Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding
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What are some quotes from Roger that depict his sadistic personality in Lord of the Flies?

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Finding quotes "from Roger" that reveal his sadism isn't easy. Roger is "uncommunicative by nature" (chapter 7). His actions speak louder than his words, and they show how he becomes more and more aggressive as time on the island goes on.

At first Roger is just a typical bully,...

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Finding quotes "from Roger" that reveal his sadism isn't easy. Roger is "uncommunicative by nature" (chapter 7). His actions speak louder than his words, and they show how he becomes more and more aggressive as time on the island goes on.

At first Roger is just a typical bully, knocking down the sandcastles the littluns have built on the beach: "Roger led the way straight through the castles, kicking them over, burying the flowers, scattering the chosen stones." Not content with that, he hides among the trees and harasses Henry: "Roger gathered a handful of stones and began to throw them."

When the boys have a mock hunt using Robert as the mock pig, Roger isn't satisfied, because there's no death. He declares, "You want a pig . . . like a real hunt." When the hunters kill the sow in chapter 8, Roger makes sure to get his sharpened stick into the act. He "found a lodgment for his point and began to push till he was leaning with his whole weight." Roger's insertion of the stick into the animal's rectum is what probably actually causes the sow's death. Roger seems to take special delight in the act.

When Roger approaches Castle Rock in chapter 10, Robert challenges him. Robert then shows Roger the lever under a large rock that could have been used against him. Roger admires the device, saying of Jack, "He's a proper chief, isn't he?" The fact that Jack can tie Wilfred up for no stated reason causes Roger to assimilate "the possibility of irresponsible authority." Soon we see him in chapter 10 threatening Ralph, Piggy, and Samneric as they approach. As he begins throwing stones down on the boys, "some source of power began to pulse in Roger's body." Finally, "with a sense of delirious abandonment," he "leaned all his weight on the lever," rolling the boulder down on Piggy and killing him. At the end of that chapter, as Roger forces Samneric to join Jack's tribe, "the hangman's horror clung around him." He advances upon them "as one wielding a nameless authority."

In chapter 12, Samneric divulge to Ralph that Jack and Roger hate him and are "going to do you." They warn Ralph that Roger is "a terror" and that he has "sharpened a stick at both ends." This brings up the image of Roger previously sharpening a stick at both ends in order to plant the sow's head into a rocky crevice and suggests that Roger intends to kill Ralph like a pig, behead him, and post his head on the stick. This grisly implication exemplifies how Roger's sadism has grown from pesky bullying to murderous hunting of a fellow human.

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Roger gathered a handful of stones and began to throw them. Yet there was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law.

It is early on, but Roger is already showing signs of his later cruelty and sadism. He's deliberately throwing to miss, but the fact that he's throwing stones at Henry at all is a disturbing foretaste of what's to come. Some vestiges of civilization remain, but it can't be too long before the descent into outright savagery begins. Roger will be a main player in this frightening development, and he'll take especial delight in being cruel to the littluns, the weakest members of the group.

Roger advanced upon them as one wielding a nameless authority.

In the immediate aftermath of Piggy's death—caused by Roger—all semblance of rules-based authority has collapsed. The full, frightening measure of Roger's sadism has now been ruthlessly exposed. He descends upon Samneric to torture them in order to force the young boys to join his tribe. As he does so, everyone can now see that he's even more dangerous than Jack because he sees power as simply a means to indulge his wanton cruelty. His authority is unspoken; it derives from fear at his utter ruthlessness.

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In Chapter 8, Roger and the hunters track down a pig who was nursing her young and brutally murder it. As the boys are pulling their spears from the bloody pig, Roger notices that he stuck the pig with his spear up its backside. Roger giggles and says,

"Right up her ass!" (195).

Roger's sadistic personality is portrayed by how he is amused with savagely killing the sow. Roger takes pleasure in acting like a savage and murders for fun. As the novel progresses, Roger becomes even more sadistic until he eventually kills Piggy.

Roger's sadistic personality is depicted again in Chapter 10 when he is told to halt at the gate before entering Castle Rock. Roger responds by saying,

"You couldn’t stop me coming if I wanted" (228).

Roger's comment reveals his savage nature is uncontrollable, and nobody could stop him from doing what he desires. Even the savages begin to fear Roger, and Golding suggests he is more evil than Jack.

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