W8, #3: THE RETURN TRIP HOME

Set-Up: Most of our attention has been placed on how the boys will survive.  We assume, however, that sooner or later some of them will return home.  That being said, we haven’t talked about what that would be like.

Challenge:

  • Mandatory:  If you were one of the boys on this island, what do you think it would be like to return home given all that you’ve been through?  Note:  it may be easier to answer this once you’ve finished the book, but you can certainly answer at any point.  Just identify what chapter you are on when you answer this question.  Thank you.
  • Optional: Once you’ve done the previous one, you may answer this, too.  Watch the film trailer from Tom Hanks’ film, “Castaway”.  Once you’ve seen this, imagine you were — like Tom Hanks in this film — stuck on a deserted island for years by yourself, without any contact with the real world.  Eventually, you’re rescued and return ‘home’.  Knowing your personality, what do you think it would be like to return home to the ‘real’ world after such an experience?
  • Optional: Just for fun, watch the FedEx commercial that spoofed the Tom Hanks’ film.  No response needed; this is just for your amusement and to see how pop culture passes around similar ideas in unexpected ways (just like the use of Lord of the Flies; wink, wink).
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44 responses to “W8, #3: THE RETURN TRIP HOME

  1. For each different boy the experience would differ. For Ralph it would be a mixture of relief and guilt. For Jack it might be guilt, then later fear at what he had done when he realized that he had caused the death of two of the boys. For the rest of the boys it would probably be simple and very VERY profound relief that they were home and that the no longer had to make any more decisions. It is a very scary thing to be out alone, in the world, and if you don’t understand how the world works then you will very soon get eaten by the dark side of civilization.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Really appreciate how you break down this response, especially the way you consider the “profound relief” that would be felt by the other boys. Jack’s reaction appears logical. Best of all: your last line; solid thinking.

  2. I happen to be in chapter 8 and at this point the return home seems as thought it will be very difficult for most of the boys and easier for others. Especially for jack I think it will be very difficult for him to adapt to regular living since he had gotten so used to life on the island and began acting as though that was his new home. Almost forgetting where he came from and beginning to take on a new identity. So on his return home this will be an eye opener for him and I don’t think his family will even recognize him or the way he behaves. He might even still try to hunt and live like he had been living on the island which will seem awkward at first but he will most likely come back to his senses and adapt back to his surroundings. The return home for jack will act as a relief and he will be glad to finally return home to civilization and he will feel more at ease and like he can finally be himself. Although he might feel kind of out of place and like everything is new for him he will soon adapt just like all humans adapt to their surroundings. For Simon the return home would be kind of difficult because of the fact that he was constantly lifting everyone else’s spirits up and not his own. Telling everyone else that they will get off the island and not even worrying about himself as though he knew he had to stay on the island for some apparent reason. But the boys as a whole will eventually return back to the way they were in the beginning.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Key lines that stood out for me: “Although he might feel kind of out of place and like everything is new for him he will soon adapt just like all humans adapt to their surroundings. For Simon the return home would be kind of difficult because of the fact that he was constantly lifting everyone else’s spirits up and not his own.” Obviously Simon’s death (after this prompt) comes as a shock; also like the idea that Jack has to “adapt” to civilization.

  3. I kinda already finished the book, so i’m going to be careful not to ruin the ending for anyone who hasn’t. I would think that it would be hardest for Ralph to go home and try to be reassimilated back into civilization. With all of the ugliness that he has seen on part of the hunters, I don’t think it’ll be something he could just put out of his mind. He would probably suffer from shell-shock like soldiers from the Vietnam War. For Jack, he’s going to have to answer to all of the attrocities he commited as leader of the hunters. In some cases, he stole the innocence of some of the boys like Roger, who hurt without giving it a second thought. But for all of the boys, one thing will be noticeably absent; the innocence that let them be kids. That is something that is forever taken away, and can never be regained.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Your first line re: Jack is really wisely posed, my friend. I am, however, curious how Roger’s innocence was stolen by Jack; is it possible — going back to his intro and the scene with Henry — that this evil was inside Roger all along? BTW, great last line!

  4. I finished the book.

    If I was a boy on the island I would have a hard time re-assimilating into society. After experiencing all of that violence no one would be the same. It’s similar to soldier trying to be a normal civilian after fighting war. He’ll never come back the same. As for others like Roger and Jack their main problem would be having to deal with the restrictions of society. After tasting pure freedom they won’t be able to cope with all the rules reimposed on them. Also, they would realize what they did on that island and have to deal with it for the rest of their lives. All of the boys will have grown up way past their years and will have trouble being ‘normal’.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Fantastic point about Roger and Jack having to deal with restrictions “[a]fter tasting pure freedom”. Very well said! And I appreciate how you point out that they’ve grown a great deal (in some odd ways) and would be challenged by “being ‘normal'”.

  5. I have just finished reading chapter nine…

    …and i would find it very difficult to come home from any of the events that have happened. One thing that would be hard would just going back to a normal life. It would require much less work than what they dealt with on the island. Another thing a few of them would have to deal with is having a non-savage mentality. Jack and his hunters would have a much tougher time with this then all of the other boys. Having lived their life for a few months like animals it would be a very difficult adjustment.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Just finished reading Chap 9? Wasn’t that due by Friday morning? Mmm. Makes a curious teacher curious. Just saying…

    BTW, can you explain this: “One thing that would be hard would just going back to a normal life. It would require much less work than what they dealt with on the island.” Seems like a contradiction. Are you sure this is what you meant? Might want to add a revision soon.

  6. I am on Chapter 10, but I pretty much know what will happen to the boys in the remaining chapters.

    I believe that returning home will be difficult for every boy. Even Ralph and Piggy, who always talk of rescue, will not be able to adapt back fully into society. Things that happen in your life change you forever. These boys went through dramatic changes on the island because of what occurred there. It not that some do not want to return like Jack, but that I really don’t think that any of them will be able to revert back to their old ways. For a little bit of foreshadowing, I think the boys that die on the island are the lucky ones. They will not have to tell the tale of their plane crash or remember the horrific acts they committed while they were ‘away’. Comparing the boys return with Paul’s return home in All Quiet on the Western Front, They will have no one that understands what they have been through, who they have lost and why they can’t adjust to what was their ‘old ways’.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Very cool to see you mention the classic French-author’d tale, All Quiet on the Western Front. Talk about a classic WWI text. Did you read it in class or for pleasure?

