In a summary of Lord of the Flies, who is Lord of the Flies, and was the naval officer always looking over them?

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lord of the Flies is a novel that shows how the boys who are stranded on the island turn into savages. Jack and his hunters become cruel. They torture a sow while hunting. They have no mercy on the sow. They cut off the head and hang it on a stick. This becomes a symbol. The head on the stick is the Lord of the Flies.

During the killing of this sow, the boys are particularly cruel. Roger puts his spear in the sow's rectum and puts all his weight on it. The pig screams in agony:

They corner the wounded pig, and when she falls they are on her. Roger is particularly cruel, driving in his spear slowly by leaning his weight upon it until the sow screams in agony. Then Jack cuts its throat. Jack begins to rub the blood on his hands onto Maurice, and then they notice Roger withdraw his spear. They become hysterical because he had pinned the sow by driving the spear through its anus.

The boys giggle and laugh hysterically. They are enjoying the blood and "colored guts" of the sow. They are intentionally mean. They have become savages. They play and reenact their acts of cruelty.

They reenact the slaughter until they grow tired.

Hunting is all fun and games. Jack flicks blood on the others. They do not properly dispose of the remains of the pig. They leave his bloody head on a stick, proclaiming it is Lord of the Flies.

As far as the naval officer is concerned, he shows up in the last chapter. He had not been observing the boys. He was passing by the island and saw the smoke from the boys' fire.


skampani | Student
William Golding sets his novel Lord of the Flies at a time when Europe is in the midst of nuclear destruction. In the midst of a raging war, a plane evacuating group of school boys, from britain to Australia, is shot down and crash lands on a tropical island. No adults survive the crash, and the novel is the story of the boys' descent into chaos, disorder, and evil. Lord of the Flies dramatizes the conflict between the civilizing instinct and the barbarizing instinct that exist in all human beings. The artistic choices Golding makes in the novel are designed to emphaize the struggle between the ordering elements of the society ,which include morality, law and culture,and the chaotic elements of humanity's savage animal instincts,which include anarchy,bloodlust,the desire for power,amorality,selfishness, and violence.Over the course of the novel, Golding portrays the rise and swift fall of an isolated makeshift civilization,which is torn to pieces by the savage instincts of those who comprise it. The Lord of the Flies is the sow's head on the staff.Golding describes the sow's "black blood" dripping onto its teeth right after the boys put it there. And later, Simon hallucinates about it 'talking' to him. And after that, when the flesh has rotted away and it's just the skull, Ralph flies into a fit of anger and knocks it off the staff. The pig's head represents the beast and the beast is actually within all the boys' minds thats why simon imagines the beast\pig talking to him.
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Lord of the Flies

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