies
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I do agree Izzi, I found other people's views so interesting and helpful. What a good idea this Book of the month Club is!! Thanks all for your insights.
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#166503 - Fri Apr 18 2003 07:17 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
izzi Offline
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I'm pleased I'm not the only one finding all the thought provoking remarks stimulating. Just catching up on some of the comments made earlier in the thread.

Quote:


One thing we need to remember is that these boys were only 11 or 12 years old. In normal society, they would still be learning what is appropriate and how to be responsible.





At any other time I would agree with you Teach, but bear in mind that this particular bunch of boys were war-time evacuees, wrenched away from their mothers and being transported off to places unknown. Their fathers, older brothers and uncles would have been away for quite some time serving their country, effectively leaving the adolescent boys to become the 'men' of their families with little or no 'heavy handed' male guidance to keep them in check.

We know from their uniforms that they had been used to strict discipline at school, but their homelife during the war years would have been totally different from 'the norm'.

Many would have had to do some swift growing up to take on the extra responsibilities expected of them. This might have affected them in two ways, they could either accept it or rebel against it. Either way it might possibly explain why most of them were just happy to play and enjoy their new found freedom once they were completely without adult supervision on the island.

Can anyone comment on this background aspect, perhaps from personal experience?


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#166504 - Fri Apr 18 2003 09:47 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Hi, izzi and everyone!

I just finished reading Lord of the Flies--it's the first time I have read it. I thought it was a disturbing book. I don't like to think that our civilized veneer is so thin--but I enjoyed reading it very much. Maybe because I am a reading it first as an adult.

I am trying to think how I would have reacted to this situation as a child if I had been on the island. I want to think I would have stayed with Ralph and Piggy. I believe I would--but then again, the other side were the hunters--they offered the meat.

You know, this was like mass hysteria, wasn't it? In their frenzy and fright over the "beast", it seems to me that it took over--all Ralph and Piggy's commonsense could not stop it.

The most terrible thing in this book for me was Simon's death. It seemed like this wildness was now unstoppable from this point on.

My 14-year old read this as an AR book this year in her 8th grade class--which means (for those who don't know how Acclerated Reading works), she read it on her own and took a computerized test on it. I asked her to join the discussion, but she said she really didn't understand so much of the dialogue. I think she would have gotten more out of it if she had read it in class with a teacher.

I have really enjoyed reading all the posts here
very much. I agree about Piggy--he was my favorite character, with Ralph a close second.
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#166505 - Fri Apr 18 2003 11:00 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
izzi Offline
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Linda, what a coincidence that your daughter has been reading this book recently too!

I mentioned previously in the main Book of the Month Club thread that LOTF could be compared to other books. The similarities between Ralph and Jack with Snowball and Napoleon from Orwell's "Animal Farm" are quite striking. So too is the way that Old Major's head was stuck on a spike in the farmyard and left there to decay. I think I remember too the phrase "They (the pigs) are behaving just like men"...ironic!!

Any suggestions for similarities to other books, or further comments about "Animal Farm"? I believe that Ballantyne's "The Coral Island" was mentioned earlier. I know the storyline, but that's one I've never got round to reading myself...your thoughts?

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#166506 - Sat Apr 19 2003 06:16 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
skylarb Offline
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Quote:

It is evident by the arrival of the officer that the boys themselves were not turned evil. Had this been the case, the boys would have acted no differently with the officer there. If the experience had truly changed them, having an adult presense would have made no difference but the fact that they automatically reverted back to their childlike behavior of obedience as soon as they saw the officer tells us that only the absense of authority caused the primal behavior in the boys. Once that authority figure was there, the behavior was gone.




That's an interesting way to look at it, and one must address that point. In fact, that seems very logical to me, and it is how I would be inclined to see things, but I don't think it was the author's intention. I'll quote Golding himself:

"The boys were below the age of overt sex, for I did not want to complicate the issue with that relative triviality. They did not have to fight for survival, for I did not want a Marxist exegesis. If disaster came, it was not to come through the exploitation of one class by another. It was to rise, simply and solely out of the nature of the brute."

Evil did arise out of thier own hearts, at least, according to the author.

A literary critic who agrees with you is Kathleen Woodward, and she says that Golding "has misread the moral of his own fiction." She claims that Golding does not show that violence arises "'simply and solely out of the nature of the brute'," but rather "how a society . . . can degenerate into lawlessness when there seems to be no apparent . . . ties binding people together." Lord of the Flies, she says, is not so much a "resigned plea" that the shape of a society depends on the ethical nature of the individual as it is "an argument for strict law and order within the democratic system." Jack causes the break up of the society; had he been contained, she says, had "the sweet persuasions of democracy [been] sharpened by force," the problem would not have occurred.

So, the author may have one view, but he may end up inadvertantly suppoting another. Or, we may just take from it what we wish to take from it.

My objection to Woodward's view, however, is this: If Roger's sadism is restrained by the appearance of the naval officer, by the taboos imposed through strict law and order, then let us not forget that this restraint is "conditioned by a civilization that knew nothing of him and was in ruins" (quote is from the book). If the civilization is in ruins, then obviously strict law and order did not work there either.

Piggy remarks that "Grownups know things . . . They'd meet and have tea and discuss. Then things 'ud be all right--" And I am inclined to believes this is quite possible. But the author means Piggy's assertion to be perceived as naive. There are only two "grownups" in the story. The first is the dead parachuter whose corpse is the result of a horrible war and who is associated with the beast. The second is the officer who comes to rescue the boys. As Golding has been quoted as saying in other writings, here "'adult life appears, dignified and capable, but in reality enmeshed in the same evil as the symbolic life of the children on the island. The officer, having interrupted a man-hunt, prepares to take the children off the island in a cruiser which will presently be hunting its enemy in the same implacable way.'" The officer's white drill, epaulets, and revolver are not all that far removed from Jack's stick, sharpened at both ends. The officer's "row of gilt buttons down the front of a uniform" is something like the paint that frees the savages from the shame of killing.
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#166507 - Sat Apr 19 2003 07:30 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
izzi Offline
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Some excellent points to think about there!


Quote:

So, the author may have one view, but he may end up inadvertantly supporting another. Or, we may just take from it what we wish to take from it.