    Love these lines of yours: “For a little bit of foreshadowing, I think the boys that die on the island are the lucky ones. They will not have to tell the tale of their plane crash or remember the horrific acts they committed while they were ‘away’.” So intriguing to call Simon, etc. the “lucky ones”.

  7. I have finished the book.

    For the boys, it would be hard to go back to civilization. It would be really hard for Ralph. He has already been part of the “dance” and feels very bad about it. He would feel very bad the rest of his life, feeling the burden he was forced to impose on himself. Ralph would not be able to recover from what he lived through in chapters 10,11, and 12. As for Jack and his hunters, I think it would be hard for them to adjust as well, because after having all the freedom in the world for some unknown time, they would also break out against society’s rules. As for the little ones, they would probably be relieved.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Please to see you mention Ralph’s involvement in the “dance” (and what follows when Simon arrives). And as you said, the littluns would most likely be relieved alone, perhaps not even remembering much of what took place (over time)…I would think.

  8. I’ve finished the book.

    I’m going to talk about how Ralph would feel if he returned home. He would have a difficult time just trying to take in everything that was missing like a home, real food, a family, and especially adults. Since he’s been on the island for so long Ralph has sort of forgotten how to react with adults, it shows Ralph’s inability to respond when he finally gets discovered by the sailor; when he does get found all he does is reply with a shy hello. I’m wondering why he wasn’t ecstatic about the fact that he was going to be rescued. Jack’s tribe was about to kill him and when the sailor comes he just looks at it as all just “fun and games”. He doesn’t realize the seriousness of what was taking place. When Ralph goes back home, he’ll look at the world through entirely different eyes. He’s seen the death of two of his friends from his very eyes and it was another friend that he knew that killed them. Ralph would be very confused and shocked by what happened. He won’t be able to live the life a “kid” anymore. He only has the mindset of how to survive and not get killed. His experience on the island has taken away Ralph’s innocence of childhood and has forced him to make an early transition to a more mature adulthood.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Seems that what you said here is something that needs to be brought up in class: “Since he’s been on the island for so long Ralph has sort of forgotten how to react with adults, it shows Ralph’s inability to respond when he finally gets discovered by the sailor; when he does get found all he does is reply with a shy hello. I’m wondering why he wasn’t ecstatic about the fact that he was going to be rescued.” Definitely consider ‘shock’ as an obvious reason. ‘Ecstatic’ would mean happiness, but he’s also been chased by the tribe, something that would have obviously resulted in his brutal death had they caught him…and if the ship/sailors had not arrived, he’d be dead given the options left and the tribe’s emotions/brutality.

  9. I have finished chapter 10

    I think that it would be terrible to be one of the boys who had to go home. To have to live with that time that was spent on the island in your head for the rest of your life would be torturous. To know that you murdered people and seeing people die like that could cause them to go insane, if they weren’t already. I also think that going back home might be a little boring for the boys. They have gotten used to getting to play all the time and do whatever they want. Now they have to go back to civilization and obey rules, live on a set schedule, and listen to others which could prove to be difficult. They would want to still live that life where they don’t have to listen to parents or go to school. So it would be a sort of bittersweet victory for them, because they are no longer living with the terror of the beast, but they still have those memories, and less freedom.

    I also watched the video, and I think it would be very difficult to start over. To have to learn everything that happened in the time I was gone, and to prove to people that I’m not dead like they thought would be traumatic. I would probably be overwhelmed by everything and have a mental breakdown after being gone that long.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Impressed you talk both about boredom and the torture of dealing with what you did. And I really like how you targeted this, too: “To have to live with that time that was spent on the island in your head for the rest of your life would be torturous.”

    Also, “bittersweet” is a great word choice for such sensations.

    Which video? The original (1960’s) or the more recent one (early 90’s)?

  10. I have finished chapter nine at this point, but have read the book before.

    To me it seems like the return home would be a very hard thing for all the boys. Going back to a clean and civilized world after becoming savage and going through all that they have gone through would be difficult. I think that the boys would react in different ways, depending on their experience on the island. They could fall back into their old life as if the time on the island was just a dream, or they could become withdrawn, not being able to relate to anyone because of what they went through and witnessed. Lastly they could possibly stay savage and have to be cooped up for the rest of their lives. Their return home seems analogous (vocab word! ) to the return home of soldiers after a war. They are traumatized even if they don’t realize it and can’t completely go back to their old life. It would also be hard because in the logical civilized world they would have to acknowledge all the beastly things they did on that island. All the boys will be forever haunted by their stay on that island. The reasons will vary but each will be haunted all the same.

    I really don’t know how I would act after returning home if I had been stranded on an island. I would probably be nervous about people’s reactions, but I would also be relieved that I was home and was once more in human company. I think it would be hard though to get used to all the parts of ‘ordinary life’ again, I would be forever changed by my stay on that island. I hope I would eventually be able to live my life once again. It would probably depend on what happened during my stay on the island and how clear those memories were. My mind could possibly just block out the experience because of trauma. Again I’m not totally sure how I would act once I had returned, and I hope that I never have to learn.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Great point: “They could fall back into their old life as if the time on the island was just a dream, or they could become withdrawn, not being able to relate to anyone because of what they went through and witnessed.” The “dream” point really grabbed my attention.

    Also agree with this: “They are traumatized even if they don’t realize it and can’t completely go back to their old life. It would also be hard because in the logical civilized world they would have to acknowledge all the beastly things they did on that island.”

    Really appreciate that someone finally took a shot at the 2nd (optional) part of the prompt. Thanks!

  11. Student #6 (follow-up)

    I read All Quiet on the Western front for class, but is one of my three top favorite books and has made me love literature about WWI and WWII.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Ah, didn’t know that Mrs. K. had you read that. Very interesting. Have you read any Hemingway yet? No doubt you need to add him to your list if you have to dive into his war-era writing.

  12. I would feel like an older, wiser person in the same body and in the same old life. Everything would be back to normal except for me. Nothing that had once been important to me would matter much anymore (seeing as I’d just lived the savage crumbling of human society). No one would understand. It would be like Paul Baumer returning home from the war, or Brian Robeson finally being rescued (Hatchet), or Philip being rescued (The Cay)…or Frodo. It’s one of those final steps in the hero’s journey. All those characters are kind of somber now, like they’ve suffered too much to want to keep living. Some of them can move on after time, but others can’t. I don’t think I would ever be the same again…but man, I’d have one heck of a story to tell.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Great start re: the internal age/experience of the kids upon returning to the real world. And I truly appreciate how you pulled in the hero’s journey. You get a gold star!

  13. If I were one of the boys, returning home would be a profound transition. A return to “normalcy” would be almost impossible. The boys have lost their innocence and will find only jaded memories of their former selves. This would be analogous to when soldiers return home from a land where lawlessness abounds and the only rule is that there are really no rules. If I were Jack, I would cringe when I returned home to look in the mirror. I’d have to “see” if there really was a soul in the reflection. If I was Ralph, I’d feel lucky to be alive. If I was Roger, I’d have to wonder how I allowed Jack to manipulate me. All who return will realize that buried deep inside each of them lay primal instincts customarily suppressed by society’s values. In the absence of cultural taboos, the boys became people who they would typically disdain. Perhaps the absence of rules ultimately perpetuated the birth of the boys savagery and brutality.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Really respect this point you made: “If I were Jack, I would cringe when I returned home to look in the mirror. I’d have to “see” if there really was a soul in the reflection.”

    BTW, extremely well-written end to your response: “All who return will realize that buried deep inside each of them lay primal instincts customarily suppressed by society’s values. In the absence of cultural taboos, the boys became people who they would typically disdain. Perhaps the absence of rules ultimately perpetuated the birth of the boys savagery and brutality.”

  14. Student #9 (follow-up)

    Oh I watched both but my first response was based on the original trailer.

    The second one (from the 90’s) was very funny. If that was me I would have probably started to freak out and wouldn’t become calm for days.

    ***

    Mr. Long: OK, I feel like a fool. I was thinking of the 2 film versions of “The Lord of the Flies”, not the FedEx and “Castaway” commercials. Oy.

  15. I have finished the book.

    The return to the world would definitely be experienced differently by all of the boys. For Ralph, rescue and the return home is more valuable than anything else on the island. Fire is all that matters because fire leads to rescue. Several times throughout the novel, Ralph describes a small cottage, full of books and surrounded by wild ponies, in which he used to live. Ralph is the only one in which the reader is given a glimpse of their life outside of the island, showing his endearment to his old, and happier, life. Also, Ralph wishes for a haircut, a proper bath, a toothbrush, and a nail clipper, not things that you would think a little boy would long for. Ralph would enjoy going home and living again, but I think that his time on the island has changed him forever and matured him far past his years.

    Jack is never the one to point out the importance of rescue. In fact, Jack’s actions lead to the inability of Ralph and Piggy to make fire and sustain it, completely forsaking rescue. Jack would rather sit on the island, paint his face, and hunt pigs than return to the real world with its real rules. It would be hard for Jack to live in civilized society after what he had experienced on the island because Jack precipitated the transformation to savagery like no other boy did.

    Another boy who would experience rescue differently is Roger. Roger is the one that was reined in by what civilization taught him and kept him from throwing rocks directly at Henry. Roger is more savage and barbaric than Jack is, but he is not the leader of the savages. When the twins are captured and Ralph goes to speak to them, Samneric fear Roger and what he has done to them much more than Jack. After his freedom to be who he truly is on the island, the restraints of the real world would come to Roger like a slap on the face. I don’t think that Roger would be capable to conform to the laws of society after he was given such freedom and such liberties, Roger could not go back to how he was before the island.

    ***

    Mr. Long: So pleased you brought this up: “Ralph describes a small cottage, full of books and surrounded by wild ponies, in which he used to live. Ralph is the only one in which the reader is given a glimpse of their life outside of the island, showing his endearment to his old, and happier, life.”

    We’ll have to talk about this on Monday: “I don’t think that Roger would be capable to conform to the laws of society after he was given such freedom and such liberties, Roger could not go back to how he was before the island.” One has to wonder if Golding would actually say that society will be quite comfortable for Roger, ironically. Just a hint if you want to think about that idea between now and then.

  16. I cheated and read the end so I know what happens. I believe that the boys including Ralph will not be able to mesh back into society well. All of the boy’s innocence has been ripped apart by their own primal natures. They have experienced too much to even pretend to be normal boys. Jack and his tribe will have a hard time reintegrating themselves into society, if they ever do. They will always be more savage and primal than other boys they are around because they have tasted the perverse benefits of self-serving anti-societal behavior. Jack and Roger will most likely become criminals or serial killers because they have experienced complete freedom, bloodlust and power. Ralph is one of the few boys that might be able to integrate himself into society in a productive way. He was the only boy other than Simon and Piggy to acknowledge the importance of societal structure.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Mmm, read the end before you read it all? Kind of a delightful way to ruin it, mmm?

    Hard to deny this on many levels: “All of the boy’s innocence has been ripped apart by their own primal natures. They have experienced too much to even pretend to be normal boys.”

    Key point at the end: “Ralph is one of the few boys that might be able to integrate himself into society in a productive way. He was the only boy other than Simon and Piggy to acknowledge the importance of societal structure.”

  17. Being away from home for a period of time can have an effect on most people. Obviously for the people like the littluns they would be very relieved to be taken off the island back to civilization. Now that people like Jack and Ralph have somewhat adapted to their environment, returning to the real world would be difficult, especially with the thought of Piggy and Simon on their minds. Jack would especially have issues with returning to civilization, and it would be alot more harsh concidering the fact that he was the one greatly responsible (for you know what). Although they would have alot to think about, there’s always going to be the factor of wanting to be back home.

    Castaway-
    I’ve seen the movie and I suggest it greatly to anyone who wants to see an excellent movie. Personally, it would be very tough for me to be able to be sociable with people. I wouldn’t really know what to think when I first started talking to someone again. (If you’ve seen “I am Legend,” then you know what I mean)

    ***

    Mr. Long: I Am Legend is a fantastic connection, my friend. Love your thinking here.

  18. I have just finished reading the book.

    For me to return home after all that has happened on the island, the memory of what has happened on the island will never go away but if no one else in the world knew about it, then I think I will able to move on with my life with the horrid memory of the island slowly fading away but never completely. If everyone else in the world knew about it and pressured me to answer why this and that happened on the island then I would agree with student #6; no one would understand what I and the rest of us has been through. I think Ralph will have the most mixed feelings upon returning home. Ralph will feel guilty for not being able to keep the tribe together and from not being able to keep them from being savages. He will also be saddened for letting two boys be killed savagely by the rest of the group, savage little human English boys. If he still remembers the mulberry-colored face boy, he will probably feel bad that he could just let a little boy mysteriously disappear so early on during the time they were on the island. He also might be angry at the mysterious boy for being the first one to mention a beast and get the whole chaos started. He would also be wiser because now he knows that almost every human has a hint of darkness inside them; something that he does not want to know and wish that he had never arrived on that cursed island. He would also appreciate or rather curious of how civilization is still here back at home because he had a difficult time keeping a civilization going which eventually collapsed. Despite all these feelings, Ralph would also feel relieved that he finally does not have to struggle controlling the painted Indians and that he does not have to flee for his life.

    Samneric will be relieved but would probably be frightened and wary for awhile after being beaten by Jack and his tribe. Jack and his hunters would have to adjust back to rules and will perhaps rebel a few times. They would also tell everyone that they successfully hunted pigs for fire and were capable of making a fire. When they are asked about the murders, they would be ashamed of what happened if they are not still filled with savagery. If they are still filled with savagery, then they would acknowledge it.

    Most would have forgotten their names or have to think for awhile before they remember what it was like what happened to Percival Wemys Madison. Most would not be able to return to normal, but there are still some, mostly the littluns, that will return home and will be able to adapt back to the old life style. It is mainly the littluns because they are young and might not remember what happened as their life goes on. Some littluns may remember more of the dreadful murders they committed which will haunt them and give them nightmares. This is likely because the officers have already been told which would probably lead to questioning of their murderers. If the officers and everyone else were never told what happened then some littluns might remember this as a time of fun with no or very little rules in their life. A fun that does not seam likely to have happened in a civilized world they live in and therefore dreamlike. A dream so lifelike that showed them a perfect world that they could live.

    ***

    Mr. Long: I think Golding would agree with you about human nature: “…then I think I will able to move on with my life with the horrid memory of the island slowly fading away but never completely.”

    Also glad to see you offer feedback to Student #6. Makes sense!

    Overall, I am incredibly impressed with your thinking/writing here. In fact, you’ve been quietly writing some of the best responses all year. Keep up the great work!!!

  19. I’m on chapter 8.

    Coming home is going to be a very different experience for all the boys. Most of the boys will be happy to get home. This is different for Jack however. Jack has adapted so much to the island ways that it would be awkward for him to come back and live in the ‘real world’. Jack has become almost feral while most of the other boys stay relatively ‘domesticated’. When they get home they will probably take a shower and eat some real cooked food from the kitchen. When Ralph gets home he is going to be overjoyed. Ralph will probably adapt easiest out of the boys besides the ‘littluns’ because he seems the most connected still at this point with back at civilization. Like at one point in the book when he is talking to Piggy he is even mentioning oh well its past tea time blah blah; so he is still at a sense of what he would be back doing at home and it would be a relief to get back to that routine. Its felt that he is more of a cushy boy who is more like a ‘city’ kid and would be better off back in civilization. Jack is defiantly going to have more trouble back ‘adapting’ since he has gotten so in touch back with wildlife. So for most it will probably be an easier transition but especially for Jack it is going to be more difficult.

    ***

    Mr. Long: So glad you (along with a few other students) have managed to see that Golding gave Ralph these memory snippets that he brings up; he’s really the only one that does that at any point (save for Piggy at the beginning).

  20. I’ve finished the book.

    I’m going to relate this to an autobigography I’ve read by a man named Ishmael Beah. Ishmael was a ten year old kid in Sierra Leone when the Revolutionary United Front(RUF) attacked his village. His autobiography tells the story of him and his friends having to walk from village to village, camp to camp for months and months escaping the RUF fighters. Eventually they are recruited by the government as child soldiers. They becomes part of a whirlwind world of alcohol, drugs, and death. Some of the group die, a few live. And then eventually they are rescued and taken to a compound where they are supposed to become re-acclamated to society. At the compound there are boy soldiers rescued from the RUF fighters. The boys, about 13 years old, fight and kill each other, in the compound. the workers thought that they would just change right when they were taken out of the warzone, this didn’t happen. They couldn’t change that easily.

    I think that the only older boy who will integrate normally is Roger. I think Jack would seem normal, I think he would suceed in blocking things out for a long time, but eventually his concience would catch up to him. I think Ralph would be forever haunted by what he took place in involving Simon, and what they became on the island. Roger I think would be ok, i think he could successfully forget everything he did on the island, or just not care. The only kids who I think would be almost completely normal would be the littleuns. This is because small children have been know to subconciously block out bad memories for many years. for a few of them it might resurface one day, but in general I think they
    would forget a lot of what happened and lead fairly normal lives.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Man, am I glad you mentioned that book. A fantastic tie-in! Reminds me of another similar book I just finished: What is the What? by Dave Eggers (co-wrote it with the main character who lived it): http://www.amazon.com/What-Dave-Eggers/dp/1932416641 I think you’d find it really cool in terms of the story and the way Eggers approaches telling it. Check it out!

