W7, #2: HIDDEN IN THE JUNGLE

Set-Up: We’ve crossed a certain point in the Lord of the Flies experience — by the beginning of chapter 5 — where it seems that every page is intentionally loaded with imagery.  Seems that something vital is cleverly hidden in the jungle by Golding at every turn of the pig trail and curve of the horizon line.

While we don’t pretend to ‘get’ everything he’s throwing our way quite yet, we are developing decent radar for ‘tracking’ a few gems hidden in the creepers along the way.

Challenge:

  • Point out 1 thing that you think is really clever on the part of the author in terms of weaving together a many-layered story that obviously is hinting at something fare more complicated than just having ‘boys on an island’ try to get ‘rescued’.
  • Tell the rest of us what it means and why you think Golding is doing some pretty solid work as a writer in terms of pushing well beyond basic plot/action to hint at something bigger at the end of the novel.

Length: 7+ sentences

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12 responses to “W7, #2: HIDDEN IN THE JUNGLE

  1. I love the way Golding is constantly comparing the boys to animals. I love animals, and I love it even more when people are compared to them. The boys on the island are crumbling into savages, and from the very beginning there was subtle imagery predicting it.

    An obvious example is of Jack and the hunt, when he snarls like an animal. There’s also Piggy, who’s very name is an animal. On page 77, it says Ralph dislikes “flicking the tangled hair out of his eyes,” and that “he began to trot.” To me he sounds just like a horse.

    Golding is describing these boys as what they are and what they’re becoming. Animals.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Striking last lines as well as the “savages” moment.

  2. On page 83 the boys are discussing the beast and what it is like. Then Jack brings up the question “What would a beast eat?” (83)

    The overwhelming answer is pig then another boy says “We eat pig.” (83)

    This proves that even though the boys believe that the only thing they should fear is a ‘beastie’ the true thing to fear not the beat they thought of. The beast they should be afraid of is who they are becoming. After they say pig someone else shouts Piggy which could in a typical setting be just a cute name to help the litluns remember the name for a pig.

    In this far from typical setting though, Piggy is a character, and they are talking about eating the piggy. This foreshadows the fact that they will constantly eat up (metaphorically) Piggy. They always yell at him, tell him he is useless, never take him seriously, and slowly are eating away parts of him.

    I believe this will eventually lead to the boys driving him to insanity, the boys killing him, or both.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Really intrigued by your point about the name to help the younger kids understand. Ironic, no?

  3. At the beginning of Chapter 4, Golding talks about the ‘rhythm’ of the days. Morning was a time of “bright sun, the whelming sea, and sweet air” (58). Morning was when you could play and have fun and forget the island, the fear, and the wanting. At noon, everything became indistinct and hazy. Mirages riddled the sea and were a mystery. The afternoon was relatively crisp and cool, but the fear of what was ahead would block out the joy of afternoon. Darkness would embrace the island at night and all that came with the dark would overcome the feeble joys of day. Also, at the end of Chapter 2, the fire is given a ‘drum-roll’ that seems almost haunting. The drum-roll began when part of the mountain caught on fire and continued through the frenetic discussion that led up to the discovery that the small boy with the mark was gone. This rhythm that the fire creates intensifies the already hectic argument as Piggy struggles to convey what he really feels and is verbally attacked by Jack. The rhythm of the boys is the chant adopted by the hunters, the chant of the pig, “Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Bash her in.” (75) has repeated several times throughout the story so far. It was said when Ralph is waiting for Jack and the hunters at the top of the mountain when the fire went out, after the tension of Jack and Ralph’s argument, and a few other times throughout the book.

    I know that these rhythms of the island are purposeful. However, I am not quite sure of their meaning right now, but I think I will be able to understand them later in the book, because the beats and cadences will repeat. As of right now, I think that the day to night rhythm dictates the boy’s lives. Not just when to wake up, eat, or sleep, but their feelings and expressions. They are eager in the morning, unsure and obscure in the afternoon, calm, but apprehensive in the evening, while being afraid and quick to anger at night. The rhythm of the island is the heartbeat of the boys. As the tension rises and the calm is gone, the island quickens. Just like when the boys have slowed down to think and try to use reason, the island slows. The chant of the pig is the violence and savagery. Whenever it is heard, some sort of clash has taken place; it is heard when the pig has been killed and after the tension and verbal violence of the argument between Jack and Ralph. Whenever there is any violence or brutality, the chant will sound. I think that these rhythms will play a bigger part in the story and I think it is really cool how Golding used them to his advantage.

