What are some examples of onomatopoeias in Lord of the Flies?

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gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

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As was mentioned in an earlier post, an onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the natural sound of something. The word essentially creates the sound effect of the thing that it describes.

When Ralph is secretly speaking with Sameric at Jack's camp, Golding utilizes an onomatopoeia to describe the sound of the meat cooking on the fire by writing the word, "—crackling—" (204).

When Ralph holds an assembly, he tells the boys that they will have lots of rules. The boys become excited and Golding employs several onomatopoeias to describe their various reactions: “Bong!” (45).

There are also several sound effects that appear in the story.

When Ralph mimics the effects of a machine-gun, he playfully aims at Piggy and yells, "Sche-aa-ow!” This would be considered one example of an onomatopoeia. 

In Chapter 1, Ralph walks up the edge of the water and notices a school of fish. Golding employs an onomatopoeia to describe the sound of elation that Ralph makes by writing, "Ralph spoke to himself, sounding the bass strings of delight. 'Whizzoh!'" (14).

When Ralph is describing how he hit the pig in its snout with his spear, Maurice mentions that he saw Ralph in action. Golding utilizes an onomatopoeia by writing, "I saw you. Right bang on his snout—'Wheee!'" (162).

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poetrymfa's profile pic

poetrymfa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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An onomatopoeia is a word that phonetically resembles the sound it is intended to represent. The word "onomatopoeia" itself is derived from Greek and means "making or creating names." This type of literary device is used to make the text more vivid, particularly since it is difficult to describe a sound within the limitations of the written page and standard English. Let's now look at some examples of onomatopoeias within Lord of the Flies...

In Chapter One, Ralph is dancing around and pretending to be a fighter-plane on the beach. He pretends to machine-gun Piggy, and makes the noise "Sche-aa-ow!" while diving into the sand by Piggy's feet.

In Chapter Seven, Maurice agrees that Ralph has hit a boar with a spear, and describes the noise as, "Wheee!" 

In Chapter Eleven, someone is tossing stones by Ralph's head, and the noise is described as, "a faint 'Zup'!" 

lffinj's profile pic

lffinj | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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Onomatopoeia is a literary device an author uses.  It is a word that imitates the sound it represents.  Some examples in Lord of the Flies include:

Chapter 1:  "Whizzoh!"

Chapter 2:  "Bong!"   "Doink!"

Chapter 11:  "Zup!"