This is exactly what makes this such a cleverly written book as it can be read at varying levels of complexity. To the younger reader it's just a "boys' own adventure story" and to others who look for symbolism, imagery and the broader perspectives it will be read in an entirely different light. There is no right or wrong way to interpret Golding's book, everyone will see things in a different way.

Skylarb...you quoted Golding as having said "The boys were below the age of overt sex, for I did not want to complicate the issue with that relative triviality. They did not have to fight for survival, for I did not want a Marxist exegesis. If disaster came, it was not to come through the exploitation of one class by another. It was to rise, simply and solely out of the nature of the brute."


Golding had obviously given a great deal of thought to the characters he created. How about tossing a few "what ifs" into the scenario here?

What if the timing were different and it was set in the modern day?
What if it were just adults or schoolgirls who had survived the plane crash?
What if Jack had been elected leader?
What if there were no clear cut practical Piggy or saintly Simon characters?

What would've been the outcome had Golding written the book differently?
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#166508 - Sat Apr 19 2003 02:46 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Well, I suppose if Golding had his way, the outcome would have been the same! No matter what, evil arises sooner or later, soley by the nature of the brute, according to him.

But, let's play the game and say he doesn't have his way, and the circumstances are different. I think if Jack had been elected, for instance, things may have been different. He is the stronger, more forecful leader; and if he had that authrotiy to begin with he may have acted differently; part of his actions may be attributable to competition and frustration. He seems to start out well, after all. Who knows.
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#166509 - Sat Apr 19 2003 10:01 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Wow! What wonderful discussion we have gotten so far! I have some questions to add to the discussion. Some things to think about.

1. In chapter 7, Simon says to Ralph, "You'll get back to where you came from." Being that Simon is a bit more spiritual or wise than Ralph, what do you think he means by this?

2. Again in chapter 7, after Ralph hit the boar with the spear, we see his feelings toward hunting change, "He sunned himself in their new respect and felt that hunting was good after all." Why is this change in Ralph a dangerous one? What does it show us about him?

What does everyone think?

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#166510 - Sun Apr 20 2003 12:53 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
izzi Offline
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I feel certain that had Jack established leadership early on and enjoyed all the power his ego craved, things would have been very different, and possibly have deteriorated even quicker than they did because Roger would have become the antagonist...it was a part of his nature.

Ralph, I think, would have accepted the situation without question and backed Jack to the hilt, had Jack won the vote fairly and squarely. Although I don't think that Jack would have allowed Ralph the same equal power as he had been given, so there wouldn't have been two 'rival gangs' to begin with. I think that Jack would have found Piggy extremely useful as an ally, although never a friend. Piggy might have had a superior brain but as far as most of the boys were concerned he had an inferior body so would still have been the outcast. Piggy was a good judge of character and could see people for exactly what they were, I think that he would have given Jack as much loyalty as he had Ralph but would always be wary of him.

Onto your interesting questions Teach. When I read Simon's words "You'll get back to where you came from ..... You'll get back all right. I think so, anyway" I saw it as being a premonition. Simon has been compared by some to a Christlike figure, and this excerpt could explain why. He seemed to know his own destiny and didn't expect to be rescued himself, or he would have said "We'll get back all right", but he always had faith that the others would be 'saved'.

We see some totally contrasting aspects of Ralph's character in chapter 7. Simon's words had given him hope and allowed him the opportunity to dream of home and the bliss of how things once were...boyish innocence.

Then immediately Ralph is shaken from his daydream and forced to take part in the hunt as the pig crashed through the bushes straight at them. This was a very important juxtaposition. Ralph finally saw Jack in his true colours because he'd seen a glimpse of his own dark side. He'd relished the feelings he'd had both during the hunt and afterwards during the re-enactment ritual when Robert played the part of the pig. It was only later when he realised how badly he'd treated Robert that he felt ashamed of himself. He tried to excuse himself and salve his own conscience with the belief that it had only been a childish game.

Possibly Simon had forseen this event and knew that this ritualistic and barbaric play would ultimately lead to his own fate.
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#166511 - Sun Apr 20 2003 01:21 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
ILuv2Teach Offline
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Quote:

1. In chapter 7, Simon says to Ralph, "You'll get back to where you came from." Being that Simon is a bit more spiritual or wise than Ralph, what do you think he means by this?

2. Again in chapter 7, after Ralph hit the boar with the spear, we see his feelings toward hunting change, "He sunned himself in their new respect and felt that hunting was good after all." Why is this change in Ralph a dangerous one? What does it show us about him?




I suppose I should answer my own questions, eh? LOL

Question 1, Well, personally, I think Simon, being who he is, had a double meaning for what he said. On the surface, it can mean that Ralph will be rescued and get back to his home. This is what Ralph assumes Simon means. In a more symbolic way, it perhaps means that Ralph will get back to the life and civilization that he knows. Life as a structured, safe, meaningful environment, will be back to the way it used to be.

In question 2, it is dangerous because Ralph was one of the few connections to civilized life left. If he starts to see the savage life as appealing, the link to civilization is weakened. It shows that his belief in himself as a good leader is weakening and that he is giving in to Jack's power.

This is a kind of pivitol turning point for Ralph as he finally sees what Jack found so appealing. I think it might have scared him a little bit that he might have been starting to be like Jack, someone he definitely did not want to relate to. I think he saw himself as the only hope that rational thought had of survival and if he was giving in to those primal desires that Jack felt, what chance did they have in remaining somewhat civil?

My two cents,
Chris

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#166512 - Sun Apr 20 2003 04:43 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
izzi Offline
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Without wishing to turn this into a full scale debate on racism, I'd like to respond to a remark raised earlier in the thread.

Generally speaking I see no reason why good literature should be banned or censored because it contains terminology which no longer conforms to current sensibilities.

However in this instance, although Golding's original script, which was perfectly acceptable in his day, has been subsequently changed over the years it has kept this book acceptable to educational authorities and therefore acccessible to our youth...which can't be bad!
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#166513 - Sun Apr 20 2003 12:36 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
skylarb Offline
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Quote:

Without wishing to turn this into a full scale debate on racism, I'd like to respond to a remark raised earlier in the thread.

Generally speaking I see no reason why good literature should be banned or censored because it contains terminology which no longer conforms to current sensibilities.

