In the novel Lord of the Flies there are many examples of irony. Please list three examples of irony from the story and explain in detail why they are ironic.

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schulzie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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One example of irony is that Jack says that they have to have rules.

"We've got to have rules and obey them.  After all, we're not savages."  (pg 42 - chapter 2)

The ironic aspect of this is that Jack becomes the leader of the savages that kill Piggy.  He becomes the head savage!!

A second example of irony is the fact that we never get to know the real name of the boy named Piggy.  Piggy is his nickname - something the school children called him to make him feel bad.  We only know him as Piggy.  The boys hunt pigs for food on the island, and they end up killing Piggy too.

A third example is when there is a clash between Ralph and Jack concerning leadership on the island.  Piggy says,

"Grownups know things.  They ain't afraid of the dark.  They'd meet and have tea and discuss.  Then things 'ud be all right." (pg 94- chapter 5 - end of chapter) .

Ralph replies "If they could only get a message to us.  If only they could send us something grownup" (pg 94)

Ironically, they receive a grownup, but he is a dead parachutist. He doesn't make things all right, he causes more fear then he gives comfort because the children think he is a beast.

The page numbers I have given are for my edition of the book.  I have tried to give chapters so that you can find the quotes. 

gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Dramatic irony occurs when the audience knows something that the characters do not. A good example of dramatic irony takes place in Chapter 5 when they boys are discussing the identity of the beast. Only Simon understands the true nature of the beast and the reader is aware that the other boys do not know its identity. Golding writes,

"Simon became inarticulate in his effort to express mankind's essential illness" (126).

Another example of irony takes place at the end of the novel when the officer says that he expected the boys to put up a "better show." Ralph tries to explain how things fell apart, but the officer says,

"I know. Jolly good show. Like the Coral Island" (Golding 290).

It is ironic because the boys' experience was nothing like the story Coral Island. In fact, the boys' experience was the exact opposite of what took place in the story.


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