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Below are links to sites that will help you understand and think about Lord of the Flies. They are not meant to be used as substitutes for the novel. They only help when used along with the novel. They will not help you on reading comprehension quizzes. Pay attention to the analyses on these pages. They should help you to start getting ideas about the book. Ignore all advertisements on the following sites. Top
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The Bacchae | The Coral Island | Bible

Compare the scene where Simon comes down the mountain into the ritual dance of Jack's boys to the following scene from The Bachae.

In the fifth episode of the play, Pentheus's mother, Agave, and other women are dancing when they see Pentheus in a tree. Pentheus is dressed as a woman, per Dionysus's suggestion.

When Agave sees her son in the tree, she says,

We must take this climbing animal
or he will spread abroad the secrets
of our god-struck dance.

The messenger who relays the story says,

His mother
as the priestess of the bloodbath
was the first to fall upon him.
He snatched the headband off his hair
to let Agave, wretched woman, see
who it was and so not murder him.
He touched her on the cheek and cried:
"Mother, it is I, your child, your Pentheus,
born to you in Echion's house.
Have mercy on me, Mother,
and because of my msitakes do not kill your son--your son."
She was foaming at the mouth.
Her dilated eyeballs rolled.
Her mind was gone--
possessed by Bacchus--she could not hear her son.

Gripping his left hand and forearm
and balancing her foot against the doomed man's ribs,
she dragged his arm off at the shoulder . . .
it was not her strength that did it
but the god's power seething in her hands.

Ino, active on the other side,
was ripping at his flesh;
and Autonoe now and the whole rabid pack were on him.

There was a single, universal howl:
the moans of Pentheus (so long as he had breath)
mixed with their impassioned yells.

One woman carried off an arm,
another a foot, boot and all;
they shredded his ribs--clawed them clean.

Not a finger but it dripped with crimson
as they tossed the flesh of Pentheus like a ball.

His body lies in pieces:
some of it under the gaunt rocks,
some of it in the deep green thickets of the woods--
by no means easy to recover . . .
except for his head,
which his mother, seizing in her hands,
has planted on the thyrsus point.
(114 -15)

When Agave returns home she thinks her son's head is a lion's head. And she boasts about the hunt:

Cadmus's daughters
handled this creature after
I did; but only after . . .
Oh what a beautiful hunt!

Come, join in the feast. (117)

The Bacchae. Three Plays of Euripides. Trans. Paul Roche. New York: Norton, 1974.

You should see some similiarities from the passages above to scenes in Lord of the Flies.

Top | The Bacchae | The Coral Island | Bible

Golding wrote Lord of the Flies as a response to The Coral Island. The novel is mentioed a few times in LOTF. The boys refer to it after they decide they are going to have a bunch of fun in chapter two. The captain at the end says,

I know. Jolly good show. Like the Coral Island.

The characters' names in The Coral Island are Ralph, Jack, and Peterkin. These boys survive by hunting pig. They deal with real, external beasts: cannibals and pirates.

If you read the two novels together, you might argue that Ballantyne is optimistic about human nature and Golding is a bit more pessimistic.

Top | The Bacchae | The Coral Island | Bible


Many readers see Simon as a Christ figure. Many readers see the theme of the book being about the original sin and the fall of man. Lord of the Flies is an English translation of Beelzebub, which often times is taken to mean Satan or a lesser devil. Golding, whatever his belief, used ideas from the Bible. Below I outline some of the connections. A question you might keep in mind is what does Golding achieve by making references to the Bible?

Work Consulted: Olsen, Kirstin. Understanding Lord of the Flies. Westport: Greenwood, 2000.

Top | The Bacchae | The Coral Island | Bible

Literature is merely one piece of humanities. The nice thing about literature is that it deals with themes that are dealt with in other novels, songs, paintings, movies, and other artistic areas.



Most of the movies below are rated R, so please get parent permission if you are under 17.


Feel free to write me emails with names of songs, poems, movies, books, paintings, and so forth that you think connect well to Lord of the Flies.

Mr. B. Lettiere's English on the Web: Lord of the Flies: Student Resources

June 15, 2014

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