However in this instance, although Golding's original script, which was perfectly acceptable in his day, has been subsequently changed over the years it has kept this book acceptable to educational authorities and therefore acccessible to our youth...which can't be bad!




In this case, the use of the word was largely unnecessary and changing it has not effect on the meaning of the novel. This would not be the case for, say, a book like Huck Finn, where to edit out the words would cause the book to lose much of its critical power. But that's another discussion and I won't get into that here!
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#166514 - Sun Apr 20 2003 02:34 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
ILuv2Teach Offline
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Quote:

In this case, the use of the word was largely unnecessary and changing it has not effect on the meaning of the novel. This would not be the case for, say, a book like Huck Finn, where to edit out the words would cause the book to lose much of its critical power. But that's another discussion and I won't get into that here!




I see your point and yes, I suppose they could use another word but why? That was probably how kids talked in those days. It was acceptable then and even though it's frowned upon nowadays, readers need to understand that it wasn't written in modern times. I think there are far more disturbing things to be watchful of in the book than what words they used. People are missing the entire point of the book if they focus just on one taboo word which wasn't even taboo at the time.

Kids today have seen far more disturbing things in this world and for us to change one word just because it is inappropriate in modern times seems pointless. What are we afraid of? If they see that word, they might start using it? I hardly think so.

I do agree with you Skylarb, that yes, they could have used another word without changing the ENTIRE meaning of the text as opposed to classics like "Huck Finn" where using that word was defining the meaning of the story. So yes I can see your point.

Ahhhh I know a lot of people might disagree with me on this point but I'm not one for keeping quiet on things I feel strongly about. If you don't agree with me, that's fine, you are welcome to voice your opinion but please remember that I'm just as welcome to voice mine. And that's all it is, my opinion. I think on issues like this, we just have to agree to disagree. That's what a discussion like this is about, after all.

Just my two cents,
Chris

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#166515 - Sun Apr 20 2003 04:07 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
TabbyTom Offline
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Quote:

My objection to Woodward's view, however, is this: If Roger's sadism is restrained by the appearance of the naval officer, by the taboos imposed through strict law and order, then let us not forget that this restraint is "conditioned by a civilization that knew nothing of him and was in ruins" (quote is from the book). If the civilization is in ruins, then obviously strict law and order did not work there either.




I agree. Woodward's view is one that I also inclined to earlier. But on the whole I think Golding interpreted his fable correctly.

Adults are, perhaps understandably, reluctant to recognize how the often obnoxious behaviour of children is copied from their own. The officer, seeing a troop of boys who have set the island on fire and killed two of their number, remarks "I should have thought that a pack of British boys .... would have been able to put up a better show than that." But the children are only on the island because they have been quite literally shot down in flames in the adults' war (Who knows? It may been have been "friendly fire"!). And who knows how many thousands or millions have been killed in the war that's going on in the outside world? The officer just cannot see any resemblance between his war and the children's "war", but I think we are being invited to do so.

Quote:

What if the timing were different and it was set in the modern day?



Well, I don't know. I live a bachelor life and have little contact with children. But I was a kid of nine in England when Golding's novel was published. I can't help noticing how children today are ferried to and from school and everywhere else in their parents' cars (we used to walk or get a bus), and many of them are not allowed to play except in adult-supervised playgroups, whereas we used to play by ourselves in the evenings and at weekends and all day long in the school holidays (yes, and I'm afraid we sometimes played very politically incorrect war games). Somehow I think a group of unsupervised children today would dissolve into anarchy even faster than they do in the novel, because they'd be even less used to the slightest degree of real independence.

Quote:

What if it were just adults or schoolgirls who had survived the plane crash?



Girls .... well, that's a fascinating subject for speculation. When Golding was writing, most secondary schools in Britain (including the grammar school that I went to in 1956) were single-sex, so I suppose his "bigguns", at least, had to be boys so that he could write about what he knew. I remember seeing a TV documentary several years ago about Benenden (a very expensive girls' private school in Kent): what struck me was that the older girls tended to look after the younger. In boys' schools, on the other hand, it has been traditional for the younger boys ("fags") to have to do menial tasks for their elders. So perhaps girls would have looked after their littluns better than Golding's boys do - for a time, at least. But in the long run I think the same personality clashes would erupt and things would fall apart - more slowly and less spectacularly, but no less inevitably.

And adults? They would remain aware for longer than the kids of the need to attract potential rescuers. They would be better at organizing themselves and would recognize each other's strengths and weaknesses, so a Piggy would probably get a fairer deal. But if, despite their best and most disciplined efforts, no rescue came and supplies of fruit and pork began to run low, I'm inclined to think that things might well eventually break down.

Quote:

What if Jack had been elected leader?



Like izzi, I think that, if Jack had been elected by a majority vote at the original assembly, Ralph and Piggy would have accepted the situation and indeed done all they could to support him.

But he wasn't. Nobody voted for him except his own choirboys, who seem to accept his claims that he ought to be chief, if only because he can sing C#. Everyone else seems to recognize and resent his arrogance and to have doubts about him. And although Ralph and Piggy might have been prepared to back him, there's no reason to suppose that he would have recognized the value of Ralph's common sense and Piggy's intelligence. If he had been elected chief, Jack would have taken things in the same direction as he actually does, and I don't think Ralph and Piggy would have been able to influence things from the inside any more than they can form the outside.

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#166516 - Mon Apr 21 2003 04:40 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Quote:

I see your point and yes, I suppose they could use another word but why? That was probably how kids talked in those days. It was acceptable then and even though it's frowned upon nowadays, readers need to understand that it wasn't written in modern times. I think there are far more disturbing things to be watchful of in the book than what words they used. People are missing the entire point of the book if they focus just on one taboo word which wasn't even taboo at the time.




I agree, which is why I said in an earlier post that the word was irrelevant; especially considering the author's point that ALL men are savages at heart. I just meant that the fact that modernizers alter this in Lord of the Flies does not bother me as much as it would if they altered it in Huck Finn, where such a change WOULD effect the meaning and the power of the story. The change is irrelevant here.
Kids today have seen far more disturbing things in this world and for us to change one word just because it is inappropriate in modern times seems pointless. What are we afraid of? If they see that word, they might start using it? I hardly think so.

