Lord of the Flies (Golding)

Discussion Questions
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Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for Lord of the Flies:

1. Talk about the differences between the two main antagonists, Ralph and Jack. How are they different from one another, and what broad "types" of individuals do they represent?

2. In what way can Piggy with his eye glasses be seen as representing the rational, scientific aspects of society?

3. What role does the conch play? How does it represent a civilizing force?

4. What does the beast represent? How is it used by Jack to control the others? Are there parallels  for "the beast" in the real world, the one outside of fiction?

5. What does Simon mean when he suggests that the beast is only the boys themselves?

6. Why do the littleuns choose to follow Jack and the hunters rather than Ralph? Is it because they feel safer with Jack's group, believing that Jack can protect them? Or do they enjoy what the hunters do?

7. What do you feel Golding's vision of humanity is? Do you think he believes we born with an instinct for peace and cooperation...or for dominance and savagery? Does his vision accord with your own?

8. What do you think about the rules of civilization? Do they free us and enable us to rise to our best selves? Or do the rules constrain our bad nature that lie at the heart of ourselves?

9. What does hunting mean to Jack...at the beginning, and then later? What happens to his mental state after he kills his first pig?

10. What is ironic about the naval officer who arrives to "rescue" the boys? How does Ralph feel about returning to the safety of civilization? Why does he weep—is it relief, or something else?

m. Golding wrote his novel 10 years after the close of  World War II and during the era of Communist containment. In what way does his book reflect the particular world politics of his time? Does the book have relevance today?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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