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Discussion Questions

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5

Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10

Chapter 11 Chapter 12

 

Chapter 1

 

1. T he boys discover there are no adults on the island and attempt to model civilization as they know it by electing a chief. How effective do you think this effort will be without supervision?

2. Consider the cause of conflict between Ralph and Jack. What does Ralph's effort to appease Jack tell you about his basic character? Is it likely that Jack will be content to play second fiddle? Why or why not?

3. What does Ralph\rquote s revelation about Piggy' s name suggest to you about the basic nature of young people? Are they intentionally cruel to each other or just inconsiderate? Explain.

4. Why do you think the boys chose Ralph as their leader?

 

Chapter 2

 

1. Consider Ralph's announcement of the group's two priorities. Are these the two priorities you would choose? What other things do you think the group might need to concern themselves with?

2. One of the young boys expresses his fear of a beastie, while the others claim there is no such thing. What does this incident suggest about people and their fears in general? W hat things might we fear even when we are not faced with the dramatic situation these boys face? Why?

3. Piggy thinks that the first thing the group should have done was build shelters on the beach. Is this a valid point? Why or why not?

 

Chapter 3

 

1. Does Jack's desire to kill a pig fit into either of the group's two main priorities established by Ralph? Is Jack concerned with tthe group's welfare? Explain.

2. Ralph wanted to express to Jack that people are never quite what one thinks they are. Do you agree with Ralph or not? Support your position with an example from your own experience.

3. Simon finds a secluded place in the high jungle where he can be alone. Why do you think he does this? What do you think this indicates about Simon?

 

Chapter 4

 

1. Both Maurice and Roger torment the littluns, but they still feel guilty and are still conditioned by the civilization they knew before. How much time do you think has passed since the boys arrived on the island? Do yo u think a further passage of time will have any effect on their feelings of guilt and their previous conditioning?

2. Jack masks himself with clay and charcoal. What effect does this have on his behavior? What is the purpose of any mask, either real or imagined? Do all of us wear masks from time to time? Explain.

3. Watching the hunters dance and chant, Ralph feels envy and resentment. Why do you think he is feeling these emotions? Of what is he envious? What does he resent?

 

 

Chapter 5

 

1. Why are Ralph's complaints about the group valid? What do you think these faults indicate about the group in general? Explain.

2. Ralph tells the group they should die before they let the fire go out. What does he mean by that comment?

3. Consider Piggy's statement about there being nothing to fear except people and Simon\rquote s remark that if there is a beast it may be the boys themselves. Do these two comments have anything in common? Do you think Piggy's and Simon's statements make sense? Explain.

 

 

Chapter 6

 

1. Ralph wishes for a message from the grown-ups. The parachutist could be such a message. What are some ideas the arrival of this figure might have suggested to the boys? What, then, is ironic about the twins\rquote declaration that it was a beast?

2. None of the boys, not even Ralph or Jack, doubts for a moment that Sam and Eric have indeed seen a beast. Why are they all so ready to accept the presence of such a best?

3. Simon comments to Ralph that he doesn't believe in the beast. Recall his earlier inability to imagine the best that the twins described and his image of a heroic and sick human. Is it likely that anyone else will agree with him? Why or why not? Is Simon's disbelief reasonable?

4. As Ralph tried to talk with the boys, "something flittered in front of his mind, like a bat's wing, obscuring his idea." What do you think is happening to Ralph? How would you explain this "short circuit"? Recall his pounding his fist against the rock. How would you describe Ralph's state of mind?

5. Recall Jack's ideas for the newly explored part of the island. Why do you think Jack is thinking in these terms? Does he seem frightened about anything? Why do you think the boys would have need of a fort? What would it defend them from?

 

 

Chapter 7

 

1. Simon tells Ralph he isn't certain, of course, but that he thinks Ralph will get back alright. Do you agree with Simon? Do you think that any or all of the boys will get rescued? Why or why not? Does Ralph think so? Why or why not?

2. When Ralph strikes the boar on the snout with his spear, how does he feel? Afterwards, he immediately jabs at Robert with his spear. What does he feel then? Is there any connection between the two events? Explain.

3. How would you describe the relationship between Ralph and Jack at this point? What is the source of their conflict? Do you think Jack hates Ralph? If so, why?

 

 

Chapter 8

 

1. Throughout the novel, there has been conflict between Jack and Piggy. What do you think is the cause of this conflict? Why is it significant that Piggy, for the first time, helps to gather firewood o nly after Jack has broken from the group? Why does Piggy feel liberated?

2.Even though Jack enumerates Ralph' s faults, none of the boys is willing to oust Ralph as chief. What explanation can you offer for this?

3. Comment on your reaction to Simon's encounters with the Lord of the Flies. Do you think that Simon is hallucinating because of the heat? Remember that Simon is only a young boy, about eleven or twelve. Does such a young person usually have the kind of understanding and insight that Sim on seems to possess? Do you think the Lord of the Flies\rquote assessment of the other boys\rquote feelings about Simon is accurate? Is there any evidence to support this? Do you think the Lord of the Flies\rquote warning that the others will "do" Simon if he tries to interfere is realistic?

 

 

Chapter 9

 

1. Discuss the organization of Jack's tribe and his position in it. Then discuss the kind of organization Ralph tried to establish with the whole group. How would you label each leader and each system? Which would you prefer to be a member of? Explain why.

2. The Lord of the Flies\rquote prediction that Simon would be killed by the other boys proves to be accurate. Did you expect this, or were you surprised? Was Simon interfering, something the Lord of the Flies warned him against, or was he trying to save them all from the real beast, themselves?

3. What is the significance of the figure on the mountain dropping onto the beach and then washing out to sea? Remember Simon\rquote s efforts to cry out his news to the chanting, dancing tribesmen.

 

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