    And I love what you said about Roger. Good call.

  21. I have finished the book.

    In my opinion, the push back into a ‘normal’ life for the boys is going to be difficult, maddening even. It would be sickening to have to go back to where people don’t understand what you went through. In regards to Ralph, he killed one of his friends, watched the other one die, was put in a position of power and then maliciously shot down, and fought for his life as he was hunted. Those thing aren’t easily forgotten or let go. He’ll probably make it out the best because killing Simon was the only fault of his he’s aware of, and that was a group effort. Plus, they didn’t know what they were doing. He might be able to come to terms with that later on.

    I’m not sure how Jack will adapt. When the officer came his mask lost its meaning. He shot back to being obedient and self-conscious. The spirit that he had is still in there though, and he’s led the ‘dark side’ of the tribe. Which path he’ll follow is an enigma to me.

    I couldn’t guess anything about Roger except that his cruelty (and as the notes at the end suggest, sadism??) will ultimately be his downfall.

    Samneric will probably deal with extreme guilt for betraying Ralph and killing Simon. Ralph seemed to understand their betrayal though, so if he could communicate that to them I think they’d be alright after time passes. Sam, Eric, and Ralph will probably be the most well off.

    The officer that came to rescue them at the end said, “Fun and games.” when he saw the hunters and their spears behind Ralph, who was beaten and on the ground. His reaction will probably be that of most of the adults. They’ll think the boys are delirious or exaggerating when it’s so far from that. This especially applies to the littluns.

    Everyone’s probably going to need hardcore therapy.

    As for me, I would have no idea what to do if I returned to my home after being stranded for four years. Especially if people had thought I was dead and already had my funeral… I don’t know how others would deal with it either after mourning and moving on. I think I would be miserable, at least initially. After a while I think everyone could eventually adapt and life would somehow keep going.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Extra gold stickers for you for bringing up the sailor scene at the end!

  22. I have finished the book.

    If I were one of the boys I would find it extremely difficult to return home, especially after everything that has happened. Many, if not all, of the boy’s primal instincts began to show near chapter 8 or 9. They took a human life and seemed to have no remorse. Also, they were able to stab and gut a pig on their own about half way through the book. The lack of rules and organization has already sunk in, and the boys would probably have a hard time readjusting themselves to society. The boys might then begin to feel guilt for what they had done. For Ralph, I think this whole experience would change him forever. He might not be able to “fully” return back to society. The guilt of helping kill Simon and the loss of a friend might take a huge toll on his conscience and he will probably be scared for life, like all of the other boys I think. Jack may feel the worse of all the boys. Even though he was always aggressive towards the boys, it seems as though he would take responsibility for his action shortly after the rescue, and finally admit to himself what he had done and how horrible his actions really were. I do not think that any of the boys will be the same as they were before this life changing experience.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Agree with you re: “remorse” and “guilt”.

  23. I am finished with the book

    If I were one of the boys I wouldn’t be able to live my life normally like I had in the previous years before reaching the island. The terrible and savage memories would haunt me forever, after realizing that I had barbaric and bloody instincts.

    I don’t think Jack would be able to be the same person after what occurred on the island. All the boys will have to live with the terrible and regretful actions that happened. I don’t think the boys would be capable of living in a structured society with laws and adults, after getting a taste of true freedom with no rules. I think the boys would be ashamed and embarrassed of their actions on the island, and I think it would be tough living with all of that guilt.

    ***

    Mr. Long: I want to think I’d be like you, haunted forever. I trust that Golding, however, would say otherwise based on human nature to rationalize things.

  24. I am currently on chapter 10. For the boys, returning to society will be a shocking and destabilizing experience. The boys have been matured and jaded to a huge extent on the island. The brutal and primitive society they took part in will haunt them through out their lives. The will suffer from guilt and other consequences of their traumatic experiences, most of them will likely have PTSD. They will have problems adapting to a calm school environment. The children, all of them even Ralph, not just Jack and his gang will act out and get into fights. The boys’ transition to a normal life will be shaky and incomplete, although the ruthlessness and lessons they have learned may help them in certain parts of their life, they are more likely to be destined for violence and depression.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Ah, someone finally brought up PTSD. Well done.

  25. I am on Chapter 10.

    I think it would be very hard to get off the island and to go about back into normal life. Everything thing would be different and you would probably never live life the same. The first thing I would do is hug my family for atleast five minutes. I would have missed them so incredibly much and would have been so greatful to see their faces. Next, I would probably go to my refrigerator and make my favorite meal in the world. After I did all that I would probably go outside and sit down and just look at the world around me. I would realize how blessed I am to survive and to make it back home alive. I would also think of the good I got out of my journey, instead of just looking back on it as a dreadful experience. I would think about that if I was ever standed again somewhere I would know how to survive, how to build fire,and how to gather food. Last, I would probably look at the scenery and the people in the world and I would think about how blessed I am to have a loving family, shelter above my head, and food on the table.

    ***

    Mr. Long: I think that many would do the ‘normal’ things — eat from the fridge, etc — to overcome what they had experienced. Probably those ‘boring’ moments would also be overwhelming in some ways.

  26. I have now read the ending.

    I think Ralph is going to have a really tough time of it. He has seen what humanity can become–and this was not a group of twisted, bad individuals. This was a group of regular boys, for heaven’s sake. He will never be able to completely recover from the time he spent on the island, and the horrors he witnessed. The deaths of Piggy and Simon were things that would scare anyone (definitely me, at least) for life.

    Jack and Roger will be brought back down to earth. They were allowed complete freedom on the island, and could do anything and everything they imagined. This freedom twisted their minds, however, because you need rules to keep order in society. They will both be shocked to go back to a world in which there are rules and boundaries and such. Maybe they’ll even regret their actions on the island. Roger certainly has much to regret.

    I think the other boys will have a hard time adjusting as well. A little boy who witnesses the brutal beating of one boy and the savage murder of another will not be able to tear those images from his eyes very easily. The picture of Piggy, his head split open on a rock, certainly would haunt MY dreams forever. And to know that you took part in such a monstrous thing would be scary. I think it will be a while before anyone goes back to even semi-normality.

    ***

    Mr. Long: I’ve always thought that Golding manages to handle the Piggy death scene very well — the smashed conch gives us a visual connection and break from what is also happening.

  27. I finished the book…

    The return home would be different for each boy. I am pretty sure that Ralph would be really happy that he was rescued from the island and the other boys. I got the feeling that Jack would have preferred to live on the island. One reason is that he would be chief and have his own tribe and everyone will obey him. Ralph would probably convert to the old ways again because his main goal was to get off the island. Samneric would be glad they are freed from Jack.

    ***

    Mr. Long: You’re the first to consider the ‘chief’ concept. Nice.

  28. I’ve finished the book.

    Throughout the book, we see Ralph’s personality. He is basically a positive person. He was carefree but he has really learned to think. He has learned to appreciate his past life. I think he will take a little time getting over the shock at having seen the utter evil and loss of control at the island. Then, with the help and guidance of his Dad he will readjust to civilization with renewed appreciation. He will look at all the things his Dad provided for him from a more mature, spiritual point of view. He will look at his friends (if he has any) from a more thoughtful perspective. He won’t take those things for granted anymore. Having seen human nature at its worst and at its best on the island, he may become a better leader in the comforts of normal society in the future. He could dwell on the evil he had seen, but I think he would figure out a way to escape those thoughts. He has learned the value and power of “thinking.”

    Jack is another story. This guy will need some serious counseling. Still, he was a “choirboy,” so he may have some connection to a good school or church that could help him. I don’t know if he could forgive himself for the rest of his life, but he is a survivor. Hopefully, he will get the help he needs to come to terms with himself and his deeds on the island.

    Roger will most likely try to shift all blame to Jack and try to forget about it all. Some nights, however, he may lay awake, haunted by his own evil heart.

    For the little ones, it is best just forgotten like a dream. Their parents would just hug them back and hopefully the events on the island stay repressed deep inside their memories, never to surface again.

    If I were cast away like Tom Hank’s character and came back, I think I would thank God that I got to come back. I would take a breath and let it all sink in, and I would thank God that I got to see everyone again. Then I would try to be as good as possible so that they would be glad that I got back, too. It wasn’t anyone’s fault that I was marooned, so I don’t think I would be angry at anyone. I think Tom Hank’s character had it easier than the boys in Lord of Flies because he was an adult, able to take care of himself and think more maturely. Also, he was alone and was not stuck with someone like Jack and Roger with little ones to look after. There was the issue of loneliness, but he was “adult” enough to live through it with his pal, the soccer ball.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Completely agree w/ you re: the young ones and the “dream” concept. Also, Roger passing the blame is a curious idea. Gets me wondering what Golding would say.

  29. I finished the book and by now so has everyone else so I won’t hold back. Roger and Jack (to a lesser extent) are cold-blooded killers. Roger will never be the same. Once you’ve killed an innocent theres no going back. Once you’ve felt the power of choosing who lives and who dies you’ll do it again. At least I’ve heard… wink wink nudge nudge. I can only imagine the feeling of being god and being able to end a life at leisure.

    You’ve also inspired me to go watch that movie. I remember when I was little seeing commercials for it. I was too young to go see it though. There was a few things that jump out at me. The image of Mr. Hanks looking down onto the beach from a “mountain”. And the volley ball. The ball seemed almost like a Lord of the Flies or a beast. Only there to keep Mr. Hanks “occupied”.

    After watching that trailer the commercial was very entertaining. I can’t really describe it with out stating the obvious, But he sure could’ve used the contents of that box.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Hey, I’ve inspired someone! Mind telling my wife? (smile) She’ll be very impressed. Great comment on the beast/LofF to volleyball idea. I think you’ll like why he chooses to talk to a ball in the film.

    And you wouldn’t be the only person to wonder about that type of power, even if your rational mind says, “No”, to it.

  30. As the book concludes it becomes clear that these boys are forever changed and the return home is going to be a difficult and painful process for all these castaways. The one boy that was truly capable of adjusting to the real world again was Piggy, due to his ever present intellectual ties to humanity, and he is now dead. Ralph is definitely going to have major difficulties adjusting to his normal life again because he has evolved into a whole new person. He has become savage and even more so then Jack, in some respects because he no longer has control over the boys and Golding’s descriptions of Ralph are extremely animalistic. Ralph had difficulty even remembering that being rescued was his goal and towards the end of their stay Piggy continuously reminds Ralph of their true goal. Ralph has discovered in himself a need for killing and power and though this need is not as obsessive as Jack’s or Roger’s it is still present. The issue Ralph is going to have to resolve upon his return to the regular world is how to quench this new killing/ power necessity. Jack will also have to deal with this same inability because in the real world what has become habitual though savage will appear to be crazy. These boys will not be capable of ever truly silencing the yearning for death, evil, and turmoil which they have awakened in themselves and they will forever struggle with this. These boys have experienced something as traumatic as going off to war which allows it to be recognized that soldiers must deal with the same yearning and need for evil that the children experience. If this is true, however, it would prove and demonstrate that true evil is present within all of us but is hindered by the restrictions of society. Once these barriers and restrictions are broken survival skills awaken instincts of violence which once brought forth can never be satisfied. This lack of satisfaction will haunt those rescued for the rest of their lives due to the young age of their corruption and their enjoyment of blood and death.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Powerful ending to your response:

    “If this is true, however, it would prove and demonstrate that true evil is present within all of us but is hindered by the restrictions of society. Once these barriers and restrictions are broken survival skills awaken instincts of violence which once brought forth can never be satisfied. This lack of satisfaction will haunt those rescued for the rest of their lives due to the young age of their corruption and their enjoyment of blood and death.”

  31. I have finsihed the book and can honestly say that the return trip home for the boys is going to be very difficult not only physically but mentally too. The boys have been through hell and back and some are still recuperating. The boys now have to get back into the ways of ‘normal’ life, at this point whatever that may be. Ralph especially is going to sturggle because he has changed everything about himself at this point and it is going to take a while for him to come back. Through all the hardship and pain the boys learned what it was like to become something one thought unimaginable. In other words while they lived on their own and learned to watchout for themsleves they became different people, people no onw knew and will have a hard time getting to know. They have learned to shut people out and fend for themsleves getting back to reality and being social again is going to take some getting used to.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Interesting point about learning to “shut people out” you made at the end making it difficult to transition back.

  32. I believe it would be extremely hard for the boys to ‘conform’ back to society.

    I believe many of the boys would suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. They have seen so much violence and greed at such a young age it would be hard for them to think in a civilized manner.

    Ralph would be very distrusting towards others because in the end every single boy on the island hunted him. I think in life, he would see others as ‘hunting’ him in ‘normal’ situations. Ralph was so unsuccessful as a ruler when the boys drifted into savagery, that he may let others have authority over him to avoid the same outcome.

    I think the callous side of Roger would have been exposed later in his life, without crashing on the island. The unmasking of his behaviors occurred at a much faster rate on the island than it ever would in the ‘real world’ because of the desperate need to show dominance and the lack of consequences.

    The conformation back into society would be easiest for Jack. The only time he ever did things that would not be acceptable in society he was masked. The mask made him a completely different person and he could do things that he would normally never do. When settling in at home, he likely would not even associate the things he did on the island with himself. If he did, he would justify his actions by claiming it was the only way he could’ve survived. Unlike Ralph, he would probably be power hungry. Jack had complete dominance over the boys, excluding Roger. He would have a hard time being ‘suppressed.’ Then again, he saw himself as a another person when masked, so when he went home exposed, he may have not changed at all. Later on in life, the events that took place on the island would come back to him though.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Great point re: Jack’s advantage.

    And I particularly appreciated this part of your response: “I think the callous side of Roger would have been exposed later in his life, without crashing on the island. The unmasking of his behaviors occurred at a much faster rate on the island than it ever would in the ‘real world’ because of the desperate need to show dominance and the lack of consequences.”

  33. I am done with the book!!

    After being on the island for such a long period of time, being rescued would be hard for all of the boys, even Ralph. Although it would be a major relief, I don’t think any of the boys could get over this stage in their life. After watching the ‘tribe’ kill Simon and Piggy being killed by Roger, a transition back to society would probably not be the best things for the Ralph. Also, all the other boys are used to a savage life style. Could you imagine living on the same street as Jack when he first got back. Be riding your bike down the street and all of the sudden get hit with a spear in the side. Yeah, I don’t think any of these boys would be able to make the transition back to society.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Funny (if you know what I mean) point you make at the end…but I think it’d be Roger, more than Jack, who would behave that way.

  34. I have read the whole book.

    If I was one of the boys returning home, I would feel awkward and out of place. Everything would seem like it wasn’t over even though it was. Also I would have to take responsibility of everything that I had done on the island and the guilt may have broken me. Once I got home everything would seem rather dull and dreary, there wouldn’t be anything to compare to what I had experienced. After this I would probably ensue dangerous activities just to get anywhere near the adrenalin rush I had gotten from being on the island. Another problem would probably be that I would be scared of some things more after being on the island, such as lightning storms because of what it represented on the island.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Many have mentioned the stress of returning, as well as the trauma. I think you’re right, however, re: the ‘rush’ they’d seek, too.

  35. I finished Lord of the Flies.

    I do not think that the transition back into society is going to be that difficult for the boys as a whole. How the boys behave at the end of the book is not that different than the society that they leave in the beginning; both societies have rules to provide control, and yet they are very destructive and violent. The boys are leaving their blood-thirsty civilization they have built for themselves and will return to the preexisting savage society consumed in a horrific war. They will obviously have to settle back into their daily routines, but one has to do that when one returns from a vacation anyway. Ralph, however, is going to have the hardest time returning to the society that he left. Ralph was the lone character, besides the deceased Simon and Piggy, who realized how terrible the boys on the island had become. He saw their evolution into savages, and when he returns to the parallel world, he will see that there as well. I am not sure if Ralph is ever going to resume his place in the world he lost to the savageries of little boys on an island.

  36. I’ve read the book already.

    If I was one of the boys on the island, I would’ve been on Ralph’s side. I would find as many ways to get rescued as possible. If I were to return home after the experience, I would probably be excited, but also grieved for the events that happened on the island. Being there and seeing someone die, and having the guilt of killing someone (although I was on the outside, right?) would scar the rest of my life. Society would be so much different; so many responsibilities, yet less work at the same time. Getting use to so many rules would take some time, but not having to search everywhere for food would be nice. Looking down the isles in grocery stores would be overwhelming because, how could there be so much food? I would also feel safer when walking around; there won’t be many instances where I would feel that something’s following me. The return home would take getting used to, but because that’s all that I would’ve thought of on the island, adapting back to civilization won’t take too long.

    Lucky for me, I don’t have to worry about having a girlfriend that married someone else, but anyways, being home would be hard getting used to. I would probably have nightmares for some time to come, and I will not ever want to ride in an airplane again. Getting supplies essential for living would be so easy at home, but the island gave me so much freedom to do anything I want. My parents might’ve thought I was dead and moved on after four years, so that would’ve been a problem. What if all my stuff was gone? Overall though, I would be happy to be back home. Home, sweet home.

  37. Upon further examination of Roger as a character in the book, I found that if he goes home, he’s going to death row by the time he’s 20.

  38. I have finished the book

    Also I’m assuming there was been a long period of time between the crash on the island and the naval officer appearing on the island because as described in the book Ralph’s hair has grown very long.

    I think that if the boys were rescued from the island then it would take no time at all for most of the boys to adjust to the atmosphere of the war. Jack would come to a realization of killing two boys, but I think that he would make a great leader in the war. Roger would be ready to join combat, but it would take time for him to learn how to use modern weaponry. Ralph would be relieved from being stuck on the island, but I think he would become a commander in the army like his dad.

  39. If I had been one of the boys on the island, I definitely would have been with Ralph’s “tribe.”

    This being said, the return trip would be difficult for Ralph. Ralph witnessed the “darkness of man’s heart”, the fall through the air of Piggy, and was part of a murder of an innocent boy. He wouldn’t be able to pick up life just as he had left it off if he returned to civilization. Sure, he would be relieved — throughout the story he still wants to be rescued and yearns for the “majesty of adult life”. However, being part of a murder and witnessing the corruption and savagery on the island will most likely transform him into a different person when he enters civilization again. I am sure he will be able to see the foreshadowing and the different side of human nature in society once he returns. I also think that Ralph would be relieved to have rules to follow once more. He was always unsure of what to decide with the boys and stated to himself that the problem with being a leader was all the thinking that had to come with it. He told Jack and the other boys that the rules were the only thing they had on the island and therefore should be taken seriously. Following the rules of society and the limits adults put on him would be relieving for Ralph.

    On the contrary, Jack and Roger would definitely hate returning to civilization. They can’t hunt anymore, obviously, and aren’t on free reign. Civilization will condition them and enforce rules once more. Jack, at one point, had said “bullocks to the rules” — adjusting and following them will be hard for him once he returns to society. Jack’s tribe can no longer be liberated by the body paint or do their barbaric tribal rituals in civilization.

    The littluns would be the happiest to return home because they are terrified of the beast and believe it to be part of the island. Returning to society for them would probably bring about the use of nightlights while they sleep.

    For me, I would just be relieved to see food available everywhere and accessible at any time. The pressures of making a fire and worrying about rescue would be gone, and I wouldn’t have to worry about Jack and the hunters constantly disrupting the order on the island.

  40. The boys would obviously be in shock when they returned to civilization. They had just been living on an island where there were no rules or consequences. Now because they are being forced back into the real world, facing typical childish problems could seem pointless. Along with the happiness for being rescued comes the necessity for adjustment back to the real world.

    Some boys might not be reluctant to return ‘home’, like the litluns and Ralph. For a while the litluns have shown signs of fear and discomfort while on the island. Ralph could feel happy to be leaving the island because he has been attempting to escape the island from the beginning of the book. However, his feeling of relief might also come with guilt. Because of Piggy’s death, Ralph would feel terrible that he died a shortly before help came and that Ralph had the chance to leave but not Piggy. Because he was Ralph’s most loyal friend on the island, he could possibly go into depression for a while when returning to civilization.

    Some boys could actually be sad to be leaving. Jack would probably have mixed feelings because he is loosing power by leaving the island. However, when you take into account that Roger would have probably taken over he could also be extremely happy because help came before his position as chief was taken. Roger on the other hand was probably thinking of this master plan throughout the book after he thought the boys would “never be rescued”.(43) Now that help has come, Roger’s plan for absolute control over the island has been foiled.

  41. First off, what do you mean by some of the boys would return? I mean I know that Simon, Piggy, and that kid with the mulberry patch on his face are never going to return home, but why wouldn’t the others?

    Anyways, the return trip home would be a mixture of emotions from different boys. Ralph, for example, would feel anxious and relieved to get off the island. After he was off the island and had taken care of himself, he might feel sadness for loosing his friend Piggy, and guilt for not telling the group of boy’s around the fire, that the “beast” they were killing, was Simon. Jack on the other hand, would probably feel no guilt or shame for Simon or Piggy’s deaths. He might even become a serial killer one day or be devoid of human emotion and not care for anything one.

    As for the “Cast Away” movie I would have probably done the same thing that he did, Except for the talking to the volley ball, and going insane part. If and when I returned home, I would try to live like any normal person in a normal society. I might right a book about it and get millions of dollars. I could even be on Oprah that would be really cool.

    P.S. That FedEx guy must have felt really annoyed.

  42. I have finished the book.

    After being stuck on the island for such a long period of time, returning home would be very hard on the boys. Having spent time without any adults together, their personalities have adapted to each other. Once returning home, all of their friends and their family could quite possibly not accept them. Over time, things at each person’s household will go back to normal. But, initially, there will be a sort of awkwardness and some tension throughout the room. Since the children have been away for so long without adult supervision, some could have lost respect for their elders, thinking that all are equal.. As they all return home, some parents may not even recognize their children, for they have lived on a deserted island for such a long period of time, without haircuts or anything. But hopefully soon the parents will all accept their children and see the good in their experience on the island.

  43. The trip back to civilization would be the most difficult for Roger. Roger Has made a very large change since the arrival of the island and instead of being small and insignificant he is now small and very dangerous and intimidating. When Roger sides with Jack and lets loose of all the shackles of his previous life he isn’t stopped by anything that doesn’t use force. Roger loves this new freedom and as he travels home those shackles are going to have to be eased back on one by one or else he is going to get himself into big trouble. Self control and morals of modern society will have to replace his vicious attributes that he obtained on the island which will be very difficult because he has already had a taste of true power.

  44. If I was a boy coming back from the island, I would feel extremely out of place upon returning. Most of the boys would probably end up very lonely and in therapy for the rest of their lives. I would end up feeling like a criminal and an outcast, even if I was Jack, who was always in the forefront. The cruel reality that struck the boys on the island leaves them with no childhood innocence and a dark set of memories. I don’t think I would ever recover.

    The real world would pale in comparison to the harsh life I lived on the island. While it would be nice to come back to people and safety, the loss of freedom would make me long for that once-loathed island life. I would most likely go on to conform to society again, but try and follow everything I want as if the next moment I would be taken away again .

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