Planning for ANY Lord of the Flies question


(1)Planning for ANY ‘Lord of the Flies’ question.

(2) Section A: Novel..  Choice from two questions. Worth 30% of your marks. Spend 45 mins on this section..

(3) Assessment Objectives for this question:  AO1: Respond to texts critically, sensitively and in detail, selecting appropriate ways to convey their response, using textual evidence as appropriate.  AO2: Explore how language, structure and forms contribute to the meanings of texts, considering different approaches to texts and alternative interpretations..

(4) Key events in the novel  1 Ralph is made leader. The conch becomes a symbol of power. First day on the island.  2 One of the younger boys has seen a ‘beastie’ and fear begins to mount. The signal fire is lit on the mountain but gets out of control.  3 Jack hunts while Ralph focuses on building shelters. Days/weeks have passed.  4 A ship passes but the signal fire has gone out. Jack and Ralph argue and Piggy’s glasses are broken in one eye. The hunters have killed a pig and there is a feast. Boys have been on island for some time. They’ve got used to ‘the slow swing from dawn to dusk’.  5 Fear of the beast grows. Ralph sees that order is breaking down. Jack defies Ralph and the conch. The assembly breaks down. Events of these chapters 4 and 5 happen on the same day.  6 The dead parachutist lands on the island. Sam and Eric hear the beast and report it. More time has passed..

(5) Key events in the novel  7 The hunters become more savage and the game gets dangerous. Jack and Ralph find the body and think it is the beast. Enough time has passed between this chapter and the last for the body of the airman to have decomposed.  8 Jack sets up his own tribe. The pig’s head is left as a gift to the beast. Simon has a vision of the Lord of the Flies. Probably the day after the airman’s body has been discovered.  9 The storm breaks. Simon is killed. The airman is blown out to sea.  10 Jack’s tribe moves to Castle Rock. They attach Ralph and his group and steal Piggy’s glasses. This chapter opens the morning after Simon’s death.  11 Ralph’s group visits Jack. Piggy is killed. The twins are captured. The morning after the attack described in chapter 10.  12 Ralph is hunted. The island burns. The naval officer rescues the boys. Just after Piggy’s death. Ralph spends one night in hiding before the hunt begins. The naval officer arrives at the end of the day..

(6) Golding’s purposes:  Civilisation is itself a mask for what we really are. (It’s a construct – and it’s weak).  It’s nature, not nurture that determines who we really are. We may be nurtured (conditioned) so that we are able to disguise our true natures with civilised behaviour, but essentially we will resort to atavistic tendencies, given the right circumstances..

(7) Golding’s purposes:  We the English are not civilised bunch they think we are – Golding is keen to make it clear that it wasn’t just German savagery that caused the mayhem of WW2.  The circumstances that mean our civilised upbringing holds no power over us any more are: removal from a civilised society, (and possibly from adult supervision), fear and the need for quick action to make us feel secure, and longing to be a part of the group, so that we copy or follow what others tell us to do. Essentially, these are the circumstances that prompted the rise of Hitler and Mussolini in Europe, and WW2..

(8) Golding’s purposes:  Group behaviour in extreme circumstances. It’s about how we all act when we’re in a group, about our desire to belong and our treatment of outsiders. And It’s about how human beings behave when under pressure, and when, in particular, they are afraid..

(9) Golding’s purposes:  The novel is a rites of passage – a book that charts the ‘growing up’ of its main character, usually whose eyes we see events through, at least at some stages.  The novel examines different kinds of leadership styles – the democrat, the dictator and suggests, possibly, that strong leaders don’t necessarily make good leaders..

(10) Golding’s purposes:  The boys are blind to the fact that the beast lies within them all – while they are busy hunting, the real beast is within them. • It’s about isolation and the effects it can have on people.  The children only appear to return to civilised behaviour at the end of the novel – or the appearance of it – they have not killed the beast within, and not many of them have learned what and where the beast lies. They may behave better, but the savage beast still lurks, waiting….

(11) Golding’s purposes:  Golding offers no hope at all for mankind, his thoughts on civilisation are totally pessimistic – we are all savages at heart and given the chance we will act in a savage way towards one another.  It’s a study in male behaviour – women would behave differently.  The novel is a warning to us. If we heed it, we can change.  The novel is a declaration of what we all are at heart – we can’t change it..

(12) Golding’s purposes:  The novel offers no hope for the boys on the island, but it does warn us to acknowledge the truth about human nature (that we are all savages at heart), and that means there is some hope for us as readers. So the novel is a fable – it tries to teach us something about ourselves and make us better people.  The novel asks: ‘What makes us more than animals? What is the essence of humanity?’.

(13) Golding’s purposes:  Golding offers hope for civilisation – if only we can realise the truth, acknowledge that we all have savage tendencies, and this will help us to control our own behaviour.  Civilisation is weak in the face of savagery.  Spirituality is the only answer to this savagery, our only way of controlling the beast within is to face up to it..

(14) Golding’s purposes:  No one listens to the spiritual people who have the answers.  Adults are not able to maintain civilisation either, they are not really the answer to the problem of savagery.  All of us are savages at heart, even those who seem most civilised.  No matter how civilised we all think we are, there will always be the natural instincts of savagery in society. This is true of every society, not just ‘bad’ ones. Human nature is primitive and people will only do what’s best for themselves..

(15) Golding’s purposes:  The purpose of the novel is not merely to look at why wars occur. Rather Golding’s experience of WWII led him to think what aspects of human behaviour leads us, almost inevitably, to war. He is as critical of the English as he is any other nation, perhaps more so, since we are seen as a civilized nation..

(16) Golding’s purposes:  The novel is an exploration of the suppressed uncivilised nature of the human condition. To Golding, even the innocent purity of childhood is a mask covering cruelty and self-gain. He is warning us civilisation is not real – it’s a ruse covering our real nature..

(17) How do I comment on structure?  You could compare the opening of the novel with the ending, or the opening of a chapter with the ending.  Write about Golding’s juxtaposition of events – why one event comes straight after another. For example, why does Golding follow details of the hunt for the pig with Simon’s conversation with the Lord of the Flies in Chapter 9?  Write about things that change in the novel, and why. E.g.: the conch, the fire, the island, Jack, Roger, the littleuns’ behaviour, the ascent of the mountain, games, etc..

(18) How do I comment on language?  First, you must quote – not all of the time, but enough to show your knowledge of this novel!  Write about Golding’s choice of: words, alliteration, harsh sounding words, soft sounding words, repetition, dialogue, lyrical language versus the more prosaic, personification, sentence length, use of colour, how he uses characters as symbols, metaphors, similes, narrative viewpoint, onomatopoeia, the narrative point of view, irony …  …The list could go on, but there is more than enough here to set you thinking..

(19) Assessment Objectives for this question:  AO1: Respond to texts critically, sensitively and in detail, selecting appropriate ways to convey their response, using textual evidence as appropriate.  AO2: Explore how language, structure and forms contribute to the meanings of texts, considering different approaches to texts and alternative interpretations..

(20) How do I comment on form? Write about:  the novel as an adventure story  as parody (that’s a distorted ‘copy’ of something) of ‘Coral Island’–– but if you do, try to say why Golding makes changes to the typical adventure elements.  as fable  You could also think of this novel in terms of an allegory (similar to a fable but perhaps with more religious overtones)  the island as a microcosm (a sort of ‘mini version’) of the world..

(21) Planning…work backwards…  What purpose(s) are those you can talk about? Write it at the bottom of your page.  Which events and characters are associated with that purpose?  What quotations are associated with these events and characters?.

(22) Planning…FLECS     . F L E C S. orm anguage vents haracters tructure.

(23)  Now it’s your turn….

(24) Questions  Do you think Golding’s message in the novel a pessimistic or optimistic one?  What do you think Golding has to say about evil in the lord of the flies? How does he convey his ideas to the reader?  At the end of the novel, the naval officer says ‘I know, jolly good show. Like Coral Island.’ Why does Golding choose to end the novel with such a mistaken view?.

(25) Questions  How does Golding use the beast in the novel as a whole? – You should write about: – What the beast may symbolize – The way the boys’ ideas about the boy change – What effect the beast has on the boys..

(26) Questions  Ralph is changed by his experiences on the island. How does Golding show this?  What do you think is the significance of ‘the world of grown-ups’ at the end of chapter 5, and in the novel as a whole? – You should write about: · the different attitudes of the boys towards ‘grown ups’ · events that occur on the island and in the outside world the writer’s ideas and how he conveys them to the reader. Explore the presentation of Roger. What is his importance in the novel?.

(27) Questions  What is the importance of Simon in the lord of the flies  How does Golding show the degeneration of the boys on the island?  How far is this a typical adventure story?  Discuss the role of the conch in the novel  Why do you think ‘Lord of the Flies’ is a good title for this novel? (see the school’s website for plenty of ideas on this fiendish question).

(28) Nutshell arguments  What do you think is the significance of ‘the world of grown-ups’ at the end of chapter 5, and in the novel as a whole?.

(29) What do you think is the significance of ‘the world of grown-ups’ at the end of chapter 5, and in the novel as a whole?  At first, the boys on the island seem to enjoy the idea that there are no adults there with them; because they can play games and have fun. As time goes on, however, their fear leads them to long for grown-ups who would sort things out, discuss things and stop things deteriorating. However, ultimately, Golding seems to suggest that these so-called ‘experts’ are no better than the boys, and that they are involved in a battle every bit as bloody as their younger counterparts. In some ways, Ralph has learned more than the naval officer who arrives to rescue them at the end. He is mistaken in thinking that because they are English, and civilized, the boys have been behaving as if it’s all been an adventure story. We, together with Ralph, have learned that it’s not, and this adult is made to seem foolish. Maybe ultimately Golding may suggest that while the adults in the novel have not learned, we still can, and that if we do, this novel holds some possibility of hope for us all. In this way, this fable serves as a warning to us all..

(30) So… how can I revise?  Learn the key events of each chapter.  Test yourself: which chapters feature the conch/fire/killing and hunting? (etc)  Practise planning – 20 mins; 15 mins; 10 mins; 6 or 7…Past paper questions are on the school’s website. FLECS  Select what you think are the key messages of the novel and learn them.  Top twenty quotations?  ‘Pick a page’  Nutshell arguments.

(31) Find more resources…  Essay plans and ideas, key quotations and much more  Pupils/English/GCSE/Lord of the Flies.


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