    ***

    Mr. Long: One of the more impressive answers/idea-sets I’ve had the pleasure of reading this year. The way one reads this, it is almost possible to consider the island ‘breathing’ in and out as the boys do, the same way that the creepers “shiver” when he walks by. Mmm. My imagination is on over-drive right now; thanks!

  4. The one thing that I keep sensing is the religious, Christian, symbolisms involving Simon. I don’t quite know what Golding is saying about religion or how important Simon will become in the future. However, so far I noticed at least four possible Christian symbols in connection with Simon.

    First, Simon noticed and named “candle bud.” Candles are used in Christian, as well as other religious, Churches. This flower named “candle” opened up around Simon, as people light up candles on alters of Churches.

    Second, Simon has a sanctuary-like quiet place on the island that he alone visits, even at night. This reminds me of the scene in the Bible in which Jesus tells his eight remaining followers, “Sit here, while I go and pray yonder,” as Jesus, too had a place where he prayed.

    Third, Simon is particularly kind to the little ones. Simon reaches for fruits for the little ones. This is reminiscent of Jesus on many occasions being kind to children and treating them as angels.

    The fourth reference is in Chapter 6; Simon “bashed into a tree.” (pg 104) It sounds purely accidental and inconsequential, but “a white spot on his forehead turned red.” (pg 104) Now it sounds a bit like crucified Jesus, with blood on his head.

    I think Golding is really clever in weaving in these images of Christ while convincingly introducing Simon as a rather ordinary boy with many weaknesses as well. Simon is not physically as strong as Jack or Ralph. In fact, he faints often, and he clumsily runs into a tree. Robert sniggered and Ralph dismissed him at that point. Socially, Simon is not a natural, confident leader. He is often self-conscious and embarrassed about speaking his mind. He gets ridiculed about his going out at night, but he cannot seem to explain himself. Even though he is kind to the little ones, he does not really comfort them when he says, “maybe the beast is in ourselves.” From time to time, he is only a boy who just wants to be accepted and play. In those times, he is a follower of Ralph, who doesn’t really respect him back.

    Up to now the obvious conflict is between Jack and Ralph, Jack and Piggy, or Roger and Simon. However, Golding could be hinting at a bigger role for Simon. He may be the real protagonist who brings salvation to the lost boys.

  5. In general everything about Simon’s character fascinates me. I think he is one of the most if not the most important character in the book.

    I’m not sure where and I have looked hard but I can’t find the exact spot, but there is a line that says, “Simon’s was the only hair that never seemed to change”. This says that he is the only one who doesn’t devolve in is time on the island, regardless of what happens. All the other boys are shown to change the longer they are there. at first they are trained by society to be reltively docile and willing to work together to some point.

    The innate tendency toward evil and savagery of the human races in shown though in the fact that every one of the boys changes for the worst in some way, to some extent.

    Every boy that is except Simon. He is a constant throughout the book. He is always there to help Ralph, never fighting for power, never complaining. he helps the littleuns get fruit and he helps build shelters when no one else will. Simon represents the one person who is innately good, naturally good

  6. I like how Golding describes people and transforms their entrance. He also foreshadow their imporatnce through their description.

    For Simon, he made him a very reticent boy. His voice, however, has an influence because he barely talks. Simon contains a lot of power just through his attitude. And in the beginning of the story, he sets the plot by introducing the characters.

    However, when introducing the members from Jack’s choir, he describes only three. Of these three, Roger was one. After describing the strong, tall Jack and Maurice, Golding describes Roger as a weak, quiet boy. This makes the reader forget about Roger and pay attention to the character that stand out. This then makes Roger “useless”, and this (what I believe) foreshadows Rogver’s important future role.

  7. The way Golding uses complete opposite descriptions to illustrate the details is very impressive.

    When describing scenery, the author always follows a description with a contradicting one. For example, “A flurry of wind made the palms talk and the noise seem very loud now that darkness and silence made it so noticeable. Two grey trunks rubbed each other with an evil speaking that no one had noticed by day.” (90)

    In the first sentence, Golding states that silence actually makes noises more audible. In the second sentence, day, usually symbolizing light, contradicts the darkness and the grey trunks that rubbed against each other.

    Golding hints that on the island with the boys, when something seems to go well, it will inevitably topple over and fail. When Ralph seems to be controlling the boys pretty well as a leader, Jack comes in to break the unity apart by refusing to follow orders and possessing the other boys’ minds of thinking of the present rather than being rescued. When Jack finally catches a pig, he is madly scolded my Ralph for not keeping the fire going.

    This clever use of diction multiplies the effects of not only describing the island, but also the boys’ future demise.

  8. I really love how Golding uses the nature on the island to describe the feelings on the island.

    In the beginning, Golding describes the island as comfortable and almost like a home built for the boys. Although he did include some death in the early descriptions, I still see the island as comforting. On page 12, the tree trunks that had fallen were “very convenient to sit on” and the palms “made a green roof. The palms were innocent with their “green feathers.” (pg. 9) There was even a patch that was”designed expressly for fuel” for the fire that the boys needed.

    As the island become darker, the boys follow. The fallen tree trunks that had once provided seating, now “rubbed each other with an evil speaking that no one noticed by day.” The island now manipulates things to induce fear into the boys. When a “figure” appears on the island, weather distorts it. The wind balloons the parachute so appears larger, therefore ‘scarier,’ to the boys. While the “figure” parachute is actually harmless, it becomes a “beast” that instills fear in all the boys.

    I believe Golding uses the nature to tell us in advance the progression of the story. With the help of nature, we can see how the boys will change before they go through the evolution.

  9. This is something I brought up in class. On pages 95-96 Golding writes about the parachutist and the war (WWII). This really emphasized something he has been hinting at the entire book. It shows the old world is also disintegrating and made me realize that the boys represent human nature and the island society.

    Student three’s theme ‘the island is alive’ helps support this. When Golding says the creepers “shiver” this shows that society does not approve of what is going on.

    We have already decided that Jack=chaotic violence, Piggy=logic, and Ralph=law and order, these are aspects of human nature.

    Golding would not have made the symbolism for these characters so simple if he had not wanted them to reflect certain traits of humanity. Golding hints through the entire book that these are uncorrupted innocent children that still fall to evil ways. Golding uses this book to express his views that humans have an innate tendency towards evil.

    Probably a stretch but still really interesting…

  10. I think the scene in chapter four in which Jack smacks Piggy’s head and breaks one of the lenses of his glasses is symbolic of the transition from civility to savagery. Piggy’s glasses represent the source of knowledge and intellect on the island. This deliberate act of cruelty by Jack sets the stage for how bullying Jack and his retinue will become. It also foreshadows the eventual situation of survival of all to survival of the fittest and the fiercest.

    Piggy’s glasses are also the source to start a signal fire. It was fortunate that only one of the lenses broke and not both. The group could have died had Jack slapped Piggy any harder. His glasses were also a source of fire for cooking. They would have most definitely died eating raw meat.

    It is striking to the reader that hardly anyone noticed Jack slapping Piggy. This incidence has much significance for the story, although it was performed almost unnoticed; therefore this can be considered a foreshadow.

  11. I like how Golding compares the boys to the island. I also like how he describes the island itself. I like how Golding tells us about the dead parachuter because of the war going on at that time. it was pretty smart of him. I like how Golding talks about the rock scene. Roger is throwing rocks at Henry, but makes sure he doesn’t hit him. He makes sure there is a good six yards between Henry and the rock. This is like Roger is loosing all ties to society and becoming a savage person. He can’t make himself throw the rock at Henry so that it hits him because he has not yet forgotten the tie to civilization. Golding’s book is very interesting.

  12. I love Golding’s ability to explain something in mean something completely different. He can be talking about birds perched on a tree, and be completely foreshadowing something coming up on the island. He has a way of intertwining the two that unless you read over the sentence twice or more you would never get. As soon as you do though, you automatically understand where he was going. It doesn’t feel like its all thrown at us, but instead he explains it over a long period of time. This allows the reader to have more time to comprehend his main idea. It also allows him to create much irony.

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