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Parents and Entitlement in Huck Finn

In: English and Literature

Submitted By cleverboy314
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'LORD OF THE FLIES' by William Golding
“Revision notes can never replace knowing the books thoroughly”
These notes should be used as pointers to the directions that your thoughts might take. They are not meant to replace your reading of the novel, you must still do that yourself..

Never forget that we are talking about a group of boys whose maximum age is twelve.

Does he represent all that is good in people? Tall, fair-skinned, blond hair, very athletic, natural leader although not that good a leader as many of his decisions are questionable, which ones?. He is middle-class, father a naval officer. Elected leader but not forceful enough to maintain position. Eventually he loses support and is reduced to the status of an outcast who must flee for his life.
Ralph is an idealist and a dreamer. He needs Piggy to think for him. He finds the Conch but Piggy tells him how to use it. At the end of the book, he is a disillusioned realist who now sees his world and its inhabitants for what they are.


Does he represent the worst in people? He is thin, tall, with red hair, light blue eyes and freckles. Leader of the choir, he becomes the leader of the hunters. Increasingly in conflict with Ralph and more particularly, Piggy, he breaks away, forms his own tribe and splits the group. He manages to get the support to do this by offering the boys the attraction of the hunting life and then by terrorising them. In the end he is the tyrannical leader of the community. Jack is a spontaneous, unthinking person who wants instant gratification of his desires. He doesn’t hypothesise (think through the possible results of his actions) and doesn't care
'what if?'. He is a ‘me first' person, as most of us are. He is amoral in that he recognises no morality except what he can enforce. He has no worries about ignoring such things such as 'rights' and 'justice'.


He is overweight, a 'Fatty’, asthmatic, cannot see without his glasses as he is short-sighted.
He is an orphan who lived with his Auntie, a sweet shop owner, and is, from his language and manner, of a lower class than the rest. He is physically unattractive and wears a greasy windcheater. However he is intelligent and thoughtful and is able to reason and hypothesise. He defends and looks after the little’uns. A wise counsellor, he supports Ralph's attempts at democratic, parliamentary rule. After increasingly finding himself at odds with Jack, a person he both instinctively loathes and fears, he is murdered by Roger, who drops a boulder onto him.

© 2000

Page 1 of 8

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Revision notes

Piggy's role in the novel seems to be heavily symbolic. As the only boy wearing glasses he has the means to light a fire. He also seems to represent the quality of reason among the boys and his gradual loss of sight, cracked lens and glasses finally stolen, and loss of influence which culminates in his death, shows the gradual degeneration of the boys. He refuses to accept the existence of a beast, as it is unscientific. For this same reason he finds
Simon very strange.

He is a dark, mystical boy who the others find 'odd'. He is small, thin, with a pointed chin and very bright eyes. He has long coarse black hair over a low, broad forehead. He goes barefoot. An original member of the choir (hunters), he will be killed by boys led by the choir (hunters). He is very helpful and co-operative and the only boy to help Ralph build the shelters.
He is one of the three boys, with Jack and Ralph, who first explore the island. He suffers from hallucinatory fainting fits(epilepsy?) and goes off alone when they happen. He appears to be capable of prophecy, and is the only boy who is totally unafraid of the beast.
He will ultimately be a ‘scapegoat’ who, at the point of telling the boys that the beast that they have seen is in fact, a dead parachutist, is killed by his ‘school friends’ during a dancing frenzy.
Simon has a high level of intuitive intelligence and this allows him to be exceptionally brave, as shown by his willingness to confront the beast. He is a fearless seeker after truth.
From all this are we meant to see him as a Jesus figure?


Mysterious, slight and furtive with black hair and a low forehead, he is very secretive.
Jack's lieutenant, he thinks like Jack and never considers the consequences of his actions.
His name literally means 'famous with a spear'. He is a sadist who delights in inflicting pain. In the sow killing he is unnecessarily cruel. He is Jack's torturer and is the logical extension of Jack’s character. He prepares the stick, sharpened at both ends, to be used to mount Ralph's head.

SAM'N' The twins. They are always talked about as one person and when they talk, they alternate
ERIC sentences. Their rule is to serve whoever is the leader. They stay with Ralph until he loses the position to Jack. They are likeable, irresponsible and fickle. They let the fire go out and they first bring news of the dead parachutist.
Since the twins serve as muscle, as strength to be harnessed, they represent the unthinking masses of the people. These masses are peaceable, likeable and good- natured. They elect leaders like Ralph, but they lack morals and understanding of the meaning of events, and so they are easily swayed and persuaded to serve a new leader that comes along.

