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Lord of the Flies | Study Guide

William Golding

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Lord of the Flies | Quotes


There aren't any grownups. We shall have to look after ourselves.

Ralph, Chapter 2

The older boys, other than Piggy, are excited to be without grownups. As the story goes on and the situation deteriorates, Ralph and his crew wish for adult supervision.


We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages.

Jack, Chapter 2

Jack's willingness to accept rules at the beginning shows how far he falls later.


They looked at each other, baffled, in love and hate.

Narrator, Chapter 3

Ralph and Jack represent two dramatically different sides—civilization and savagery. When the boys first meet, they enjoy each other's company. However, as time passes, their true natures come out, and they do not understand each other.


The mask was a thing ... behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness.

Narrator, Chapter 4

Jack's descent into savagery means removing himself from civilization. The face paint helps him feel liberated and allows him to explore his true nature.


Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood.

Jack, Chapter 4

Jack and the other hunters chant these words while they are hunting. It is indicative of their bloodlust.


Life ... is scientific ... there isn't no beast ... there isn't no fear ... Unless we get frightened of people.

Piggy, Chapter 5

Piggy is a rationalist. He does not allow himself to believe in anything he cannot conceive. However, he knows people can do awful things.


Maybe ... there is a beast ... maybe it's only us.

Simon, Chapter 5

Simon shows insight into the human character that is beyond his years. The boys do not understand his meaning.


I'm the Beast ... You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you?

Lord of the Flies, Chapter 8

The pig's head, the Lord of the Flies, confirms Simon's earlier insight and encapsulates the author's view on humanity—people all have the beast, or evil, within them.


Which is better—to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?

Piggy, Chapter 11

Piggy remains convinced that reason and logic can be applied in any situation and with any person. He is blind to the fact that Jack and his group are now behaving according to a different set of rules.


Ralph wept for the end of innocence.

Narrator, Chapter 12

When the boys are found by the naval officer, Ralph loses any remaining self-control. He recognizes how far the boys have fallen and the evil that is within man. The thought drives him to tears.

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