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Lord of the Flies, Chapter 5 & 6: Questions about Key Phrases

1) On p. 95 Ralphneeded to think; and only here could he allow his feet to move without having to watch themHe found himself understanding the wearisomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of ones waking life was spent watching ones feet. He stopped, facing the strip: and remembering that first enthusiastic exploration as though it were part of a brighter childhood, he smiled jeeringlyHe lost himself in a maze of thoughts that were rendered vague by his lack of words to express themThis meeting must not be fun, but business. On this page, it seems evident that there has been a change in the way Ralph perceives his situation. Why is every pathan improvisation? Why does he find it wearisomethat a considerable part oflife [is now] spent watching his feet? Why was that first day of enthusiastic exploration a part of a brighter childhood? Why brighter?

2) On p. 97 If faces were different when lit from above or belowwhat was a face? What was anything? This seems more like a rhetorical lament than a question per se. In this case, the idea of what a face might represent is worth exploring. First of all, consider the fact that Jack was unable to kill a pig until he had concealed his own face and taken on a new one. Secondly, think of the Japanese concepts of honne ( a persons true feelings) and tatemae ( the faade, or exterior face, shown to the public through ones behaviors or attitudes). Thirdly, consider Ralphs lament from Chapter 3, upon seeing Piggy lying around instead of helping with the shelters: He wanted to explain how people were never quite what you thought they were. (p. 69) Taking all of this into consideration, what might the questions from that passage on p. 97 indicate? Rephrase the question in different words. Why do you think this is on Ralphs mind right now?

3) On p. 98 he took the conch down from the tree and examined the surface. Exposure to the air had bleached the yellow and pink to near white, and transparency. Ralph felt a kind of affectionate reverence for the conch, even though he had fished the thing out the lagoon himself. What significance could there be to the change in the physical appearance of the conch? Explain Ralphs new affectionate reverence for it.

4) From the Notes section (p. 280) Thinking, as Ralph realizes on p. 97, really begins when one realizes that there is more than one way of looking at things, and has to find the truest way. What, exactly, are the attitudes of Ralph, Jack, Piggy, and Simon to the beast and what attitudes to life as a whole do they imply? What does mankinds essential illness mean to Simon? Why does Piggy repudiate ghosts so angrily?

5) Find a phrase or passage from Chapter 5 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:

6) Find a phrase or passage from Chapter 5 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:

7) On p. 117 Grown-ups know things, said Piggy. They aint afraid of the dark. Theyd meet and have tea and discuss They wouldnt quarrel Or break my specs Or talk about a beast If only they could get a message to us, cried Ralph desperately, If only they could send us something grown-upa sign or something. This is from the last page of Chapter 5. On the first page of Chapter 6 (p. 118) - a sign came down from the world of grown-ups What was the sign? How might it contrast with the boys expectations of the world of grown-ups? Do the boys have realistic expectations?

8) On p. 117 Percival Wemys Madison, of the Vicarage, Harcourt St. Anthonywas living through circumstances in which the incantation of his address was powerless to help him. Explain the meaning of this.

9) On p. 121 Wasnt he waxy? In this case, waxy is being used as slang for angry. What does this indicate about how Ralph is seen by the other boys?

10) On p. 126 Conch! Conch! shouted Jack, we dont need the conch any more. We know who ought to say things. What good did Simon do speaking, or Bill, or Walter? Its time some people knew theyve got to keep quiet and leave deciding things to the rest of us Is this democracy following the same path that many democracies do? Is a true government by the people and for the people an ideal that can never be realized? Do you think that in modern-day democratic societies, the common person is given a voice, or is the power of decision-making left to a club of exclusive membership? Give examples.

11) On p. 128 However Simon thought of the beast, there rose before his inward sight the picture of a human at once heroic and sick. Explain.

12) On p. 130-131 Now he saw the landmans view of the swell and it seemed like the breathing of some stupendous creature. Slowly the waters sank among the rocksrevealingstrange growths Then the sleeping leviathan breathed outthe waters rose, the weed streamed, and the water boiled over the table rock with a roar. There was no sense of the passage of waves; only this minute-long fall and rise and fall. Could there be any symbolism to the imagery presented in this passage? Explain.

13) Find a phrase or passage from Chapter 6 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: