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 quotes represent Roger in Lord of the Flies?

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In Lord of the Flies, Roger is the most sadistic boy on the island by the end of the novel. He gains a reputation for his cruelty that the boys fear, and even when the whole island has descended into savagery, he still stands out as an emblem of the situation's extremity.

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Roger is one of the most dynamic characters in Lord of the Flies. Like Jack, he serves as an extreme representative of what happens when the boys are set free from the constraints of civilization. He is first introduced as a quiet, brooding boy who does not willingly communicate with anyone:

There was a slight, furtive boy whom no one knew, who kept to himself with an inner intensity of avoidance and secrecy. He muttered that his name was Roger and was silent again.

As the story progresses, and the situation becomes more violent and chaotic, Golding describes how the latent violence in Roger's nature appears ever more sinister:

Roger remained, watching the littluns. He was not noticeably darker than when he had dropped in, but the shock of black hair, down his nape and low on his forehead, seemed to suit his gloomy face and made what had seemed at first an unsociable remoteness into something forbidding.

As with Jack, the sadism in Roger's character soon comes to the fore, and it becomes clear how much he revels in the rituals of hunting and killing:

Roger ran round the heap, prodding with his spear whenever pig flesh appeared. Jack was on top of the sow, stabbing downward with his knife. Roger found a lodgment for his point and began to push till he was leaning with his whole weight.

Roger is initially Jack's most loyal supporter, but it becomes clear that he is even more dangerous and violent than Jack himself. It is Roger who kills Piggy and shatters the conch, thereby destroying both wisdom and order and permanently ending any possibility of civil society being imposed on the island. By the time that he tortures Sam and Eric, Roger has become a powerful, predatory figure and the most disturbing presence on the island, even going farther than Jack in his love of violence and terror:

Roger edged past the chief, only just avoiding pushing him with his shoulder. The yelling ceased, and Samneric lay looking up in quiet terror. Roger advanced upon them as one wielding a nameless authority.

This nameless authority is apparent when Sam and Eric confront Ralph with the truth about the sadistic monster Roger has become.

After a moment’s silence, Sam spoke in a strangled voice.

“You don’t know Roger. He’s a terror.”

“And the chief—they’re both—”

“—terrors—”

“—only Roger—”

The last mention of Roger in the book identifies him as the one “who carried death in his hands.”

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Roger is depicted as a cruel sadist who enjoys torturing his enemies and acts as Jack's executioner. Initially, Roger is described as a secretive adolescent who prefers to stay by himself and avoid social interaction. As the situation on the island becomes increasingly desperate and uncivilized, Roger rises to the occasion and shares Jack's affinity for savagery. Roger agrees with Jack's decision to wear disturbing face paint, liberating the hunters from "shame and self-consciousness." Roger supports Jack's behavior by saying, "You don’t half look a mess." Roger's feelings regarding the face paint reflect his desire to embrace his cruelty and behave in a ruthless manner.

Once the boys begin exploring the island in search of the beast, they approach the mountain, and Golding writes,

There came the sound of boys scuttling away. Astonishingly, a dark figure moved against the tide.

The "dark figure" moving against the tide is Roger, and this description reflects the ominous atmosphere surrounding his evil character. Roger has developed into a callous, sinister boy who is guided by bloodlust and desires to hurt others. In chapter 10, Roger approaches Castle Rock and is stopped by Jack's guards. Roger comments, "You couldn’t stop me coming if I wanted." Roger's threat corresponds to his character and depicts him as an intimidating, violent boy. Roger views himself as an unstoppable, imposing force. After Roger violently kills Piggy, Jack orders his hunters to abandon chasing Ralph and questions Roger about leaving his post. Golding writes,

The hangman’s horror clung round him [Roger]. The chief said no more to him but looked down at Samneric.

This description portrays Roger as a terrifying executioner. Roger has transformed into a psychopathic murderer and surpassed Jack as the most violent, evil boy on the island. Jack then addresses Samneric, and Roger corrects him on the proper way to use the pointed spear as a torture device. Golding writes,

Roger edged past the chief, only just avoiding pushing him with his shoulder. The yelling ceased, and Samneric lay looking up in quiet terror. Roger advanced upon them as one wielding a nameless authority.

The "nameless authority" suggests that Roger is driven by an inherent, wicked force and will eventually challenge Jack’s rule.

