W4, #9: LIKE “LOST”, JUST NO ADULTS

Set-Up: By the time Monday rolls around, all of us will have read the first chapter — “The Shell on the Beach” — of Lord of the Flies. Like the boys who crash-landed on the beach/island, we readers are trying to get our footing in the sand (so to speak).

Like the boys, we are trying to figure out what it all means, what will happen next, and who everyone is. In some respects, we are actually on that same beach/island with them.

With this in mind, we readers begin to pick up on potential foreshadowing, metaphors, symbols, allusions that William Golding has woven into the first chapter to hint at what the boys will experience during their ‘stay’ in this strange new world.

Challenge: You have 2 choices for this one.

  1. Identify 5+ author tricks (foreshadowing, etc.) that you think might play a role in the future of the story and what happens to these boys.  After you have done this, write 1+ sentence for each explaining what you think it might mean, or…
  2. Identify 1 author trick (foreshadowing, etc)…and write 5+ sentences about this to help all of us understand why we should highlight it in our own books.

Length: Depends on which option you selected, my island-bound friends.  All decisions have consequences.  (wink)

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14 responses to “W4, #9: LIKE “LOST”, JUST NO ADULTS

  1. I’m really confused about what’s going on – it’s hard to get my “footing in the sand.”

    But the one thing I noticed was that there were constant references to insects. (Maybe that has something to do with the title – Lord of the FLIES.) In one part it said that the shadows of the palms looked like “winged things” moving around.

    In another part it said it looked like insects were crawling toward the platform. I have no idea what flies have to do with the story so far, and I know for sure that there’s tons of other foreshadowing that I completely missed…but still, I think this might be important.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Clever opening line re: the sand, BTW. Don’t worry. The boys are trying to find their footing, too…so you’re on equal “footing” as they are.

    Good catch on the palm frawns. We’ll cover it later…but I’m impressed with your radar.

    And yes, the flies and insects in general end up being extremely important over time. Keep an eye on ’em. Buzz, buzz.

  2. Piggy made a lot of references to his asthma. He can’t swim because of his asthma, he can’t run because of his asthma… This sounds like it’s going to be a pretty important factor later, because its a pretty blatant limitation.

    Also, everyone seems to dislike Piggy, and they wouldn’t let him on their excursion to the pink rock, so Piggy doesn’t sound like he’s going to be too popular even though he’s the most intelligent of the group (so far).

    All of these made the part where they were going to kill the piglet that was caught in the creepers sound suspicious. Ralph said, “You should stick a pig. They always talk about sticking a pig.” Then Jack hinted at “next time there will be no mercy.” The boys are already sounding pretty savage, and something bad is going to happen to Piggy, but maybe he’ll escape like the piglet, but most likely if/when Piggy gets in trouble they’ll show no mercy.

    P.S. Piggy is awesome.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Piggy does rock, indeed. Nice to see his fan club is already on the move. Sometimes it gets easy to ignore him, or at least underestimate his importance to the novel. Definitely keep an ‘eye’ on him as the story unfolds. Once the truth hits you — like a boulder from the sky landing on your proverbial noggin’ — the deeper complexity of this novel will become hard-wired into your soul.

    Yes, his “ashmar” is gonna play a pretty key role, as well as what it may symbolize. Good catch of the breath, so to speak.

    Also, the ‘popularity’ vs. ‘intelligence’ concept is worth kicking around from this point forward.

    As for the piglet and savage pieces…you’re following a good jungle trail there, my friend.

  3. The first thing that really struck me in the beginning is the general disorder of things, which is inherent to any type of disaster. The next thing is the immediate point that there are no adults, just the kids survived, so any way the kids handle the situation will be on “training wheels” having never had to manage themselves.

    The coming together of all the kids is a Big BIg BIG deal part to me, and how it happens seems important. Ralph is a thinker, he is slowly figuring things out, but he is still a kid, as seen when he is immaturely laughing at the name “Piggy”. Piggy is right from the start sorting everything about the situation out. He tries to keep Ralph grounded, like a !Voice of reason! in the back of his head bringing him back from any stray thoughts or pursuits. On page fifteen right before they find the conch, right after Ralph’s line, “I don’t know.” Is a small paragraph describing the scenery and weather and bliss, Piggy’s line “We’ve got to do something,” seems big to me. It’s like he’s just suggesting it, but it immediately shifts back from the peaceful lazy tones created from imagining the islands weather. Piggy is snapping Ralph back to the task at hand. Also, when they meet with everyone, Piggy is taking names and finding out who everyone is, trying to get some organization. The question, Is he a static character? By which I mean, will this be his role throughout their time on the island? This seems very big.

    The conch is almost ceratainly going to play a part. If anything it is the one thing that will bring the kids together as one, as it is the first thing that brings them together. Immediately when every boy comes together to the sound he sees the others coming to it, so it will become the beacon. It is universally(islandly speaking) understood what the sound means from the get-go. Also, Ralph is a leader figure from the beggining, and he has the conch, so leadership and the conch are intertwined in all the boys minds. The fact that they decide whoever has the conch is the speaker also helps that case. I have a feeling the conch will be a big factor in the story.

    When the meeting is called, right away there is a clash of personalities of sorts. Jack and Ralph. ralph has the childerns attention first being the oldest there and being the one to blow the conch. Then as the meeting is going along, a strange figure moves toward them, Jack’s choir. They walk up in uniform dress in ranks and led by Jack, this is all very impressive and captivating to the little ones. So even though Ralph is elected leader, Jack I think will be ever present as the other domineering personality. You have to wonder if the two will collide at some point, which seems likely. Even though they seem to work together at the start.

    I won’t say this is the final things to strike me, but it is my final point I’ll make. The passage where the three boys, Ralph, Jack, and Simon find the pig entagled in vines, is almost a turning point, but not quite, I think it will be the forshadowing of a turning point later on. The three boys pounce on the animal, ready to kill it, to get meat. Jack raises his knife to make the killing blow…..and then he stops, he hesitates. The pig gets away and he immediately resolves to be swift and deadly NEXT TIME. but the big thing that hits me here is this, it says, “the pause was only long enough for [the boys] to understand what an enormity the downward stroke would be. The fact that understanding of that level seems to me it takes longer than a moments pause makes me think they don’t fully understand it like they might think, and if or more likely when it finally happens, I think it will be the loss of their childhood, the taking of a life.

    ***

    Mr. Long: These all fall into the ‘beast’ (aka ‘outstanding’) idea category considering you’ve only tip-toed into the ‘surf’ of this novel thus far:

    1. Survival, no adults, “training wheels”
    2. Ralph = thinker, Piggy = “right”/”voice of reason”
    3. weather/setting
    4. Piggy + organizing the kiddos, names
    5. interesting Q re: ‘static’ character, BTW
    6. conch (your teacher is smiling here, my friend)
    7. leadership/conch dance
    8. clash of personalities
    9. Jack, the choir, leadership Q, whether they’ll stay unified over time
    10. the pig and the 3 boys
    11. Jack’s hesitation (outstanding symbolic capture!)
    12. “loss of childhood” (mmm, mmm, mmmm…..)

  4. I noticed the imagery being used in the story. There was a lot of light and dark imgaes during the story. I also think the story is an allusion to something, like a government because of the election they had in the book. The actions foreshadow something too. The action to repel Piggy from the squad of 3 made me think he would come back for revenge. And as Student #1 said, the constant references to insects. I don’t know what the insects have to do so far in the story.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Yes, light/dark is everywhere…and hidden in some really amazing places later in the story. In fact, it is a hint about one of my favorite symbolic moments that you’ll drop to your knees and pray to later in the book. Happy hunting!

    And I’m intrigued by your “revenge” idea re: Piggy. Very intriguing!

    P.S. Keep your bug spray handy. Or at least a butterfly net. (wink)

  5. The author really packs this book full of “tricks”. They start with the first paragraph:

    ” A bird…. flashed upwards with a witch like cry.”

    In my book any reference to a witch means something bads going to happen. I don’t think theres a positive adjective in the whole book. it’s full “greasy wind-breakers” and “[knees] scratched by thorns”.

    It would seem that Mr. Golding always calls the land they’re on the “Scar” for a reason. I already said this but i can’t reinforce enough that nothing can be good! Everything is “Tangled” or “Jagged”. The most obvious one I have to say would be the “skull-like coconuts” . Nothing good comes from “skull-like”.

    ***

    Mr. Long: No, nothing good comes of skulls, even if you’re name is Hamlet, my Shakespearian-hinting friend.

    Scar: nice itch to scratch (so to speak)!

    Oh, and I am way-impressed by the way you picked up on the vines “creeping” around our ankles as we ‘wade’ into the surf and jungle. Watch out. Don’t let’em pull you into the darkness.

    Positive vs. negative. Charming question to mull over.

  6. The first author trick I chose was foreshadowing. Yay foreshadowing. Any way while I was reading this I noticed several phrases that seemed to foreshadow death. For example “Among the skull like coconuts” and “the water was warmer than his blood.” This could lead to someone literally dying or maybe a metaphorical death of something else.

    Another was (even though I’m not sure if this is an official trick) representation. I noticed that the author had almost every character ask where the grown ups were. To me the grown ups represent order and safety and without them the children are confused and unsure. This confusion and naivety could lead to total chaos down the road.

    Also the conch seemed very important. It is what brought the kids together and since Ralph was the one that blew it they look to him for answers. It seems to almost represent power. The conch was also one of the reasons the children voted for Ralph. Later on in the novel the conch could possibly take a larger role in it’s representation of power.

    Piggy also seems to me like the voice of reason. He’s the one that introduces the idea of the conch and he’s the one that first brings up the fact of how they were going to be rescued and that they should gather everyone together.

    Jack seemed to me like the one who would rebel if given the chance. He immediately confronts Ralph when he arrives and he already has followers. He is also Ralph’s opposite. He is more cocky, loud and commanding, while Ralph is more quiet and still. You also see a bit of Jack’s violent side after they confront him about not killing the pig.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Quick bits that caught my eye:

    1. Good catch on the blood/water line
    2. Outstanding catch on the Q’s re: the location of the adults and the issue of “security” or “stability”
    3. Conch/power — seems very logical at this point; well done
    4. Piggy constantly talking about rescue — keep an eye on this
    5. Jack vs. Ralph (opposites) — rebellion vs. logic, as well as the violence issue

  7. “Ralph, who was not interested because he was still blowing. His face was dark with the violent pleasure of making this stupendous noise”

    In this quote the author is hinting something big about Ralph. It seems that he is going to be the protagonist of the story or he will be key in the progression of the plot. “ His face was dark with the violent pleasure” presents a question of his intentions, I think this oreshadows how he will make decisions in the future and how his choices will affect the other boys. This quote immediately strikes me with a feeling that he is a very determined boy and loves power. The words that the author chooses set a mysterious tone and Ralph’s future is partially hidden but it is clear that it will be dark and driven by the craving for power.

    ***

    Mr. Long: You have no idea unexpectedly perfect that quotation will be later in the novel. Hold onto it. Something tells me it’ll be a gorgeous comparison to have in your back pocket as you near the end of the story. People will be jealous. (wink)

    Clever instinct re: your “…dark and driven for the craving for power” comment.

  8. Foreshadowing takes up almost the entire first chapter of Lord of the Flies.

    Like what Student 6 said, in the first paragraph, it foreshadows the possible common fear of a monster among the stranded boys. Also, it shows Ralph looking along the beach, and takes note of “the skull-like coconuts.

    I don’t know about everyone else, but this seems like a prediction of death among the group. Their is also a special note of the piglet three of the boys find. The constant references to the slitting of the pig’s throat could play an important part in the story.

  9. I must be honsest, I have read this book before in sixth grade. Unfortunetly for me I can barely remember anything about it which does not give me the leg up I was hoping for. Curse my bad memory!!

    One thing the author uses is a definite ‘play on words’ in the title. Alot of the students are saying they donnot know what the story has to do with insects yet but the truth is the story has absolutely nothing at all to do with bugs. The ONLY thing I remember learning about this book is that ‘Lord of the Flies’ is another name for the devil. Therefore in the title of the book alone the author gives you a peek about what the book is going to be about, and you can probably tell it is not going to be the happiest of books.

    Another obvious tool the author uses is foreshadowing.

    Of corse there is the “skull like coconuts” line but to me another part of the book that stood out more that I was surprised no one mentioned as foreshadowing (unless I wasnt looking hard enouph).

    On the last page of the chapter whenever they found that piglet, Jack could not kill it. This showed to me two things: one that their savagrey had not yet taken over. Two I think this foreshadows haw rutheless Jack is going to be later in the story because when ever he couldnt kill it, he was ashamed and the book said “Next time there would be no mercy. He looked around fiercely daring them to contradict.” This line really stuck out to me because he was less embarresed like most people would be and more angry he didn’t have the guts and looked like a fool.

    The role of the characters also plays a huge role in the unfloding of the book. Piggy seems to be the only one right now who is more frightened that adults arn’t there, whereas the others are more excited that their are no rules and adults. Later though they will see what lack of structure and rules can do to a societly. Piggy also is a realist. Whenever Raulph was talking about how his father would come save them, Piggy didn’t buy into it. He realized that the adults have no idea of where they are and the likeliness of them ever leaving the island is slim. Raulph on the other hand is a leader and an action taker. He took the action to assemble the others together. Jack and Raulph are more alike than the other realizes. Jack and Rauph are both leaders and action takers, yet their colliding personalities will cause…tension later in the novel.

    The biggest author used tool, in my opinion, is symbolism. The symbols in this novel, one will learn, are very obvious yet very complex. An obvious symbol in this book so far is the conch shell. This shell, the one used to gather the children, will later play a very important role, and already in the first chapter plays an important role. The conch symbolizes a civilized society because, if I am not mistaken, to talk they had to pass around the shell. One constant, other than the shell, I noticed that I had never noticed before was Piggy’s glasses. I am not certain what they represent yet. Whenever the glasses were talked about were when Piggy felt ackward or when Piggy was sayng something smart. Maybe they represent intellegence? I dont know but the common thing people think about when glasses are said is ‘smartness.’ But it is too early to know yet, maybe they are much more complex than that. At first I wasnt sure if the glasses meant anything at all but as I said earlier the cover/title tells alot. I was looking at the cover of the book and saw a pair of shattered glasses. This obviously says alot, maybe the cracking of society or reason? Then and there I was positive the glasses meant something and it is now my mission to figure out what.

    Lastly I noticed the leitmotifs going on. Light/dark is the most common leitmotif in this story so far. Another leitmotif is violence/society. I don’t honestly know if that even makes sense but i took ‘a stab at it.’

    It is obvious this book has a million hidden meanings that us as the reader willl discover over the corse of the book.

  10. Student #10 (follow-up)

    Also, question. What is the significance that we never learn Piggy’s real name? Is that important?

  11. The symbol that has stood out most to me so far was the conch. The conch represents authority and gives the holder confidence. I can see the conch will later bring conflict among the boys, most likely Jack and Ralph. The conch will later bring out a competitive streak in both boys and make them do anything, no matter how cruel, to gain power. “…harsh note of the conch.” “His face was dark with the violent pleasure of making this stupendous noise…”

    Another thing that stood out to me was the element of death on the island. The nature around the boys has the qualities of death or dying. “Upheavals of fallen trees, scattered with decaying coconuts…the skull-like coconuts…” The island foreshadows the huge role death will have among the boys.

    The island is described as if it was made for the boys. The trees “…fell and dried, forming a criss-cross pattern of trunks, very convenient to sit on. The palms that still stood made a green roof.” The nature is perfect for inhabitation. It is almost as if the island was intending for them to be trapped and therefore be forced to settle there.

    When the choir boys first appear in the story Ralph mistakes them for “something dark fumbling along.” He then realizes that “the creature was a party of boys…” This causes me to think the choir boys will become a “dark” part in the novel, mainly due to the fact that they are ruled by Jack.

    There is a part that is doused with foreshadowing. “What made this track? Men? Jack shook his head. Animals.” I do think that the track was made by animals but I believe the reader is intended to notice that they are easily confused. I think that later on the boys will become animals in order to survive. This is a very subtle nudge of the transformation to come.

  12. I’m going to try not to ruin any of the books, because I have already read this twice.

    Well one thing that I’ve noticed is that there is a whole lot of foreshadowing in the book. If you don’t notice the foreshadowing in this book, then you are not going to know what’s going on later on in the book. You see, foreshadowing in this book has to do with a lot of phrases that start out with “nothing will happen”, or “I hope that blahdy blah is/isn’t hurt.” Any ways, foreshadowing can sort of give you a preview of what might or might not happen. So I think that you should look really close for it.

  13. I agree with a lot that have already been said. It is already been shown two possible candidates for being leader. Even though Ralph has already been elected, I bet Jack will eventually pull away from Ralph and make a rebellion or something. Jack and Ralph seams to be working together okay for now, but they will clash with their different opinions and for the right to rule the rest of the boys. I do not remember if I was told this or if I just thought of it but I have a flash of memory of being told that the group will eventually be split into two groups. Right now I think the leader of the two groups will be Ralph and Jack. Since Jack and Ralph agreed that Ralph’s choir will be doing the hunting, they will be more skilled when battle comes. When and if the group splits, Jack’s group will know how to fight and kill which will probably be a huge advantage to Jack (assuming that Jack’s group will include his choir).

    I also agree with the death signs everywhere. Decides the ones already mentioned like “skull-like coconuts” and “the water was warmer than his blood”, I also noticed that the book keep mentioning the “pink” rocks. Is it pink because it is foreshadowing a sign of war and bloodshed? Pink is just a lighter version of red blood. Also I noticed that they said the island sort of looked like boat. Perhaps it is a ghostly savage boat.

    I also noticed the broken and crooked glasses on the front of the cover. Probably Piggy’s so I think that Piggy will have a major part in the story. He has also already made a role of seeming to be intelligent but cannot always carry on his ideas without someone’s help because of his asthma and his name. Asthma is a problem because he runs out of breath easily and his name causes dislike or disapproval attitudes towards him especially Jack. The glasses are probably an allusion to no unity and disorder among the group but if Piggy’s glasses actually become broken like shown in the picture, then he is even more helpless now that he cannot see.

  14. Repeated use of “scar”:
    Normally authors don’t repeatedly use a word unless it means something special. I didn’t know what scar meant, so I had to look it up. It probably means a cliff, but it could also have a double meaning as a scar left by a wound or previous life experience. This scar will probably extremely important as the story goes on and could provide background information about one or more of the characters. My guess is this will have to do with Ralph because his father is a “commander in the Navy”. This could have lead with emotional issues with Ralph, and the reader would probably be able to understand his recklessness and mistreatment towards Piggy better.

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