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Study Guide : Lord of the Flies: Quotes

Study Guide

Definitions :

QUOTATION : Passage or remark quoted - A quotation from or reference to a book, paper, or author, especially in a scholar

QUOTATION MARKS : Inverted commas (" OR ") used at the beginning and end of a quotation e.g. He said " That is nonsense"
SYNONYM : A word that means the same or almost the same as another word. 'large' and 'great' are synonyms of 'big'

Source : The Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary (fourth Edition)

Using a quote in an essay

Lord of the Flies : Example quote & explanation

“What are we? Humans? Or animals or savages?

Piggy says this to Ralph during one of their assemblies. Piggy is consistently in support of keeping a signal fire going, and concentrating on their rescue. He sees the boys’ potential for violence long before the others. Here, he pleads with his listeners to remember their civilization back home, while articulating a central question of the novel.

Lord of the Flies : Example quote & explanation

“Jack stood up as he said this, the bloodied knife in his hand. The two boys faced each other. There was the brilliant world of hunting, tactics, fierce exhilaration, skill; and there was the world of longing and baffled commonsense.”

Throughout the novel Golding suggests that the path to civilization is more difficult and less likely than the path to tyranny. Here, Jack and Ralph fight. Jack is described in terms of his adroitness, Ralph in terms of his shortcomings, and the ideals he represents are presented as less tangible or attractive.

Writing Tips : How to cite a quotation

Lord of the Flies : Example quote & explanation

 ''What's that?'' Ralph had stopped smiling and was pointing at the lagoon. Something creamy lay among the ferny weeds ''A stone'' ''No. A shell ''. Suddenly Piggy was a-bubble with decorous excitement. S'right. It's shell! I seen one like that before. On someone's back wall. A conch he called it. He used to blow it and then his mum would come. "


At the beginning of the novel, Ralph and Piggy discover the conch shell on the beach.

They decide to use it to call other boys after the crash separates them "we can use this to call others.

After the boys assemble, the conch takes a symbolic meaning; becoming identified with "democracy and free speech'' .

The boy who holds the conch has the authority to speak, and has democratic security. 

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