I do agree with you Skylarb, that yes, they could have used another word without changing the ENTIRE meaning of the text as opposed to classics like "Huck Finn" where using that word was defining the meaning of the story. So yes I can see your point.

Ahhhh I know a lot of people might disagree with me on this point but I'm not one for keeping quiet on things I feel strongly about. If you don't agree with me, that's fine, you are welcome to voice your opinion but please remember that I'm just as welcome to voice mine. And that's all it is, my opinion. I think on issues like this, we just have to agree to disagree. That's what a discussion like this is about, after all.

Just my two cents,
Chris


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#166517 - Mon Apr 21 2003 04:46 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
skylarb Offline
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Quote:

What if the timing were different and it was set in the modern day?

Well, I don't know. I live a bachelor life and have little contact with children. But I was a kid of nine in England when Golding's novel was published. I can't help noticing how children today are ferried to and from school and everywhere else in their parents' cars (we used to walk or get a bus), and many of them are not allowed to play except in adult-supervised playgroups, whereas we used to play by ourselves in the evenings and at weekends and all day long in the school holidays (yes, and I'm afraid we sometimes played very politically incorrect war games). Somehow I think a group of unsupervised children today would dissolve into anarchy even faster than they do in the novel, because they'd be even less used to the slightest degree of real independence.




I agree with this more or less.

Quote:

What if it were just adults or schoolgirls who had survived the plane crash?




The breakdown would have been just as fast, I imagine, but perhaps without the same kind of violence; there would have probably been a different form of competition between them.

The fact that he leaves out girls, however, can give rize to another interpretation (which Golding probably did not want); the idea that is women who are the civilizing influence in society.

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#166518 - Mon Apr 21 2003 04:37 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
izzi Offline
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Yes Tom, I think that I'd have to agree with you about the outcome had the book been set in modern times...and mainly for the reasons you've given. Although it might depend how and where the kids had been brought up. Most seem to be 'mollycoddled' as you suggested, but many are used to being unsupervised, with parents out at work, and become pretty streetwise at a very early age. I'd also go along with your views regarding the survivors being adults.


Quote:

The fact that he leaves out girls, however, can give rize to another interpretation (which Golding probably did not want); the idea that is women who are the civilizing influence in society.





Now there's a thought Skylarb!
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#166519 - Tue Apr 22 2003 01:03 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
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It's plain to see parallels Golding drew in this book from real life experiences and the atrocities he'd witnessed during active service. In the final chapter the once idyllic island paradise had been totally destroyed by the evils of mankind just as the earth had been decimated by the atomic bomb in the opening chapter. The children, at first innocent and civilized, had reverted to savagery and turned on each other in much the same manner as men had turned against fellow human beings in the name of war.

I'd forgotten just how graphically Golding had described the shockingly horrific attack on Simon and how easily influenced by gang mentality Ralph and the other boys had become. Once again in just a few paragraphs Golding paints us such vividly contrasting dramatic effects.

Firstly the ritual feast and dance on the beach with the atmospheric thunder and lightning heightening the tension and building up into a crescendo of blood lust culminating in Simon's brutal murder.

In the calm after the storm when the full realization of the evening's 'nightmare' sinks in Ralph feels the need to share his guilt with Piggy, and they can hardly bring themselves to talk about the awful event. We are eased gently out of the 'scene' with another Christlike allegory and the mental vision of Simon's angelic, lifeless body being carried gently away on the surf.
.....

quote:

>>Along the shoreward edge of the shallows the advancing clearness was full of strange, moonbeam-bodied creatures with fiery eyes. Here and there a larger pebble clung to its own air and was covered with a coat of pearls. The tide swelled in over the rain pitted sand and smoothed everything with a layer of silver. Now it touched the first of the stains that seeped from the broken body and the creatures made a moving patch of light as they gathered at the edge. The water rose further and dressed Simon's coarse hair with brightness. The line of his cheek silvered and the turn of his shoulder became sculptured marble. The strange, attendant creatures, with their fiery eyes and trailing vapours, busied themselves around his head. ..... Softly, surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures, itself a silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations, Simon's dead body moved out towards the open sea.<<


Wow!
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#166520 - Thu Apr 24 2003 09:38 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Yes! Golding's powerful use of words to describe a scene perfectly and contrast scenes against each other is exactly what I meant when I mentioned how much I just loved his writing.

We went from his description of Simon's brutal (although somewhat accidental in the thick of the bonfire celebratory dance)death to the peaceful and calming (ironic as that might seem) description of the Simon floating away.

"At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore. There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws." (A View to a Death, 153)

"The water rose farther and dressed Simon's coarse hair with brightness. The line of his cheek silvered and the turn of his shoulder became sculptured marble...Simon's dead body moved out towards the open sea." (A View to a Death, 154)

I just love how every word he uses gives this very descriptive image and I love how he puts these two scenes almost right next to each other to further accent the contrast between them. Brilliant!

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#166521 - Fri Apr 25 2003 07:05 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
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I agree entirely Teach, the symbolism and imagery in this passage is superb, giving us the clear impression of a pure, innocent child being led to a better place by accompanying angels.

"The tide swelled in over the rain pitted sand and smoothed everything with a layer of silver (the harsh realities of life behind him now, no more pain, no more suffering). "Now it touched the first of the stains that seeped from the broken body" (washing all sins away). "The water rose further and dressed Simon's coarse hair (the crown of thorns) with brightness" ( a halo). "Softly surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures" (angels), "Simon's dead body moved out towards the open sea."
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#166522 - Fri Apr 25 2003 12:22 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
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I still go along with my original opinion that Golding's ending is ultimately one of hope and optimism.

We are only given the merest hint of the boys showing any real remorse, but we are led to understand that they are all becoming aware of the error of their ways. Even Jack showed no defiance when Ralph spoke up as leader. Ralph's "tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body ... and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too."

Skylarb...I've grouped together a few of your quotes which cover the same theme, but as I've taken them from various threads I hope that I haven't made them appear out of context by leaving any of your text omitted. Please correct me if I have.

