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

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

Start Free Trial

What quotes in Lord of the Flies represent bullying on the island?

Quick answer:

There are many quotes that represent bullying in Lord of the Flies. In chapter 1, Jack tells Piggy, "Shut up, Fatty," and Ralph tells Piggy, "Sucks to your auntie!" and "Sucks to your ass-mar!" In chapter 4, Roger and Maurice destroy the littluns' sandcastles. Golding writes, "Roger led the way straight through the castles, kicking them over, burying the flowers, scattering the chosen stones. Maurice followed, laughing, and added to the destruction."

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

His specs—use them as burning glasses!

Though Jack knows full well that Piggy's short-sighted and can't see a thing without his glasses, he doesn't hesitate to grab them in order to use their lenses to reflect sunlight and start a fire.

Such utter contempt for Piggy is in keeping with the general attitude of the boys on the island toward him. They don't see him as a normal human being, but as a figure of fun, an object of hatred and derision. An overweight boy with glasses who's very good at his schoolwork—a "swot" in the parlance of English schoolboys—Piggy is an easy target for bullying. And Jack, for one, is certainly not about to pass up the opportunity to single him out for especially rough treatment.

Eat! Damn you!

This is Jack again, this time bullying the other boys into eating the pig they've just killed. He doesn't want them to eat because he's concerned that they're not eating enough; he wants them to eat the pig as an acknowledgement of his hunting skills. Though he may be a bully, Jack's not a mindless thug. He knows that if he can intimidate the other boys into eating, he can pretty much get them to do whatever he wants. As the others start eating the pig's flesh, Jack realizes his power over them.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Even Ralph, who emerges as the better of the two boys who compete to lead the others, is unkind at times. When he and Piggy first meet in chapter one, Piggy confides that he suffered his unfortunate nickname at school and would like it if he was never called that again.

"They used to call me 'Piggy.'"

Ralph shrieked with laughter. He jumped up. "Piggy! Piggy! Ralph—please!" Piggy clasped his hands in apprehension.

Ralph continues to bully Piggy in chapter one, saying "Sucks to your auntie!" and "Sucks to your ass-mar!" when Piggy begins to tell him more about his life back in England.

When the other boys assemble and the decision is made to explore the island, Piggy wants to join the expedition. He offers:

"I'll come." Ralph turned to him. "You're no good on a job like this." "All the same—" "We don't want you," said Jack, flatly.

The reasons that Piggy is bullied by the other boys is apparently because of his extra weight, his asthma, his eyeglasses, his lower-class accent, and his tendency to speak to the others as though he is an exasperated parent. Piggy is a bit neurotic, and the other boys seize on his weakness.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There are numerous scenes throughout the novel Lord of the Flies that depict the boys bullying each other. Piggy, the heavy-set character with glasses, is by far the most bullied child on the island. In Chapter 1, Piggy mentions to Jack that he got most of the boys' names, and Jack says, "You're talking too much ... Shut up, Fatty." (Golding 21) Throughout the novel, Jack bullies Piggy every chance he gets. In Chapter 2, Jack rudely snatches Piggy's glasses off his face to start a fire, and when Piggy suggests that the boys be more careful the next time they build one, Jack says, "You're always scared. Yah—Fatty!" (Golding 45) Later on, Jack breaks Piggy's glasses by slapping them off his face. Jack continually interrupts Piggy when he attempts to speak during assemblies, and even steals his glasses to start his own fire towards the end of the novel.

However, Piggy is not the only child subjected to bullying. Simon is called "batty" and laughed at by the boys throughout the novel. In Chapter 4, when the boys are eating the pig Jack killed, Simon gives a piece of meat to Piggy. Jack slices off another piece of meat and throws it at Simon's feet and says, "Eat! Damn you!" (Golding 74)

In Chapter 4, Maurice and Roger bully the littluns who are building sandcastles on the beach. Both the hunters run through and destroy the littluns' sandcastles.

"Roger led the way straight through the castles, kicking them over, burying the flowers, scattering the chosen stones. Maurice followed, laughing, and added to the destruction." (Golding 60)

Even the littluns throw sand in Percival's eyes throughout the chapter.

"Henry and Johnny were throwing sand at Percival who was crying quietly again..." (Golding 67)

Jack not only disrespects Simon and Piggy but also bullies his hunters. In Chapter 7, the boys begin to mess around and pretend that Robert is a pig. The boys go too far and begin to stab and hurt Robert. This moment depicts all the hunters bullying one child.

"The circle moved in and round. Robert squealed in mock terror, then in real pain. "Ow! Stop it! You're hurting!" (Golding 114)

Golding conveys the boys' gradual descent into savagery by depicting them bullying one another as the novel progresses. Without boundaries and restrictions, the boys have no respect for one another and bullying becomes prevalent on the island.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial