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Quotes (Lord of the Flies)
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Key Quotes from Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Quotes on the Key Themes

Savagery v. civilisation/ innocence v. evilness

On Roger’s behaviour – “furtive boy…[with an] inner intensity of avoidance and secrecy”

Ralph – “there aren’t any grown-ups we shall have to look after ourselves.”

Piggy at the first fire – “like a pack of kids”, “that littlun that had the mark on his face – where is he now?”

Simon takes himself away to think – “when he was secure in the middle he was in a little cabin”

On Henry playing with the sea creatures “he became absorbed beyond mere happiness as he felt himself exercising control over living things”

“kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood”

On the biguns arguing after the first kill – “passions beat about Simon…with awful wings”

Ralph “this meeting must not be fun, but business”

Ralph – “the rules are the only thing we’ve got”

Ralph on the disintegration of the rules – “We shan’t keep the fire going. We’ll be like animals”

Piggy on the rest of the boys “boys armed with sticks”

“[piggy] held the conch against his chest with one hand and stabbed the air with his index finger”

Simon speaking in front of the boys “the pressure of the assembly took his voice away”

Symbol – the conch

I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak…and he won’t be interrupted”

Said by Ralph to Jack “I’ve got the conch”

“supposing we go, looking like we used to, washed and hair brushed – after all we aren’t savages really and being rescued isn’t a game”

Symbol – the beast

“snake thing”

“beastie”, “he says the beastie came in the dark”

“then people started getting frightened” by the beast

“the beast comes out of the sea”

Simon – “Maybe it’s only us”

Perhaps that’s what the beast is – a ghost”

The parachutist’s body – “the ruin of a face”

“the beast had teeth…big black eyes”

“this head is for the beast. It’s a gift” the silence accepted the gift and awed them. The lord of the Flies hung on his stick and grinned…[Simon’s] gaze was held by that ancient, inescapable recognition”

To Simon “you knew didn’t you? I’m part of you? We’re going to have fun on this island. Understand?…or else…we shall do you?”

“the beast was harmless and horrible”

The boys kill Simon when they mistake him for the beast – “the beast was on its knees in the centre, its arms folded over its face…fell over the steep edge…the tearing of teeth and claws…they could see how small a beast it was…Simon’s dead body moved out toward the open sea”

Roger on Jack “Roger admired, “he’s a proper chief, isn’t he?”

Piggy on going home “if we don’t get home soon we’ll go barmy

Quotes relating to the characters

Piggy

“plump”, “shorter”, “very fat”, “thick spectacles”

Ralph “shrieked with laughter” at his nickname

“what intelligence had been shown was traceable to Piggy”

“Piggy cried out in terror, ‘my specs’”

“only Piggy could have the intellectual daring to suggest moving the fire away from the mountain”

“because what’s right is right”

Ralph

“perhaps there aren’t any grown-ups anywhere”

“a mildness about his mouth and eyes that proclaimed no devil…might make a boxer”

His anger at the fire watchers for hunting – “his voice was loud and savage, and struck them into silence.”

After calling an assembly after the first kill – “I’m calling an assembly’ he turned away and walked off down the mountain”

“he was overcome with the wearisomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one’s waking life was spent watching ones feet.”

Ralph starts to lose it after Jack leaves – “Ralph was puzzled by the shutter that flickered in his brain”

On what happened to Simon – “that was Simon…that was murder”

“Are we savages or what?”

Jack

“the boy who controlled them”

“tall, thin and bony; and his hair was red…his face crumpled and freckled, and ugly without silliness. Out of his face stared two light blue eyes…ready to turn to anger”

“He hadn’t: because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh”

“compulsion to track down and kill things that was swallowing him up

“the madness came into his eyes”

After attacking Piggy and being told off – “his voice was vicious with humiliation”

Whilst pretending Roger is a pig “ Jack had him by the hair and was brandishing a knife”

Suggesting what to cook on the fire – “use a littlun” said jack, and everybody laughed”

Jack speaking to Ralph about going u the mountain – “Coming?”

He was safe from the shame of self-consciousness behind the mask of his paint and could look at each of them in turn”

At the feast Jack speaks as though he is generous but really he is stamping his authority – “has everyone eaten as much as they want?”

Roger on jack’s erratic behaviour “He got angry and made us tie Wilfren up. He’s been…tied for hours, waiting”

Jack steals Piggy’s glasses “from his left hand dangled Piggy’s broken glasses”

“the chief was sitting there, naked to the waist, his face blocked out in white and red”

Quotes relating to the Setting

The littluns “suffered untold terrors in the dark”

The plane fight mirrors the change on the island, “the battle fought at ten miles height”

“faced by the brute obtuseness of the ocean, the miles of division, one was clamped down, one was helpless, one was condemned”

Dramataic epithet – “all at once the thunder struck. Instead of a dull boom there was a point of imact in the explosion”

“diminishing crags were balanced one on another”

 

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