Lord of the Flies - Literary Breakdown
lord of the flies
1. IRONY- a saying, happening, or situation that is apparently contrary to what is intended or desired.
a) Fire with intent to kill ended up being the reason for rescue- When pursuing Ralph, Jack ordered the forest to be set on fire, to either kill him or force him out into the open. "He (Ralph) heard a curious trickling sound and then a louder crepitation as if someone were unwrapping great sheets of cellophane. A stick snapped and he stifled a cough. Smoke was seeping through the branches." (Pg. 215, 2nd Para.) This proved to be their saving grace, as a naval boat saw the smoke, and came to the boys\' rescue, just in time to save Ralph. "We saw your smoke. What have you been doing? Having a war or something?" (Pg. 221)
b)Young, Savage warriors were reduced to children in the presence of an adult- The same tribe who killed Simon and Piggy , and who were hunting Ralph down to kill him, began to sob like babies. The mere sight of an adult made them realize what they had done, and could never undo. "The other little boys began to shake and sob too." (Pg. 223, Para. 2)
c)The once respected leader became a hunted outlaw- Ralph, who in the beginning was almost unanimously voted chief, was pursued and hunted by the very boys who voted for him. "They hate you Ralph...They\'re going to hunt you tomorrow." (Page 201)
d)Simon, who discovered that there was no beast, was killed as the beast- The mystic Simon, who Bravely marched to the supposed "beast" found that it was a dead pilot. When he ran to tell the boys this, they went into a frenzy and beat him to death. "That was Simon...That was murder." (Pg. 172)
e)The main savages: Jack, Roger, Maurice, etc., were once choir boys- Jack and Roger, the two vicious savages, were once choir boys, the personification of goodness and purity. In the first chapter, Jack stated, "Choir! Stand still!" (P. 21)
2. REALISM- philosophy or action based on things as they are, not as they should be.
a)Ralph and Piggy discuss the fact that they are alone on the island and that in all probability no one knows where they are. Ralph realizes the situation they are in and decides to form a tribe. He attempts to create order and civility in the wild, which, in his eyes, is the only way to survive. A quotation from page 15 reveals the boys\' knowledge of being alone and of their location unknown to the world: "They\'re all dead," said Piggy "an this is an island. Nobody don\'t know we\'re here. Your dad don\'t know, nobody don\'t know....We may stay here till we die." Piggy is not an idealist. He is well aware of the perilous situation he\'s in. Also, it is shown that Ralph intends to bring order to the group through his leadership. "Shut up, said Ralph absently. He lifted the conch. Seems to me we ought to have a chief to decide things." Ralph realizes the importance of order even alone on an island, without grown-ups.
b)Another example of realism in the novel is Ralph\'s insistence upon a fire. Ralph knows that smoke is the only way that they are going to be rescued, hence he is always stressing the importance of a fire. The others in the tribe cannot grasp or refuse to grasp the importance of the fire. They are not realistic. "There\'s another thing. We can help them find us. If a ship comes near the island they may not notice us. So we must make smoke on top of the mountain. We must make a fire." (Pg.41) This shows Ralph\'s opinion on the importance of a fire.
c)Again, Ralph is the more realistic member of the group. He is always stressing importance on a fire rather than obtaining meat. Jack would rather be idealistic and live comfortably spending his time hunting. His first priority should be keeping the fire going, not hunting for meat. Ralph is smart enough to know that being rescued is more important than any kind of luxuries such as meat. Ralph does not care much for making life more comfortable