Quote:


The point I think Golding is making here is that yes--a naval officer is coming to break up this war on the island. But what is he? He's a naval officer. He's a warrior. And he's in the middle of a World War. What's happening on the island is but a microcosm of what is happening in the entire world. What is happening with boys is happening with men.
...
I think it's meant to destroy hope, in a way; as a blatant way of saying the war on the island is but a reflection of the war in the world.
...
The officer's white drill, epaulets, and revolver are not all that far removed from Jack's stick, sharpened at both ends. The officer's "row of gilt buttons down the front of a uniform" is something like the paint that frees the savages from the shame of killing.




I can see exactly what you mean by this last paragraph skylarb, but I interpret Golding's symbolism of the uniform in a different manner. Yes, the officer is a 'warrior', but just because he is serving his country he doesn't necessarily agree with the politics of war. He wears his uniform proudly out of a strong sense of patriotism. I prefer to view the officer as a guardian against hostility, and an upholder of decency.

Instead of seeing similarities, as you have, I'm inclined to think that we have another of Golding's stark contrasts on the beach in the very last scene. The officer's pristine uniform a symbol of discipline and order and the boys' appearance, "their bodies streaked with coloured clay" wearing the 'uniform' of hostility.

"The officer inspected the little scarecrow in front of him. The kid (Ralph) needed a bath, a hair cut, a nose wipe and a good deal of ointment" I believe Golding is showing us here that kindness, patience and understanding could, in time, help to make their dreadful memories fade away. The bath to wash away the badness and impurities, the hair cut to re-humanize, the nose wipe, tender loving care and the ointment not only to heal physical scars, but also to heal their hearts and minds.

The fire, such a powerful element of destruction, effectively cleansed the evil sinfulness which had taken place on the island. The scorched earth had been purified and the sterilized, virgin soil is ready to begin the slow process of becoming a paradise once again.
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#166523 - Sat Apr 26 2003 12:25 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Quote:

The fire, such a powerful element of destruction, effectively cleanses the evil sinfulness which had taken place on the island.




Yes, fire was an element of destruction ultimately but remember that it also kept them warm, cooked their food, lit the dark night and sent smoke signals to assist in their rescue.

Ironically, the destructive fire that did burn out of control when Jack's tribe set the forest on fire, was the same one that got them rescued.

"The officer grinned cheerfully at Ralph. 'We saw your smoke. What are you doing? Having a war or something?'" (Cry of the Hunters, 201)

Did anyone else find any other examples of some element of the story working both a positive and a negative?

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#166524 - Sat Apr 26 2003 12:51 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Fire was a tremendous comforter to the boys, but it was also the cause of all three deaths on the island.

The little lad with the birthmark went missing, presumed dead, after their first fire raged totally out of control. Simon would never have come to such a sticky end if they hadn't had a fire on the beach that night and Piggy's glasses wouldn't have been such an important thing to fight over.

It is ironic that the same force was also directly responsible for their eventual rescue.


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#166525 - Sat Apr 26 2003 03:42 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Quote:

Did anyone else find any other examples of some element of the story working both a positive and a negative?





The most obvious aspect of positive and negative forces at work throughout the book is the overall theme of good versus evil, but I think you might have meant a single icon or theme which, like fire, covers both elements of positive and negative issues.

I'd go back to the uniforms being an important point here. When the boys first arrive on the island they are all described as wearing a uniform. The choir dressed in long black cloaks and square black caps, the other boys wearing a more usual school uniform. To begin with this helps to bond the boys together, their uniforms bring about a sense of belonging and a unity between them, but very soon we begin to see that this actually splits the boys apart.

Which leads me neatly on to crowd mentality. We see it as having a very positive effect when the boys begin to start working together as team, it takes good organisational skills to get things done...collecting firewood, making shelters, hunting. Then later 'when things break down' we see the crowd mentality as a negative, evil force creating mob rule and gang violence.
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#166526 - Sat Apr 26 2003 07:51 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Quote:

I still go along with my original opinion that Golding's ending is ultimately one of hope and optimism.




I'm only talking about Golding's intention here, and not my personal philosophical views on society, which differ somewhat from his. But I don't see any compelling reason to believe he wished to communicate anything remotely like optimism at the end.

Golding is equating the savagery of the world at large with the savagery on the island. He is ignoring the contradiction that violence is sometimes needed to stop a greater violence. The war in the society at large and the war on the island are both equally the result of what Golding has called "the terrible disease of being human." In the book, he describes this civilization, which shows up at the end in the form of the naval officer, as "a civilization that . . . was in ruins."

When that officer arrives, it seems to me that Golding is clearly aiming for a pessimistic irony. A horrible savagery has just occurred on this island, but all the naval officer does is "grin cheerfully" and "whistle softly." He is really quite flippant about the horror. His only real reproof is, "I should have thought that a pack of British boys . . . would have put up a better show than that." Why should he have thought it? His own civilization "is in ruins."

And you can't get anymore pessimistic than this ending: "And in the middle of them . . . Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart." And right after that huge downer of a note, the last thing we see is a warship in the distance. And so it ends.

I really can't see any optimism in such an ending. It is only my personal views about what constitutes the real hope for man that inclines me to look for any hope in his ending; but the hope I find, I manufacture for myself; I don't see that he intended it.
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#166527 - Sat Apr 26 2003 07:57 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
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I wanted to let everyone know that I am just so impressed with the level of discussion we have established here. Clearly we have some very articulate thinkers here in our discussion. I read through all these posts and find myself thinking, "Wow, that's a good point! How well expressed that was!"

All of you, reading the book and posting your thoughts are obviously very intelligent and intellectual people.

I wanted to know if anyone's feelings about the book have changed since finishing it or having read the posts from the other people reading the book. I know initially there was a general concensus that most people didn't like the book. Has there been a change of heart in how some people feel about the book?

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#166528 - Sat Apr 26 2003 08:21 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Quote:

We are only given the merest hint of the boys showing any real remorse, but we are led to understand that they are all becoming aware of the error of their ways.




I appreciate your point, and I am sure you put a lot of thought into it, but I'm going to disagree (hey, that's what discussion is all about!)

