Lord of the Flies Review Questions

How are Ralph and Piggy different? Ralph is described as the fair boy with fair hair, and has a good build. Piggy is described as the fat boy, and it is said that he is short, pale, wears glasses, has a button nose, and has asthma.
How the language in the first few paragraphs hint at the strangeness and terror of the island? Ralph is surrounded by creeper things and he sees visions of red and yellow, and he hears witch-like cries, these are all things of something very terrible and strange
What hints are we given about what has happened to the boys? The boys start to talk about the pilot and the cockpit, and a passenger cabin, these are all things that have to do with a plane and then Ralph says he sees red and yellow coming out of the plane, so this probably means they were in some sort of plane crash
What is the ‘scar’ that is often mentioned at the beginning of the chapter? the wreckage and damage done to the boys on the island and the island from the plane crash
Who makes the first leadership decisions and what are they? Ralph makes the first leadership decisions by blowing the conch, forming all the boys together and making an assembly, he also makes the decisions to have rules and a leader
Between Ralph and Piggy, who is cleverer? Explain your answer. Although Piggy is weak, he is smarter than Ralph. Piggy is the one who comes up with the idea of using the conch. When someone blows into the conch it serves as a microphone that can be heard for miles.
Why doesn’t Piggy ask for the names of the choirboys? He didn’t ask their names because he was intimidated by the other boys because he is fat and all the other boys are fair.
What are Jack’s reasons for why he should be chief? Jack thought that since he was the leader of the choir, and can sing a C sharp that he should be chief.
Why is Piggy not considered to be chief? Piggy was very smart, he had lots of ideas that all had been credited to Ralph. But, the boys didn’t want a fat, short boy to be chief.
What reasons are given for why Ralph is voted chief? Ralph is still and calm, he is a fair boy with a good build, and he is powerful because of the conch
Which word tells us that although Piggy voted for Ralph, he didn’t really want to? Why might this be? When the boys were voting it is stated that everyone raised their hands immediately when Ralph’s name was called, except for Piggy’s, but then is says that he too raised his hand grudgingly in the air.
How does Ralph show leadership skills once he has been made chief? Ralph has the idea to make sure wherever they are is an island on an journey around the place, he takes Jack and Simon.
Why is Jack unable to stab the piglet at the end of the chapter? Jack claims that he was looking for a place to stab it and the pig got away too fast
How does Ralph try to maintain order and a sense of society amongst the boys? Ralph tells all of the boys what they saw, about the uninhabited island, and the pigs, and how they need to hunt the pigs, and they were going to use the hands-up method when you want to talk, because they all can’t talk at once. He is trying to keep everyone calm and not panicked.
When the boy with the mulberry-colored birthmark talks about the ‘beastie’, how do Jack and Ralph react? Ralph is trying to convince the other boys that there is no beastie and they are only found in other countries and that the little boy was dreaming. Jack says that if there is a snake thing, then they would hunt and kill it.
What does this tell us about their different leadership styles? This tells us that Ralph is more focused on calming everybody down, and getting them off of the island in the quickest way possible, but Jack is just looking for something to hunt.
What is Ralph’s plan for rescue? Ralph thinks that they should start a fire, and if someone is living nearby, they might see the smoke and rescue them.
How do they boys start the fire? They get some wood for the fire but it wasn’t doing anything, so Jack gets Piggy’s glasses and Ralph uses them to light the fire.
When the fire gets out of control on the island, how do the boys react? Piggy is lecturing the boys that they should have used the wood as shelter not to build a bigger fire that has now turned into a wild fire. Piggy and the rest of the boys are scared because they can’t find the boy with the birthmark.
Piggy is clearly intelligent and has good ideas. Why don’t the boys look to him as a leader? Piggy is very smart, and the boys are just starting to realize that. But they still don’t look up to him or see him as any threat because of his appearance.
What happens at the end of the chapter that is particularly horrifying? The boy with the mulberry-coloured birthmark goes missing when the wild fire starts and he is not seen for the rest of the novel
Explain how we see Jack and Ralph’s differing priorities in this chapter. Ralph thinks that building shelter, and the fire should be the main priority, but Jack thinks that hunting and finding food should be the boy’s main priority.