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In William Golding's allegory, Roger represents sadism. When he is first introduced to readers, he "kept to himself with an inner intensity of avoidance and secrecy."  The first depiction of Roger comes in Chapter Four when he stoops and picks up a stone, "that token of preposterous time" and bounces it a few yards from the littl'un Henry who sits on the shore:

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.  Roger's arm was conditioned by a civilization that knew nothing of him and was in ruins.

When Jack approaches him, Roger sees him, "a darker shadow crept beneath the swarthiness of his skin...."

In Chapter Seven, Jack decides to hunt for a pig and taunts Ralph into accompanying him. When Robert pretends to be the pig, Rogers fights to get close.  Later, too, Roger becomes a shadowy presence:

Roger, uncommunicative by nature, said nothing.  He offered no opinion on the beast nor told Ralph why he had chosen to come on this mad expedition.  He simply sat and rocked the trunk gently....Roger was banging his silly wooden stick against something....impervious Roger....

Roger follows Ralph and "lay behind him"; he "bumped fumbled with a his of breath and passed onwards."

In Chapter Eight, when the hunters find a pig, Roger prods

with his spear whenever pigflesh appeared....Roger found a lodgment for his point and began to push till he was leaning with his whole weight. 

That Roger has descended into savagery is evinced in Chapter Eleven when he takes up

a small stone and flung it between the twins, aiming to miss.  They started and Same only just kept his footing.  Some source of power began to pulse in Roger's body.

Ralph tries to call a meeting and reorganize the boys, but he and Piggy are met by "the storm of sound."  High above,

High overhead, Roger, with a sense of deliriuous abandonment, leaned all his weight on the lever.

A huge rock strikes Piggy, sending him through the air where he falls forty feet and lands on his back across the square red rock in the sea.

In Chapter Twelve, Sam tells Ralph, "You don't know Roger.  He's a terror."  Then, "Roger sharpened a stick at both ends."  Clearly, the sadism given free rein, Roger becomes more and more brutal and sadistic.

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

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

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

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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What is an example of an important quote by Roger in Lord of the Flies?

In chapter 10, Roger approaches Castle Rock on his own and is stopped by a sentry. After the sentry questions and correctly identifies Roger, he allows him to pass. When the sentry comments that Jack gave them orders to challenge anyone, Roger responds by saying,

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

Roger's comment emphasizes his threatening nature and foreshadows his violent actions. Similar to Jack, Roger has an affinity for violence and is depicted as a sadist. Roger is also a relatively quiet adolescent, which contributes to his ominous, intimidating personality. By challenging the sentry, Roger also reveals that he is confident in his strength and fighting skills. The fact that Roger will not go down without a fight suggests that he could have issues with Jack in the future. In the next chapter, Roger demonstrates his violent, hostile personality by rolling a massive boulder towards Piggy, which kills him instantly.

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What is an example of an important quote by Roger in Lord of the Flies?

An important quote by Roger is when he suggests that they will never be rescued, showing the dark side of his personality.

Roger is a quiet but moody boy.  The other boys are wary of him from the beginning.  No one knew him at first.  This demonstrates that he is somewhat of an outsider.  Roger does begin interjecting himself into the discussion, and usually not on a positive note.

Roger took the conch and looked round at them gloomily.

“I’ve been watching the sea. There hasn’t been the trace of a ship. Perhaps we’ll never be rescued.” (ch 2)

Roger usually does not speak, although he is usually involved in what is going on.  When he does talk, he usually says something important or tries to, and because he does not talk much the others listen.

This statement is a direct violation of Ralph’s authority, and he immediately contradicts Roger.  He sees Roger as a threat, slowly chipping away at his position.

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What is a good quote to sum up Roger from Lord of the Flies?

A good quote to examine when considering Roger's character is the scene in which Roger practices throwing stones at Henry but chooses to miss:

"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.  Roger's arm was conditioned by a civilization that knew nothing of him and was in ruins" (62).

This quote from Chapter Four reveals Roger's reluctance to trespass the boundaries of civilization.  This scene with Roger occurs fairly early on in the novel when the presence of law and order was still strong in the boys' minds.  It is interesting to note that the things that hold Roger's arm back, teachers, parents, school, are all exterior sources of motivation to behave correctly and do right; there is no mention of Roger's morals or conscience convicting him.  Later as the boys descend more and more into savagery, those old restraints will not be there, and Roger will have no qualms about using violence against the other boys. 

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