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Lord of the Flies, Chapter 9 & 10: Questions about Key Phrases

1) On p. 179 Nothing prospered but the flies who blackened their lord and made the spilt guts look like a heap of glistening coal. Even when the vessel broke in Simons nose and blood gushed out they left him alone, preferring the pigs high flavour. Could this be an example of microcosm/macrocosm? Explain.

2) On p. 181 The tangle of lines showed him the mechanics of this parody; he examined the white nasal bones, the teeth, the colours of corruption. He saw how pitilessly the layers of rubber and canvas held together the poor body that should be rotting away. Then the wind blew again and the figure lifted, bowed, and breathed foully at him. Simon knelt on all fours and was sick till his stomach was empty. Then he took the lines in his hands; he freed them from the rocks and the figure from the winds indignity. Explain the underlined phrases. What is the parody being described here? From what sort of indignity did Simon free the dead parachutist?

3) On p. 183 a great log had been dragged into the centre of the lawn and Jack, painted and garlanded, sat there like an idol. There were piles of meat on green leaves near him, and fruit, and coco-nut shells full of drink. Merriam-Webster defines the word idol as follows:
1: a representation or symbol of an object of worship; broadly : a false god 2 a : a likeness of something b obsolete : pretender, impostor 3: a form or appearance visible but without substance <an enchanted phantom, a lifeless idol P. B. Shelley> 4: an object of extreme devotion <a movie idol>; also : ideal 2 5: a false conception : fallacy

Which definition(s) apply best to the usage in this sentence. Explain your reasoning.

Also, look at the following phrases from p. 185 Has everyone eaten as much as they want? His [Jacks] tone conveyed a warning, given out of the pride of ownership, and the boys ate faster while there was still timeJack rose from the log that was his throne Jack spokeGive me a drink. Henry brought him a shell and he drank, watching Piggy and Ralph over the jagged rim. Power lay in the brown swell of his forearms: authority sat on his shoulder and chattered in his ear like an ape. Consider the phrases like an idol and like an ape. How do they describe the nature of Jacks authority? How does the authority of Jack contrast with the authority of the conch, or of Ralph? What sort of ruler is Jack?

4) On p. 187 A circling movement developed and a chantPiggy and Ralph, under the threat of the sky, found themselves eager to take a place in this demented but partly secure society. They were glad to touch the brown backs of the fence that hemmed in the terror and made it governableRoger ceased to be a pig and became a hunterSome of the littluns started a ring on their ownas though repetition would achieve safety of itselfthere was the throb and stamp of a single organism. Explain the underlined phrases. What odd sort of comfort do Piggy and Ralph seem to derive from this ritual? Is there a similar sense of comfort to be gained through repetitive action?

For those of us in the civilized world, is military aggression a kind of real-world fence that hems in the terror(the savagery) that threatens our paradoxically free and peaceful existence? Can the actions of a group (or a society) merge together into the actions of a single organism? Explain your reasoning with examples.

5) On p. 193 Piggythat was murder. You stop it! said Piggy, shrilly. What goodre you doing talking like that? We was scared! Anything might have happened. It wasntwhat you said. He was gesticulating, searching for a formula. Explain what is going on in this conversation. How does Piggys way of thinking seem to influence his response in this situation? What formula is he seeking?

On the same page You were outside. Outside the circle. You never really came in. Didnt you see what we what they did? What does it mean to be outside the circle? Which do you think it really is: we or they?

6) On p. 195 A very awkward conversation occurs between Samneric and Piggy-Ralph: Samneric: we got lost last night Piggy-Ralph: You got lost after the Samneric: After the feastYes, after the feast. Piggy: We left earlybecause we were tired. Samneric: So did we (??? Speaker unknown): very early (??? Speaker unknown): we were very tired. Sam: Yes. We were very tiredso we left early. Was it a good (andhere comes an especially awkward part) The air was heavy with unspoken knowledge. Sam twisted and the obscene word shot out of him. dance? (OOPS! But wait! Theres more) Memory of the dance that none of them had attended shook all four boys convulsively. We left early. Explain what just happened in this scene. Why is dance an obscene word here? Why are the boys behaving in this way? How would you describe their psychological state?

7) On p. 197 [Jacks] going to beat Wilfred. What for? I dont know. He didnt say. He got angry and made us tie Wilfred up. Hes beenhes been tied up for hours, waiting But didnt the Chief say why? I never heard him. Sitting on the tremendous rocks in the torrid sun, Roger received this news as an illumination. Hesat still, assimilating the possibilities of irresponsible authority. What do the underlined phrases mean? What is meant by irresponsible authority? What are its possibilities?

Consider the following quote by John Dalberg-Acton (1834-1902 British politician, historian and writer): Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency and the certainty of corruption by authority. What does it mean? How might it apply here?

8) On p. 197-198 But didnt we, didnt we--? [Jack] squirmed and looked down. No! In the silence that followed each savage flinched away from his individual memory. No! How could wekillit? Half-relieved, half-daunted by the implication of further terrors, the savages murmuredI expect the beast disguised itself. Perhaps, said the Chief. A theological speculation presented itself. Wed better keep on the right side of him, anyhow. You cant tell what he might do. By denying their individual memories in order to accept what they are told by an authority, are the savages falling victim to doublethink? In what way is Jack able to use both propaganda and censorship to his personal advantage? Is Jack able to maintain power over them as long as there is an implication of further terrors? What effect do you imagine Jacks theological speculation had on the boys?

9) On p. 200 Ralph dredged in his fading knowledge of the world. We might get taken prisoner by the reds. Who are the reds? Why mention them now?

10) On p. 203: Dartmoor was wild and so were the ponies. But the attraction of wildness had gone. His mind skated to a consideration of a tamed town where savagery could not set foot. What could be safer than the bus centre with its lamps and wheels? Compare this with the following passages on p. 122 (Ralph was dreaminghe was back from where he camefeeding the ponies with sugar over the garden wall) and on p. 139 (Wild ponies came to the stone wall at the bottom of the garden). What has changed? Why does Ralph come to prefer lamps and wheels and bus centres to wild ponies?

11) Find a phrase or passage from Chapter 9 or 10 that you find interesting, unusual, or confusing. Write a question about that phrase/passage. Page number: _________ Key words, phrases, or ________________________________________________________________________ passages:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Your ________________________________________________________________________________________ Question:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Your Viewpoint: