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Intertextuality | Humanities
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Reading and Study Guides.
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- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10
- Chapter 11
- Chapter 12
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.
-- Click here to read the
novel, if you don't have your copy of the book. The file is big, so it might
take a few minutes to load.
- Strategy: once this file is open, you can search
it by pressing control + F. You will discover that
the word savage is used 67 times in the novel. You can figure
out that fragile is used 3 times to describe the conch. Mirage
is used 11 times in the novel. Search the word buzz and see
how many times it is used to describe the sound the boys are making.
- Jack as Animal (chapter 3)
- Theme Analysis Paper--This
is the paper we worked on after we finished LOTF. Use 2-3 of the topic sentences
we came up with in our in-class brainstorming.
- Group Discussion Questions -- We will write a paper in groups. (Honors
students see me for handout)
- "I Shot an Arrow in the Air" -- (Write a paper on this episode
of the Twilight Zone.)
- Exam Essays -- Choose two and be prepared to write the essay in class
on exam day. (Honors students see me for sheet.)
- Man's Inhumanity: Some links to
sites that illustrate some of man's inhumanity.
- Human Good Deeds -- Some examples
to get you thinking about some good things that humans can do.
The Bacchae | The Coral Island
- Euripides's The Bacchae
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
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.
who relays the story says,
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.
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.
on the other side,
was ripping at his flesh;
and Autonoe now and the whole rabid
pack were on him.
a single, universal howl:
the moans of Pentheus (so long as he had breath)
mixed with their impassioned yells.
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.
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
handled this creature after
I did; but only after . . .
Oh what a beautiful hunt!
in the feast. (117)
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.
Bacchae | The Coral Island | Bible
- R. M. Ballantyne's The
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
If you read the two novels together, you might argue that Ballantyne is optimistic
about human nature and Golding is a bit more pessimistic.
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?
- What's in a name?
- Disciple Peter's name, in the Bible, was Simon
- In Luke 23:26, we learn that in the story of the crucifixion, a man
named Simon carries the cross.
- Luke 23:26 And as
they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon,
a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the
cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.
- Simon/Jesus Comparisons
- They both prophesize
- Simon in LOTF, tells Ralph that he will survive: "[Y]ou
will get all right"
- Simon does include himself in the prophesy; thus, one can
infer he has prophesized his own death.
- Jesus on several occasions in the Bible predicts his
- They both feed people.
- Jesus feeds his followers with bread and fish
- Matthew 36 And
he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and
brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to
the multitude. 37 And
they did all eat, and were filled
- Other passages: Mark 6: 34-44; 8: 1-9; John 6: 5-13
- Simon feeds the littluns in the novel with fruit
- "Simon found for them the fruit they could not reach,
pulled off the choicest from up in the foliage, passed them
back down to the endless, outstretched hands" (Golding
- Both withdraw themselves from society
- According to the story, Jesus "withdrew himself into the
wilderness, and prayed" (Luke 5:16).
- Simon also retreats into the wildnerness: "Simon turned away
from them and went where the just perceptible path led him. Soon
high jungle closed in. [. . .] He looked over his shoulder [. .
.] and glanced swiftly round to confirm that he was utterly alone"
- Both fast
Remember that Simon is taunted by the Lord of the Flies.
- Simon "shifted restlessly but there was no avoiding the sun.
Presently he was thirsty, and then very thirsty. He continued
to sit" (Golding 132-33, emphasis mine).
- According to the Bible, Jesus went forty days and nights
without food: "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the
wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty
days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered" (Matthew
- Crown of thorns
- Simon "bashed into a tree" and "a white spot on
his forehead turned red and trickled" (Golding 104).
- One could interpret the image of blood on the forehead as
the imitation of the crown of thorns.
- Other allusions:
- After Simon dies, the boys remember that Simon said something about
"a body on the hill." Simon was referring to the parachutist,
but the body on a hill could evoke the image of Jesus on the mountain.
- Original sin
- Garden of Eden
- the beastie is described in the LOTF as a snake, which creates
the image of the serpent tempting Eve.
- Similarities between the story of Cain and Abel and Jack and Ralph.
- Pork in the Old Testament is considered filthy and is forbidden.
Jack and his hunters hunt pigs.
- Leviticus 11:7 And
the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he
cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. 8
Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not
touch; they are unclean to you.
- Look up on Bible
Online Matthew 12: 22-28 for a passage that mentions Beelzebub,
which translated means Lord of the Flies.
Work Consulted: Olsen, Kirstin. Understanding Lord of the Flies.
Westport: Greenwood, 2000.
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.
of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
- Novel shares many of the same themes.
- John Dollar
by Marianne Wiggins, who was once married to Salman Rushdie.
- Here is a bit of a review by School Library Journal: Described
by the author as a "female Lord of the Flies," this
book is every bit as chilling and brutal as Golding's.
- A High Wind in Jamaica
by Richard Hughes
- Here is a bit of the Amazon.com editorial review: "First
published in 1929, A High Wind in Jamaica has been compared
to Lord of the Flies in its unflinching portrayal of innocence corrupted,
but Richard Hughes is the supreme ironist William Golding never was.
He possesses the ability to be one moment thoroughly inside a character's
head, and the next outside of it altogether, hilariously commenting."
- In an interview at Purdue University, Golding acknowledged the similarities
between this novel and his. He said he didn't read it until afte rhe
published his novel.
- "The Destructors" by Graham Greene
- Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien
- Here is the opening lines of a review by January 27, 1975 edition
Publisher's Weekly: January 27th"This tale of humanity
after atomic war brings to mind "Lord of the Flies" and will
have similar icy and compulsive effects on readers.Here are some professional
- Here are some more reviews
of the book.
Most of the movies below are rated R, so please get parent permission if
you are under 17.
- "Fable" -- by Gatsby's
American Dream from the album Volcano
(Click this link and go to the bottom of page to listen to clip of
- Thank you Rob W. from 5th hour (2005) for selection. Song sounds like
the band Bush. The lyrics are from the point of view of the boys on
- "Shadows and Tall Trees" -- by U2. This is the title of one
of the chapters. Click
here to listen or search on Youtube.
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
Mr. B. Lettiere's English on the Web: Lord of the Flies: Student Resources