Fear is starting to creep in amongst the boys. How do we know this and of what are they afraid? “Jack had to think for a moment before he could remember what rescue was.” The boys, especially Jack, is giving up hope that they will ever be rescued. They are forgetting what rescue even is. The beast starting to get to them.
Why is Ralph frustrated with the other boys? The boys are all helping Jack, looking for the pigs and hunting them. Ralph is more focused on getting rescued and is mad because he thinks they should all be focused on being rescued with him.
Describe the character of SImon. Simon is helpful, but also suspicious, he goes into the forest at the end of the chapter. Slim, skinny, a little darker in color.
Why did Simon venture into the forest at the end of the chapter? Simon just wanted to get away from the others to think about plans and the island
Describe the daily pattern of life on the island. When the sun rose, the morning brought the boys pleasure, with the bright sun shining down on them, towards noon the pleasure became less, with the heat that they scrambled for shade. The water was a mystery, they could not know what was in the coral reef and so on. As the sun went down, there was a coolness, but there was a darkness in the night. The shelters were filled with tired boys.
What are the two reasons given for why the littleuns obey the call of the conch? Partly because Ralph blew it and he was really big compared to them, and partly because they liked going to the meetings.
Why did Maurice feel bad about throwing sand into the eye of the littleun? His mother had discipline, back home Maurice would have received much discipline for kicking sand in one’s eye. Even though there was no parent around, Maurice still felt badly about that.
Why does Roger throw the stones around Henry but never at him? At home, Roger was conditioned in a civilization where they would not stone people. He wanted to respect his laws that he followed back home.
Why does Jack use face paint? It is pointing out his true features, and the savage of him.
Explain what happens to cause Ralph to be so angry with Jack. Jack apologized for not maintaining the fire but Ralph just sees it as a verbal trick distracting everyone from the terror that just happened, and he gets really angry with Jack.
How does Jack treat Piggy? Jack is obsessed with getting power over the boys, he treats Piggy horrifically, he punches him, verbally abuses him constantly, and even wouldn’t let him have food from him from the hunt.
Will Jack and Ralph be able to work together again? They are two different people, who want different things. Ralph is very focused on rescuing them off of the island and gets angry when they don’t obey him. Jack is obsessed with gaining power over the boys and is more focused on the pigs, and his hunters.
How has Ralph changed since being on the island at the beginning of chapter 5? He remembered when they first got on the island, he was a very enthusiastic explorer. Now, all he was was scared, as a leader and an enforcer of the rules.
When Ralph calls the assembly, what are his main complaints? The organization of drinking water, beliefs about the beast, being rescued and the element of fear in everyone’s mind.
How do Ralph and Jack differ in the way that they talk to their littleuns? Jack is intimidating towards them, he tries to tease them and scare them about the beast and the island. Ralph is calm and soft towards them, he is trying to calm them down, when they are scared.
Why is Percival’s revelation that the beast comes from the sea, particularly frightening? Percival tells the boys that the beast comes out of the sea in squid form and then is a ghost on land, so no one can see it, but it still attacks its prey.
Why is keeping the fire burning so important to Jack? Jack is convinced that if they keep a fire going, so it produces smoke, that someone will see it and rescue them.
Why is Piggy so frightened of Jack? Piggy is confident that Jack would not hurt Ralph, but if Ralph were not there to protect Piggy, Jack would hurt the next thing, Piggy.
Why is chapter 6 called Beast from Air? It is referring to the parachuter that landed on top of the mountain that swung back and forth, it fell from the air and they thought it was the beast
What do Sam and Eric see in the middle of the night while on fire duty, and why does it frighten them? They see the fallen parachute man. It frightens them because they think it is the beast. The way that the strings on the parachute have been caught means that as the branches blow in the wind, so does the man move up and down
The twins say that ‘the beast’ had claws, and that it followed and nearly touched them. Is this true? Explain why they say this. No, it is not true, they just think it is the beast because they were frightened that it will get them.
Do Jack and Ralph have the same motive for hunting the beast? No, Jack it so focused on hunting and getting power and getting the pigs, that he is willing to hunt anything. Ralph is more focused on getting rescued and surviving while on the island.
Why does Simon doubt the existence of the ‘beast’? Simon is being realistic and he doesn’t allow his fear to run away with him. He comes to the logical and rational conclusion that the beast couldn’t possibly exist because how could it live on the mountain but not leave tracks and be too slow to catch the twins?
