Relate the following "Essential question" to Lord of the Flies and, in the context of either analyst or artist (as outlined below), answer the question appropriately.  Artist: As an artist, you...

Relate the following "Essential question" to Lord of the Flies and, in the context of either analyst or artist (as outlined below), answer the question appropriately. 


  • As an artist, you will visually represent your essential question as it is developed in the entire novel.
  • You can choose any form of original text to represent your understanding.
  • You might create portraits of the main characters, a PowerPoint presentation, a glog ... there are too many options to mention!
  • With your representation, you will compose a written response that identifies and explains your choices in creating it.


  • As an analyst, you focus on collecting key quotations from the novel that relate to the essential question you are studying.
  • You will choose the quotations that illustrate the essential question best.
  • For each quotation you will provide the context for the quotation. What situation prompted the quotation to be said?
  • You will provide the entire quotation, including page number.
  • Finally, you will explain how this quotation relates to the element you are studying. How is this quotation significant?

Essential Question:

  • How important is it to pursue our passions?
Expert Answers
durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

How important is it to pursue our passions?

To answer this question from the perspective of an analyst highlights the plight of the boys in Lord of the Flies and their attempt - some more successfully than others - to meet expectations or completely defy them - in terms of the civilized world they have left behind.

Ralph and Piggy strive to create the familiarity that they know relating to what "my auntie told me" (Ch 1) whose philosophy Piggy constantly refers to and, for Ralph, the fact that his father is "a commander in the Navy" whom Ralph is sure will " come and rescue us."(Ch1) 

Piggy is a budding scientist and it is his natural curiosity and instinct that supports Ralph in his efforts to become the perfect leader. Despite the fact that Ralph is unable to confirm how his father will know to come and get them, other than "because, because" he relishes this "coral island" as

"here at last was the imagined but never fully realized place leaping into real life.Ralph's lips parted into a delighted smile..."(Ch1)   

Ralph suddenly spots the conch and Piggy immediately "was a-bubble with decorous excitement." He recognizes its potential - "It's ever so valuable--"Piggy continues in his excitement and this whole passage reveals Piggy's passion in life as he "babbled." There will be several  instances throughout the novel that will indicate Piggy's natural- born logic and his death confirms the loss of this potential great mind.

As for Ralph, he would be completely ineffective without Piggy as his leadership skills are not fully developed and, for all his teasing of Piggy and irritability, he does recognize the true value of his friend - even if only at the end. Ralph "has the directness of genuine leadership" (Ch1) and leads Jack and Simon off to explore whether the island is indeed an island as this will then allow him "time to think things out."

Ralph, by chapter 5 undertands how difficult it is being a leader and the meeting he calls "must not be fun but business." (Ch5) Ralph longs to lead the group but

"We are all drifting and things are going rotten. At home, there was always a grown-up. Please, sir; please miss; and then you got an answer. How I wish!"  

This passage is crucial in Ralph's quest to follow his passions and manage the group and meet the expectations of the grown-ups - even though there are no grown ups there. Ralph almost gives up but is spurred on by Simon and Piggy. Ralph's vision of himself as a great leader is being replaced by a reality that is almost too much to cope with. It is significant that, by the end, his leadership will have been seriously compromised and Simon and Piggy both dead.

Jack is another natural leader - "chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C-sharp" (Ch1) but his leadership style is dangerous and unchecked. He does not have the vision that Ralph has nor the brilliant mind of Piggy. Instead he has "the dark boy" Roger who brings out the worst in Jack. It is characteristic of Ralph's natural leadership that he recognizes Jack's potential as he is quick to point out that Jack will continue to lead the choir - "They could be the army--Or hunters--" significantly Jack chooses "Hunters." (Ch1)

Jack will be consumed by his desire and following his passion will result in tragedy. Refer to chapter 11 and Jack's "tribe" - "a solid mass of menace." 

Sometimes, following one's passions, without guidance, results in tragedy , or in this case savagery, of unimaginable proportions.   


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Lord of the Flies

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