Explain two similes from the Lord of the Flies in detail?

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A simile is a figure of speech, which compares two different things using the words "like" or "as." Throughout the novel, William Golding utilizes similes to illustrate thoughts, which adds imagery to the text.

1. In chapter 4, the atmosphere of the island is described during the middle of the day, when the heat is at its most intense. Golding utilizes a simile to describe the hot weather by writing,

"At midday the illusions merged into the sky and there the sun gazed down like an angry eye." (82)

The sun being compared to an angry eye emphasizes the extreme heat of the sun's rays. By personifying the sun and using a simile to convey the emotion of anger, Golding illustrates how the intense heat causes the boys discomfort and forces them to remain in the shade throughout the daytime.

2. In chapter 8, Jack and his savages raid Ralph's camp and steal some burning logs from their fire. After Jack turns around and tells the boys that they are welcome to join his camp, Golding utilizes a simile to describe Ralph's posture. Golding writes,

"Ralph was kneeling by the remains of the fire like a sprinter at his mark and his face was half-hidden by hair and smut." (202)

Comparing Ralph's posture to that of a sprinter's stance is significant and illustrates his intense, prepared attitude. Similarly to how a sprinter is focused and ready to compete, Ralph is also prepared to defend himself and challenge Jack.

schulzie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A simile is a figure of speech that uses the words "like" or "as" to form a comparison between two unlike objects.

When Ralph, Jack, and Simon start to explore the territory around them to see if they are on an island, they find that they had difficulty, not with the steep ascent but with the undergrowth.

"Here the roots and stems of creepers were in such tangles that the boys had to thread through them like pliant needles." (pg 26 - chapter one)

This compares the roots and stems of creepers -- a form of crawling underbrush -- with pliant needles.  The needles suggest that these roots and stems poke into them as they walk.  The word "pliant" means that they yielded to the boys movement.

Another simile is when the boys gather wood to build a signal fire for the first time.  They start the fire and gather around it.

"The flames, as though they were a kind of wild life, crept as a jaguar creeps on its belly toward a line of birch-like saplings that fledged an outcrop of the pink rock." ( pg 44 -- chapter two)

This simile compares the movement of flames with a creeping jaguar.  These are two unlike objects and the image here is a slow, low lying flame moving toward some other trees.

The page numbers I have given are for my edition of the book.  I have included the chapters so that they may be easily found.  They should  be close to that page though.

Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question