How do reactions to the discovery of Castle Rock differ? Ralph sees the island for what it lacks – natural resources that will benefit them in surviving life on the island. Jack sees it as a fort on the island.
How do the boys’ appearances reflect the changes they have undergone since being on the island? They started out as British school boys. They have not kept up any personal hygiene habits, they have long hair, long beards, have not brushed their teeth since they have been on the island, they are becoming more and more savage.
How do Ralph’s reaction to hunting the boar in chapter 6, different to his previous attitude to hunting? When hunting the pigs he was bragging that he hit the pig with a spear and before he wasn’t as devoted to hunting as Jack. He has gotten really excited about hunting and he is usually just focused on being rescued and not very dangerous.
The boys play a ‘game’ after the hunt. Describe the game. The boys reenact the hunt using Robert as the pig in the hunt. They dance, chant, and jab Robert with the spears, they nearly kill him by doing this
Do you think that it really is a harmless ‘game’? Explain why or why not. No, they could really kill Robert is they were taking the game seriously, and they almost did kill him because they were just playing around.
Why do the boys run from the figure on the mountain at the end of the chapter? They saw a the parachute man who was to them a shadowy figure in the shape of a giant, and they thought it was the beast who was coming after them
What do we learn about Simon in chapter 7? We learn that Simon is really sensitive and realistic. He is brave and hopeful for going out alone. he wants Ralph, who is compassionate and fair, to be the leader over Jack who is harmful and dangerous
The boys believe that the beast exists, and that they have ‘proof’. How will this change things on the island? They would be more alert and they are full of fear, they think the beast is everywhere and being very careful in where they go.
Jack says to his hunters: “Ralph thinks you’re cowards, running away from the boya and the beast. And that’s not all.” Did Ralph really say this? Why would Jack lie? Ralph did not say this, Jack lied because he wants all the boys to turn away from Ralph and he a hunter with Jack and his crew.
When Jack calls a vote to get rid of Ralph as chief, none of the boys raise their hands. Why don’t they respond, yet sneak off and join Jack later? The boys were scared that because Ralph is chief, he has all the power, the boys were frightened that he would get mad and say no, they do not want that.
Why do the boys leave the pig’s head on a stick in the forest? The pig’s head is a gift for the beast to eat so it will not hurt the boys.
Explain the importance of the ‘Lord of the Flies’. The pig’s head is attracting flies and is eventually devoured by all of the flies and becomes a symbol of a God to the flies. The Lord of the Flies is a symbol as a potential for the evil we all possess.
Explain what the Lord of the Flies says to Simon. He is telling Simon that he is a beast and cannot escape from the beast because the beast is the evil that we all possess within us.
What is the significance of the first sentence of chapter 9? “Over the island the build-up of clouds continued” There were many clouds in the sky, this usually means that there is going to be a big storm coming soon
What type of leader is Jack, as seen in the events of chapter 9? He is an idol to the boys, they made him a throne and he is very powerful. He holds much power and respect over the boys.
Why do Ralph and Piggy join the dance? They felt a sense of security and their confidence was built when they joined the dance.
When Simon stumbles into the ring of boys, why do they see him as the beast? The boys see a dark shadowy figure coming out of the forest, Simon after discovering the parachute man, and think he is the beast, they stab him to death before they realizing it is Simon.
In the description of Simon’s killing, how does the language used to convey the sheer savagery and animalistic behavior of the boys? “……screamed, struck, bit, tore…. there were no words but the tearing of teeth and claws.” The boys mistakenly thought Simon was the beast and stabbed him and killed him brutally. Jack is so obsessed with hunting and killing the beast that he got caught up with his game and the savage side of Jack was shown and all the boys followed in his footsteps.
At the beginning of chapter 10, who is left in Ralph’s group, and how do they respond to the death of Simon? There is Piggy, Sam and Eric, and some littluns left who remain loyal to Ralph. Ralph is still in shock that that was Simon who the boys just murdered, they were trying to push the blame on the other people, and don’t want to be blamed for the murder.
