On the American Library Association’s list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000
Key Facts full title · Lord of the Flies author · William Golding type of work · Novel genre · Allegory; adventure story; castaway fiction; loss-of-innocence fiction time and place written · Early 1950s; Salisbury, England date of first publication · 1954 narrator · The story is told by an anonymous third-person narrator who conveys the events of the novel without commenting on the action or intruding into the story. point of view · The narrator speaks in the third person, primarily focusing on Ralph’s point of view but following Jack and Simon in certain episodes. The narrator is omniscient and gives us access to the characters’ inner thoughts. tone · Dark; violent; pessimistic; tragic; unsparing
tense · Immediate past setting (time) · Near future setting (place) · A deserted tropical island protagonist · Ralph major conflict · Free from the rules that adult society formerly imposed on them, the boys marooned on the island struggle with the conflicting human instincts that exist within each of them—the instinct to work toward civilization and order and the instinct to descend into savagery, violence, and chaos. themes · Civilization vs. savagery; the loss of innocence; innate human evil motifs · Biblical parallels; natural beauty; the bullying of the weak by the strong; the outward trappings of savagery (face paint, spears, totems, chants) symbols · The conch shell; Piggy’s glasses; the signal fire; the beast; the Lord of the Flies; Ralph, Piggy, Jack, Simon, and Roger
Set in the mid 1940s when Europe was engulfed in war
A plane carrying British school boys is mistaken for a military craft and shot down.
Only the boys survive the crash and try to form a society and govern themselves.
Characters Ralph -- The novel’s protagonist, the twelve-year-old English boy who is elected leader of the group; attempts to coordinate the boys’ efforts to build a miniature civilization on the island until they can be rescued Jack -- The novel’s antagonist, one of the older boys stranded on the island. Jack becomes the leader of the hunters but longs for total power and becomes increasingly wild, barbaric, and cruel as the novel progresses Piggy -- A whiny, intellectual boy From left - Ralph, Piggy, Jack
Characters continued… Simon – shy, sensitive boy in the group. Simon, in some ways the only naturally “good” character on the island, behaves kindly toward the younger boys and is willing to work for the good of their community SamnEric– pair of twins closely allied with Ralph; Sam and Eric are always together, and the other boys often treat them as a single entity, calling them “Samneric.” Roger -- Jack’s “lieutenant.” A sadistic, cruel older boy who brutalizes the littluns Littluns– the younger boys on the island, who cry at night and are afraid of the beastie Lord of the Flies -- The name given to the sow’s head that Jack’s gang impales on a stake and erects in the forest as an offering to the “beast.”