Mrs. Moritz's 9th Honors English

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The End is Near!!

Now that we are coming to the conclusion of the book, let's discuss some important realizations. What do the character's symbolize? What, specifically, does Simon symbolize? How can we support this? What about Piggy? Jack? Why is it important that we look beyond the roles they play and evaluate why they are who they are?

5 Comments:

  • I'm not really sure what Simon symbolized - he was a good loyal person until his death during the 'dance'...I guess he sort of symbolized the beginning of the end, in a sense. I don't think there was any real violence b/t anybody (well, at least that bad) before that 'dance', but right after Simon's death, Ralph and Piggy were the two loners. Ralph was eventually injured by Jack's spear (I think that was afterwards...can't really remember) and Piggy eventually met his death. Ralph was nearly murdered as well, but luckily was 'saved by the boat.' Piggy probably symbolized courage; he was a wimpy sissy up until he spoke out for what he believed in. That was really brave of him; he could not even see who he was addressing very well without his glasses on, but stood strong and tall and fought with his words to his death:(. Jack symbolized the evils of human nature and our natural desire to step up our place on the social ladder. I think by evils of human nature, I mean like how easily people lose sight of what is important when something like their pride is crushed. Since Jack lost the vote for chief (definitely hurting his pride), he finally decided he was sick of putting up with Ralph's leadership, most likely because Ralph was a constant reminder of his LOSS. He got so caught up in being a leader of his own tribe (probably the sense of invincibility/power) that he went so far as to kill two kids without giving it a second thought.

    It's probably important to look beyond the roles the characters play and try to see why they are who they are because it gives us a little bit better understanding of the book. I don't know about anyone else, but I thought a lot of this book was rather confuzzling...but by thinking of the characters as real people and trying to imagine what it would feel like in their situation, I found that each and every character had a good reason for doing what they did. Jack was very hurt inside, and the only solution he had to heal it was to eliminate the source of it, namely, Ralph. Piggy had a good reason for always being timid and whiney; he was the 'outcast,' the one labeled as a 'nuisance' and never given respect or listened to. And Ralph...because he was 'elected' original 'chief' of the kids, he felt he was responsible for organizing their rescue and keeping everyone in order. When Jack would smart off to him, he usually half-ignored it, just so long as Jack did as he was supposed to. When only he and Simon worked on the homes and whatnot, he called meetings to get everyone laboring again. I think he ended up being the only living person on the island with sanity and common sense because he still felt the responsibility of a chief.

    By Blogger Alison B, at 5:32 PM  

  • Wow! Great insight Alison! I agree completely!

    As for me, all I could really think of after I finished this book was, "Thank God, and good riddance!" But, I do feel an obligation to do some deep commenting as a final closing for the book.

    Simon

    I think Simon represents the modern day martyr. Though he may be young, innocent, and keep to himself, he recognizes the reality of their situation of the island. For example, all the boys think that being on the island is just a game. Jack especially. Since they haven't fully experienced the maturity of growing up, they see everything as a young boy would... at first. But that all changes when Jack splits off from the group. Simon, having encountered, and yes perhaps defeated, the Lord of the Flies and finding out what the unknown fear of the "beastie" really is, takes the risk of telling the truth. As a result, he is killed. And it's really after that that things fall apart. He was really the binding thread that held the boys within the ranges of sanity even though they had split into two parties. He symbolizes innocence.

    Piggy

    Piggy is the voice of common sense. He is the one who "gets it." It reminds me of those people who spoke out against the Holocaust... what happened to them? They were thrown into the concentration camps. He symbolizes the good and bad effects of intelligence.

    Jack

    Jack is my least favorite character in this entire book. As well he should be. Out of all the characters he is the one who changes the most. And I don't mean in a good way. He can be related to Stalin or one of those other dictators who started out with a good idea and then took the easy way out. He could also be related to that 21st century ideal of instant gratification... intstant power. He symbolizes how power can corrupt.

    It's important to anylyze characters in this way so that you can understand the basic underlying theme of the book.

    As a closing note, I am so glad we are done with this book and am looking forward to reading and discussing more enjoyable topics.

    By Blogger RachelP, at 7:33 PM  

  • YES! I completely agree w/ you, Rachel, especially the closing note. I did not like this book...at all...at ALL. It was kind of confusing, had a lot of scenes that made me go "Ick," and was hardly enjoyable. But now that I've bashed the book...

    Wow. The comparison you made about Jack & Stalin was REALLY good. I had never really thought about it that way...but I guess that's how it was.

    I also never really thought about Piggy being Mr. Common Sense. He was always like hanging on Ralph and babyishly going, "I've got the conch..." He must've been smart, though, to stick with Ralph. Especially when everyone else betrayed him and joined Jack. That makes sense.

    Innocence is definitely a good way to describe Simon. He was the quiet, attentive, 'I'll do it because I know it's right' kind of guy. Like building the shelters and fire. And that was really sad, how he simply tried to tell the others in the 'tribe' what the beastie really was... how instead of being listened to he was killed. From that point in the book forward it was super depressing, even more so than before.

    What kind of book is this anyway? A tradegy? The main character (who I suppose is Ralph) survives and all, but not without internal scarring. And it's DEFINITELY not a comedy...at least my idea of a comedy, anyway. Tradegy/comedy/???

    By Blogger Alison B, at 6:35 PM  

  • First, I would like to get it out in the open saying this will be short and sweet and to the point. i think that Simon repersents the type of person who can see humanity's faults but , they are too hard to express. But as others don't alaways appreciate constructive critism and they kill him like other religous martyrs. So in a way Simon is like a sort of peacful omen, in a religious sense like Christ, but heaven forbid anyone shouldn't become a savage or their enemies so they dispose of him, permantly. The way in which they killed him wwas parallel to the way Christ died, tortured and then brutally murdered.

    By Blogger Sander K., at 2:14 PM  

  • I am a girl and I enjoyed this book. I haven't really picked up a book that I didn't like (except The Giver in 8th grade.) I think the plot line was a little basic, but the symbolism was interesting.

    Simon
    We disucussed this in my class and we found that Simon symbolizes a Christ-like figure. The is the one who stays good while everything is turning bad. His death might represtnt a loss of innocence. After Simon dies, the boys' situation turns increasingly evil and corrupted.

    Piggy
    Piggy was common sense. I think he was the one who suggested that the fire be moved form the top of the mountain to the beach (if not then, I got that one wrong on the test) and the person everyone likes to pick on. That might represent the way people bash thier common sense back and do stupid things. Such as when they wouldn't let Piggy talk during the meetings about *probably* the best solutions to their problems.

    Jack
    The people like Jack are the rebbelious ones who look only to the good of themselves. He couldn't deal with Ralph's leadership, so he left; he didn't want to deal with the fire so he went hunting; he didn't want to learn to light fire, so he stole Piggy's glasses. Jack was a leader, not a follower, and he couldn't change his ways for the greater good.

    I want to put in a quick word about Roger. It seemes to me that Roger was the tribe's torturer. The notes by dome dude in the back of some of the books describes Roger as a natural sadist, but does anyone know how the book lead to that conclusion?

    *Please excuse my hideous spelling*

    By Blogger RachelL, at 4:31 PM  

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