What is it that causes Roger to say that Jack is ‘a proper chief’? Do you agree with his assessment of Jack’s leadership? Jack makes a shelter with protection and if someone comes they could step on a trap and fall off a cliff, Roger thinks this is a great idea and he is a great chief.
How does Jack account for the death of Simon? Jack convinces the boys, and maybe himself, that they killed the beast in disguise that night, and it could come back in any form
Explain the meaning behind the title of this chapter. The conch shell is a symbol of authority and power in that only whoever has it is allowed to speak. In this chapter, Ralph loses his authority and power to Jack, and the shell becomes fragile and eventually shatters. The glasses were a symbol of knowledge, and Piggy wore them. When the boys broke into their more savage states, the glasses brake and knowledge and reason is gone.
Why doesn’t Jack take the conch when he invades the beach settlement? Jack is more focused on getting Piggy’s glasses (knowledge), starting a fire, and hunting that he doesn’t think of stealing the conch, which is losing its power and has no more use to him.
At the start of this chapter, Piggy says: ‘awful things have been done on this island.” Explain at least 3 examples of things to which he might referring. The death of the little boy with the mulberry birthmark, who died in the fire at the beginning of the novel, the horrific killing of Simon around the fire, and the invasion of the beach shelters by jack, with the stealing of Piggy’s glasses
Why does Ralph insist that they wash and clean up before they go to see Jack’s tribe? For Ralph, rules and civilization are extremely important and he doesn’t want to descend into savagery like Jack has done. Ralph even says: “Supposing we go, looking like we used to, washed and hair brushed – after all we aren’t savages really”
Who ‘protested out of the heart of civilization’? And what does this mean? Sam and Eric are the ones who protest out of the heart of civilization when they are being grabbed by Jack’s tribe. What this means is that they try to argue against their capture on the grounds that it is not civilized behavior. Unfortunately though, they are talking to those who have turned savage and their pleas carry little weight.
Explain the symbolism behind the destruction of the conch. The destruction of the conch shell is highly symbolic. As the conch has always been a symbol of civilization and order, its shattering is symbolic of the complete breakdown of society on the island and the descent into savagery.
What happens to Piggy at the end of chapter 11? Roger pushed the boulder off the cliff and it landed on, crushed, and killed Piggy. He was holding the conch and it was shattered when the rock landed on Piggy
In chapter 12, what evidence is there to support the notion that the boys have changed drastically since being on the island? The boys are very dirty and filthy, their hair is gross and unbrushed, minimal clothing, their whole bodies are painted. In the beginning they were in their school uniforms, and nicely dressed. The boys were following their morals and civilization from home in the beginning, and towards the end they aren’t stopping themselves from doing something bad. They have no moral compass that that they are following. The boys had names in the beginning, but toward the end they are referred to chief and savages, they have lost their identities.
Describe the scene in which Ralph comes across the sow skull. Explain what he does and why he does it.` There is no more flesh left on the pig’s head, it is just a skull you can see all of its bones. He punches it, the pig’s head bobs back and comes towards him, then he punched it again, and he broke the skull in half, which symbolizes that he is not going to let the potential of evil come out, he will not act on the potential of evil and become a barbarian or savage like the other boys
Describe how the language used by Golding in this chapter paints Ralph as an animal being hunted. It says that Ralph was snarling, he asked himself if I were a boar, what should I do in this chase, climb a tree or run, Ralph launched himself like a cat, stabbed snarling with his fear, he was squatting, galloping like a horse to outrun the boys
Explain how the fire at the end of the novel is heavily ironic. Ralph has said the whole novel that the fire would get them rescued, the smoke from the fire, they would maintain a fire and tend to it throughout the novel. Jack had set the whole island on fire so they could smoke out Ralph so they could kill him, but the fire that Jack has created got them rescued. The fire that saved them, was the fire that Jack set to smoke out Ralph and kill him and that is the fire that saved Ralph from getting murdered.
At the end of the novel, when Ralph realizes that they are rescued, he cried tears of grief, and not of joy. Why? It’s been months since they landed on the island, he’s not crying because he’s going home, but because they have lost their childhood innocence, they have been through murder, hunting, and Ralph is crying because he knows that the boys and him will never be the same as they were when they first landed on the island, and he watched his friend Piggy, who was always on his side, die of cold blood murder. He is crying for the evil that they have all acum to and turned into.

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