You speak of remorse. I think Ralph weeps more for the misery caused by the loss of innocence than he does from any motive of repentance, but let us assume the boys are indeed remorseful. Still, remorse is not enough for what has happened in this book. Remorse cannot right this wrong. What is their salvation from their blood-guiltiness? A warship. Their salvation is a warship. Their salvation is a ruined civilization presently at war. And that's no salvation at all--it's a relief from the present danger, but it is no relief from the beast within, from "the terrible disease of being human."

What makes this book so depressing, I think, is that Golding has swallowed--and has presented in a very compelling, convincing way--the Christian doctrine of Original Sin. But he has not offered the other side of the coin: the Christian doctrine of a Savior that can serve as a sufficient atoning sacrifice for the totality of that far-reaching sin.

Some call Simon a Christ figure--and the parallels are clear enough. But if he is, he is a dead savior, not a living one; he is a Christ without the resurrection. Society rejects him, kills him (like Christ)--only, he does not rise again. His death accomplishes nothing, expiates no sin. It is a needless, useless, futile tragedy.

Golding, I believe, was Jewish. Judaism, as far as I understand it, rejects the doctrine of Original Sin. Man, in Jewish thinking, is equally capable of both good and evil, and is able, by choice, to live a righteous life if he so strives. When he does err, repentance and limited atonement is necessary, but there is no deep seated sickness in man that requires an all-encompassing, single, atoning sacrifice.

But Golding is clearly not expressing that Jewish perspective here. He has borrowed a Christian belief (Original Sin/Natural Depravity), and he has brought it vividly to life in his allegory. But he has taken it without taking the rest of the story. And the result is horribly depressing.

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#166529 - Sat Apr 26 2003 08:27 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Quote:

I wanted to know if anyone's feelings about the book have changed since finishing it or having read the posts from the other people reading the book. I know initially there was a general concensus that most people didn't like the book. Has there been a change of heart in how some people feel about the book?




This is a magnificient book. I've read it three times now, and every time it affects me deeply. Every time I am deeply impressed with what Golding has managed to do. I respect the book. But I think I hate it.
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#166530 - Sun Apr 27 2003 02:16 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Quote:

This is a magnificient book. I've read it three times now, and every time it affects me deeply. Every time I am deeply impressed with what Golding has managed to do. I respect the book. But I think I hate it.




So...you say it's magnificent, it affects you deeply, you are deeply impressed with Golding and you respect the book. So, why is it again, that you hate it?

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#166531 - Sun Apr 27 2003 03:34 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Quote:

I appreciate your point, and I am sure you put a lot of thought into it, but I'm going to disagree (hey, that's what discussion is all about!)





Disagree away Skylarb, no problem. Through challenging each other's ideas it makes us all sit back and rethink our own values. As you quite rightly say, that's what this discussion group is all about.

As I've mentioned before, I've never had the opportunity of discussing literature in a group before. When this book club was first suggested I was keen to take part, but wasn't quite sure what I was letting myself in for. I honestly expected to find it rather intimidating to express my thoughts so publicly, but, as someone else said, everyone has something of value to bring to the discussion table and I have to say I'm thoroughly enjoying the experience.

This book club really was a great idea Jazz, and I'm sure that we all hope that you'll be back very soon. I was always in awe of the way you could manage to juggle so much into 24 short hours every day, but perhaps you can find a few minutes to join us again when other commitments aren't quite so time consuming. Jazz, your enthusiasm, insight and good humour are greatly missed.
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#166532 - Sun Apr 27 2003 03:40 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Quote:

When that officer arrives, it seems to me that Golding is clearly aiming for a pessimistic irony. A horrible savagery has just occurred on this island, but all the naval officer does is "grin cheerfully" and "whistle softly."

His only real reproof is, "I should have thought that a pack of British boys . . . would have put up a better show than that."





It's easy to imagine that this officer must have seen some awful things having been living through the horrors of wars, but has this hardened his heart?...no. This 'warrior' treats the children with gentle compassion, his tone is sympathetic, if just a little admonishing.


Quote:

It is only my personal views about what constitutes the real hope for man that inclines me to look for any hope in his ending; but the hope I find, I manufacture for myself; I don't see that he intended it.





You have a point there. I concede that perhaps you were right about Golding's intention skylarb, and yes, I would even agree that the hope I saw I actually manufactured for myself too. I know that my optimistic views regarding the ending differ drastically from those of other people, but I could never imagine having such a terrribly depressing outlook on life.


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#166533 - Sun Apr 27 2003 03:59 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Quote:

You speak of remorse. I think Ralph weeps more for the misery caused by the loss of innocence than he does from any motive of repentance, but let us assume the boys are indeed remorseful. Still, remorse is not enough for what has happened in this book. Remorse cannot right this wrong.





Of course nothing can change the events which have already taken place, but remorse is a damn good starting point. I believe that there are very only very few people on this earth who are truly evil through and through and completely beyond redemption.

Skylarb, if you feel strongly that remorse is not enough, what would you feel to be a fitting punishment for these young boys? Would retribution or vengeance actually help?



Quote:


...Golding has swallowed--and has presented in a very compelling, convincing way--the Christian doctrine of Original Sin. But he has not offered the other side of the coin: the Christian doctrine of a Savior that can serve as a sufficient atoning sacrifice for the totality of that far-reaching sin.

Some call Simon a Christ figure--and the parallels are clear enough. But if he is, he is a dead savior, not a living one; he is a Christ without the resurrection. Society rejects him, kills him (like Christ)--only, he does not rise again. His death accomplishes nothing, expiates no sin. It is a needless, useless, futile tragedy.






Simon was the sacrifice, and his death was neither useless nor futile. He paid the ultimate price to atone for the sins of the others. It took his death to set Ralph and Piggy back on 'the straight and narrow". These two children represent the last vestige of hope for civilization and morality on the island.

Simon's final act of compassionate mercy before his death was to cut the strings entangling what was thought to be "the beast", the dead parachutist.

>>> quote

"Simon saw a humped thing suddenly sit up on the top and look down on him. He hid his face and toiled on. The flies had found the figure too. The life-like movement would scare them off for a moment so that they made a dark cloud around the head. Then as the blue material of the parachute collapsed the corpulent figure would blow forward, sighing, and the flies would settle once more. ...

The tangle of lines showed him the mechanics of this parody; he examined the white nasal bones, the teeth, the colours of corruption. He saw how pitilessly the layers of rubber and canvas held together the poor body that should be rotting away. ...

