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 the most important parts in Lord of the Flies?

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Arguably, the most important part in Lord of the Flies is when the boys elect Ralph as their leader instead of Jack. This leads to Jack adopting a rebellious spirit toward the group and eventually divides the boys into two groups. Jack leads the group that follows him on hunting expeditions and believes that there is a beast in the forest. This culminates with the boys killing Simon, as their fear leads them into believing that he might be the beast as he approaches them. Throughout the whole book, it is evident that Jack lacks positive leadership characteristics, and one is led to wonder how things might have turned out differently if he and Ralph had been able to work in tandem.

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The major events in the novel are listed below for your convenience.

  • British schoolboys’ plane crashes on a desert island with no adult supervision.
  • Ralph becomes the elected chief of the boys after blowing a conch shell to signal a gathering.
  • Jack Merridew becomes so obsessed with hunting pigs that he neglects other responsibilities.
  • Jack lets the boys' signal fire go out in order to finally kill a pig.
  • Samneric discover a beast, which is actually just a dead pilot in a parachute.
  • Jack leaves Ralph’s group to start his own tribe.
  • The boys kill Simon at Jack’s feast in a frenzy.
  • Jack’s group invades Ralph’s camp to steal Piggy’s glasses.
  • Ralph, Piggy, and Samneric go to confront Jack at Castle Rock.
  • Ralph and Jack fight; Roger rolls a boulder that kills Piggy and shatters the conch.
  • Jack and his tribe try to hunt Ralph the next morning; they set the whole island ablaze.
  • Ralph encounters a naval officer while running away from the hunters; the boys are rescued.
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What are the most important aspects to note in Lord of the Flies?

Lord of the Flies is a complex text, so there are many important aspects that a reader should pay attention to while reading; one of the reasons why teachers love using this novel so much in the classroom is that the author has created a wealth of great material for analysis. 

1.  Themes:  One of Golding's most important themes in the novel is the idea of civilization versus savagery.  Golding uses the young boys' adventures on the island to explore the belief that man, while capable of great good and kindness, is also inherently evil and destructive.

2.  Symbols:  Lord of the Flies is full of symbols that Golding uses in connection to his savagery versus civilization theme mentioned above.  Important symbols to note are:  the conch shell, the fire, Piggy's glasses, the Lord of the Flies, the beast.

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