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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Lord of the Flies by William Golding-Free Summary
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TERM PAPER IDEAS

1. Trace the symbolism of the conch through the novel, showing how the shell is invested with power and how that power is destroyed.

2. Compare the idea of "man's return to a more natural state" in Tarzan of the Apes or Swiss Family Robinson with what happens in Lord of the Flies.

3. Discuss the uses of nature in the novel, showing how it foreshadows what will happen, how it works against man, how it parallels man's emotional states.

4. Discuss Golding's idea of evil in the "darkness of man's heart."

5. Show how Golding uses irony in Lord of the Flies.

6. Follow the boys' loss of civilization and discuss the ways in which Golding lets us know they are becoming more and more savage.

7. Compare Piggy and Simon as doomed heroes.

8. Is the novel ultimately optimistic or pessimistic? Give evidence to support your theory.

9. Consider Lord of the Flies as a fable and demonstrate what ideas or beliefs Ralph and Jack represent.

10. Who would you have followed if you were on the island with Ralph and Jack and they were your age? What reasons would you have for believing in one or the other?

11. Trace the changes that occur in the nature of "the beast" throughout the story.

12. Follow the development and breakdown of Ralph's idea of game playing.


13. Trace the disintegration of Jack's speech and the rise of his animalistic abilities.

14. Discuss the use of fire imagery in the novel.

15. Compare the authoritarian and democratic power of Jack and Ralph with situations in our world today.

16. Compare Ralph's coming of age in Lord of the Flies with the development of the main character in A Separate Peace or Catcher in the Rye.

17. Follow the breakdown of Ralph's system of beliefs and show how his thinking changes in the story.

18. Compare Ballantyne's Coral Island with Lord of the Flies and contrast the differences in the outcome of the two stories.

19. If Golding's story is a fable, it will have a point or a moral. What is the moral in Lord of the Flies?

20. Discuss Jack's understanding of fear and the beast and show how he uses his knowledge.

21. Show how Golding makes use of light and dark to convey the deeper meanings of his story.

22. Compare Ralph, Jack, and Simon's journey across the island at the beginning of the novel with Ralph, Jack, and Roger's journey later in the story.

23. Describe the impact Lord of the Flies has had on you. How has it changed your thinking?

24. The threat of atomic war is a real one. Compare the thinking of people in power today (pro-nukes and antinukes, democrats and autocrats) with Ralph and Jack's attitudes.

25. Consider the power of names, naming, and losing a name in the story. Show how Golding uses these concepts to enhance the meaning of his book.

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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Lord of the Flies by William Golding-Free Summary
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