Then he took the lines in his hands; he freed them from the rocks and the figure from the wind's indignity"
<<<

The decomposing body represents a physical manifestation of the evils of the outside world. Society had killed him. Simon had shown the dead airman pity, and through his caring thoughtfulness the ties which had held him bound to this earth were broken, and he quite literally rose again.

Now that's what I call ironic!
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#166534 - Sun Apr 27 2003 07:46 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Quote:

Skylarb, if you feel strongly that remorse is not enough, what would you feel to be a fitting punishment for these young boys? Would retribution or vengeance actually help?




You misunderstand me. My point is not that punishment is in order; my point is that remorse is ineffective if it is not followed by atonement or salvation--but their salvation is not a hopeful one, as I mentioned, it's a warship. Therefore we are left with the picture that evil is at the heart of man, that it is a sad fact, but a fact that persists until the end of the novel and beyond; with no relief.

Quote:

Simon was the sacrifice, and his death was neither useless nor futile. He paid the ultimate price to atone for the sins of the others. It took his death to set Ralph and Piggy back on 'the straight and narrow". These two children represent the last vestige of hope for civilization and morality on the island.




I don't see this as a full atonement, I guess, because the salvation provided at the end of the novel is so negatively depicted--it is shown as a mirror of what is going on in the island, a warship stopping a war. But you do have a point here about the fact that it put Ralph back on "the striaght and narrow", which was something I overlooked. But if it did, it was help for only Ralph; not for "mankind" per say, which follows Jack.

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#166535 - Sun Apr 27 2003 07:51 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
skylarb Offline
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Quote:

So...you say it's magnificent, it affects you deeply, you are deeply impressed with Golding and you respect the book. So, why is it again, that you hate it?




Too depressing for my taste. No, I do like it, in the sense of--I think this is an excellent book and amond the top 40 or so I have read in my life.
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#166536 - Sun Apr 27 2003 01:22 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
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My apologies skylarb, I had misinterpreted the meaning behind your words. I just meant that remorse was at least the first step towards repentance, but maybe remorse was too powerful a word to use under the circumstances and contrition would have been a better choice.
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#166537 - Wed Apr 30 2003 08:04 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Quote:

My apologies skylarb, I had misinterpreted the meaning behind your words. I just meant that remorse was at least the first step towards repentance, but maybe remorse was too powerful a word to use under the circumstances and contrition would have been a better choice.




Yes, they've taken the first step toward repentance, but what I don't like about the book is that Golding does not seem to offer the hope that there is an expiations for sin that follows repentance. War just follows repentance. The same old same old. Nevertheless, I do think this is an amazing book--obviously, there is much to mull over, as it has inspired such an enjoyable discussion, with differing, interesting views. I've enjoyed our book club!
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#166538 - Thu May 01 2003 05:29 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
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I've gone over the final chapter again and reached the conclusion that if Golding had wanted to leave us with the lasting impression that man is so inherently evil that our future is beyond all hope, then it would have been very easy for him to do so.

Had the naval officer arrived on the beach to be met with the gruesome discovery of Ralph's decapitated head on a spike and the unsavoury scene of the boys tucking into a cannibalistic barbecue, then I would have no choice other than to agree with your interpretation skylarb.

As things stand, I'm happy to remain an eternal optimist.
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#166539 - Thu May 01 2003 09:05 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Quote:

if Golding had wanted to leave us with the lasting impression that man is so inherently evil that our future is beyond all hope, then it would have been very easy for him to do so.




I agree. If Golding wanted us to see the ending as a "human nature is inherently evil" message, he could have had the officer find some terribly awful scene upon arriving on the island. He could have had the boys murder the officer or something similar. Ralph could have met his untimely end on that island had the officer not shown up.

The fact that they were rescued at all says something for the optimist. I have to believe that the message here is not that man is evil deep down, but that even with all the evils in the world, that good does prevail.

Then again, I work with six-year old children all day, I have seen the future of humanity, and it isn't good so who knows?

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#166540 - Fri May 02 2003 01:57 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
skylarb Offline
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Quote:

I agree. If Golding wanted us to see the ending as a "human nature is inherently evil" message, he could have had the officer find some terribly awful scene upon arriving on the island.




He did find some terirbly awful scene upon arriving on the island!

Quote:

I have to believe that the message here is not that man is evil deep down, but that even with all the evils in the world, that good does prevail.




I think his point is the exact opposite. It's interesting how one book can inspire two polar opposite interpretations.

I think Golding wanted to leave that original sin / evil within impression. I got that impression from reading the book because of the parallels between the adult war and the children's war, the flippant nature of the naval officer when confronting this evil, the constant talk of the "beast within" throughout the novel, the fact that it closes with a weeping for the loss of innocence and a warship looming in the distance. Also, Golding said as much in his lectures on this book--he basically said he wanted people to read the book and to conclude that evil rises "simply and soley out of the nature of the brute." His tale is another version of the heart of darkness.

Nevertheless, this is a complex book, with more than a few ambiguities, which is one of the things that makes it so amazing.

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#166541 - Sat May 03 2003 02:39 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Quote:

It's interesting how one book can inspire two polar opposite interpretations.




Interesting...yes, but not entirely surprising. Golding has taken care to leave so much unstated throughout his narration. From the outset he presents us with the details of circumstances and situations which, during the course of the story, gives us an insight into the transformation taking place in various characters, and shows us the gradual decline of law and order. Golding himself doesn't actually make moral judgements on any of the boys, with regard to their personality traits or behaviour. Instead he invites us to look at the ever changing relationships between the children, and to form our own opinions as to their character. He allows us to draw our own conclusions, guiding us all the while, but giving us the bare minimum of information to influence our thoughts either way. Each one of the events has been set out before us for a purpose, and all can be looked at from a different perspective or found, through symbolism and imagary, to have a deeper, hidden meaning.

Take one simple example from early on in the book: Jack and his choir arrived at the assembly point having marched along the beach in incredible heat. Even though some pleaded for permission to break ranks and sit in the shade, he commanded them stand to attention in the blazing sun until Simon eventually feinted. At that meeting Ralph was duly elected leader and one of his first decisions was to organise a 'reccie' of the island and he chose Simon, the very boy who had just passed out due to the effects of dehydration and heat exhaustion, as one of the party to join him.

Some would think that both boys had shown very poor leadership qualities in the decisions they had just made. Jack for insisting on such cruel discipline under those extreme conditions, thoroughly enjoying the power he could exert over the very boys he ought to have been protecting, and Ralph for choosing to take the recovering boy with him into the complete unknown. Others might have seen only good qualities in the leadership they had shown...how strongly Jack was portrayed in establishing regimental command and order, and how caring Ralph must have been because he wanted to keep such a close eye on Simon. A few would read straight through the same passage and might not see any significance whatsoever or form any opinion at all.

Is it any wonder that we can all find perfectly valid arguments to back up the conclusions that we reach, even though our reasoning might be very different from each other's? The same could be said of our opposing opinions of the ending.

Skylarb...take your assumption that the boys are being rescued only to face further hostility in an even greater war.

I say assumption because, apart from the occasional vague mention of the boys' hair and fingernails growing longer, we're not given any clear indication whether the boys have been stranded on the island for months or years. Or if the world is, in fact, still at war when they are finally rescued.

Quote:

And you can't get anymore pessimistic that this ending: "And in the middle of them...Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart." And right after that huge downer of a note, the last thing we see is a warship in the distance. And so it ends.




>>> quote: final paragraph

The officer, surrounded by these noises (the children's sobbing), was moved and a little embarrassed. He turned away to give them time to pull themselves together, and waited, allowing his eyes to rest on the trim cruiser in the distance. <<<

Golding only mentions a "cruiser" in the background...not specifically a warship or a battleship. Either of which would have made it crystal clear that the war was actually still ongoing. Looking at it logically...if the naval officer was still at war, and had expected to find 'the enemy' on the island, would he really have gone ashore to investigate alone, leaving only a couple of ratings to back him up? More of Golding's ambiguities?

Quote:

Nevertheless, this is a complex book, with more than a few ambiguities, which is one of the things that makes it so amazing.





Agreed! The whole point, and what makes this such an excellent book, from my point of view, is that Golding has left things so wide open that we, as readers, can choose to interpret every detail exactly as we please.
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#166542 - Sat May 03 2003 03:31 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
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Loc: Illinois
Yes, I think Golding purposely left some vagueness about the details for that very reason, so people could draw their own conclusions. He had his own views on how the world was and how humanity was but surely he did not expect the readers to cling to his views unceasingly.

Yes, Ralph did weep at the end, as did many of the other children. Was it for loss of innocence? Perhaps, but then why would they all be weeping? Did all of them understand "loss of innocence"...even the small children? Did Ralph REALLY weep for loss of innocence or was that the author's commentary on why he was weeping?

Well, I have a strong feeling that it was also out of relief. Can you imagine how many emotions and fears he had to hold inside in order to survive on the island with Jack and his tribe pursuing him? He had to push all of his fears down and survive strictly on logic and quick thinking. He was thinking only of how to live. And it started way before the chase through the forest, it was ever since Jack took on the opposing side and antagonized Ralph and his small band of supporters

Then when Ralph ran out onto the beach and saw the Naval officer standing there, he knew he was safe and after the shock had worn off, he was finally able to let the emotions and all the fear come out. He could let someone else take care of him and he did. He could go back to his life and "be a kid" again. He could go back to having minimal responsibilities but I think he would be forever changed by the experience, traumatized even, all of them would.

Were they going back to face a war? Perhaps. All we know is that a war was going on when they landed on the island. There is no indication of how long they were on the island. It could have been a week, a month, 3 mths, we just don't know. We also don't know if the war was still going on. If this was WWII, I hardly think they would be looking for an enemy on an island in the middle of the ocean. They knew where the enemy was...and it wasn't on an island. (I don't know of too many tropical islands near Germany) I think they just saw the smoke and went over to investigate. If the war was still going on, I don't think the Navy would be able to afford an officer just patrolling the ocean on a cruiser. They would need every naval man they could get, fighting the big fight.

As far as the officer coming onto the island to meet a horrible scene, think about what he DID see. All he saw was some dirty boys running out of a forest that was on fire. What I meant by "horrible scene" was he would come upon one of the boys being killed or something similar. What he saw couldn't have been THAT bad because he even commented, "What are you doing, playing war or something?"

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#166543 - Sun May 04 2003 01:00 AM Re: Lord of the Flies
izzi Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sat Jun 15 2002
Posts: 2214
Loc: the amusement arcade of life
Quote:

If this was WWII, I hardly think they would be looking for an enemy on an island in the middle of the ocean. They knew where the enemy was...and it wasn't on an island. (I don't know of too many tropical islands near Germany




We're not told anywhere in the book that this was World War II, or any war for that matter. We only assume that these British kids are being evacuated from a war zone, but as far as I can remember Golding doesn't specify any such thing in his narration.

In the first chapter Piggy said "Didn't you hear what the pilot said? About the atom bomb?" The atomic explosion could have been as a result of an accident for all we know. In fact, earlier in the chapter Ralph tells Piggy about his father. "He's a commander in the Navy. When he gets leave he'll come and rescue us".

People also assume that their plane had been shot down as the result of enemy fire, but what proof does Golding give us of that? It could just as easily have been pilot error or a mechanical fault...we are not told one way or the other.*

We have the parachutish landing on the island, of course, but even from that we only assume that he's a casualty of war, and if he is, we are never told of his nationality.

...
*Edit

My mistake... >>>quote

"That pilot" . . . "he must have flown off after he dropped us. He couldn't land here. Not in a plane with wheels."

"We was attacked!" . . . "When we was coming down I looked through one of them windows. I saw the other part of the plane. There were flames coming out of it."
<<<





Edited by izzi (Sun May 04 2003 04:43 AM)
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#166544 - Wed May 07 2003 01:51 PM Re: Lord of the Flies
skylarb Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Jan 30 2003
Posts: 631
Loc: Virginia USA
I think my reading is probably partially influenced by the external reading I've done on what Golding himself had to say about his intentions. which seem to be to depict the "terrible disease of bieng human" and to re-present another version of the Heart of Darkness.

This was a great group read, with lots to mull over! Thanks everyone.
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