There are other characters, but these are the main ones and in any question of character one of these should be discussed.

© 2000

Page 2 of 8

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Revision notes

It might be easier to separate plot and structure in the following way.
The plot of a novel is what happens in the story. The actions of the plot will be explained therefore by

the characters; the setting that the characters are in; the motivations of the characters which makes them act as they do; what they do; what happens when they do what they do.

Discussion and criticism of plot must be whether you feel that a. plus b. plus c. would lead to d. and e. in a way that is believable to you.
The structure of the novel is the way that the author has got his characters to do what he wants them to do to make his point. An example of this would be the way Piggy's specs are broken by
In terms of PLOT you could say that Jack attacks Piggy because he doesn't yet dare attack Ralph.
In terms of STRUCTURE Golding wants the glasses to be broken to show the way that reason, symbolised by Piggy, is being slowly blinded by the 'evil' that is Jack. You will find lots of places where plot is manipulated by structure.
A good example is Piggy's glasses. The PLOT needs these glasses to create the fire. However,
Piggy is short-sighted because Golding's STRUCTURE demands Piggy to be helpless without his glasses. But glasses that correct short- sightedness do not magnify and therefore could not possibly be used to light a fire! In this the needs of the structure take first place over the logic of the plot.

The following chart tells you where the action takes place.
It is worth thinking about the setting in terms of the structure. It has to be a tropical paradise in that it must be like Eden. It must be unspoilt by man, so that the passenger tube makes the first scar across the paradise. There must be plentiful supplies of food (fruit) and water. The lagoon of water near the boys’ beach must be safe and warm for swimming. There must be a high mountain for the rescue fire. There must be pigs to hunt (how did they get to the island?).
The settings could be seen in terms of contrasts.

The lagoon, warm and safe


The mountain, high place where truth can be seen , the place for the rescue fire and the hope that it symbolises.


The open sea which is cold and unprotected. The Castle rock, a jumbled mix-up with a cave in the centre. The fire used for torture. The beach, a safe place, familiar, open tame VERSUS

The jungle, wild and unknown.

© 2000

Page 3 of 8

Lord of the Flies by William Golding


Revision notes

Notice the importance of the weather in the major scenes. The death of Simon takes place in a tumultuous thunderstorm that builds up over the preceding chapters. Golding uses day and night in the same way so that feelings of fear and unease are emphasised. Night is fear and day is safety.
Are there other parts of the novel where the weather seems to reflect what is going on amongst the boys? STYLE - How Golding communicates his story
I think that the best way to show the style of the writing, which in this novel is very complex, is to choose a particular scene which is very powerful. Examples could be the death of Simon, the meeting of Simon and the Lord of the Flies, the chase after Ralph at the end of the novel, in particular when he hides in the bushes or even the opening when Piggy meets Ralph. Using a couple of paragraphs, talk about the style as you might a poem. Talk about the:


the words, the use of colour



the length and structure of sentences. Does he use the sentence length to speed up the action?



metaphor, simile, onomatopoeia - what feelings do they create?

Comments about the overall style of the novel should emphasise that it is deceptively simple. The story has a good pace and the action flows smoothly. However there is always a feeling that there is more to this story than the adventures of schoolboys in paradise.
That we are meant to think more deeply about it and that there may be a hidden message is suggested by the following thoughts:

Why are the boys not given second names apart from Jack and Percival?

Why are there no girls or adults who survive the crash?

How come the passenger tube lands, ejects the boys and then is dragged out to sea so that it cannot provide any source of shelter or supplies?

Why is the island so isolated in that so few ships pass by?

If it is isolated how can two fighter planes be fighting over it so that the parachutist suddenly lands on the mountain?

Where do the pigs come from?

Why is Piggy the only one with glasses and the only one that does not go to public school?

© 2000

Page 4 of 8

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Revision notes

VIEWPOINT – or, What is it really all about?
There is no easy understanding of this book which has many levels. Begin by considering the following:

- Some ideas are very complex and a writer will decide that instead of explaining the thought he will demonstrate it in the form of a story, a story that is told in SYMBOLS. These might be animals who act out his ideas such as in ‘Aesop’s Fables’ or ‘Animal Farm’. He might use people and tell it in the form of a parable such as ‘The Prodigal Son’.
We know that Golding wrote his story when the activities of the Nazis and their death camps were being revealed in all their horror. Is this story an attempt to understand how humans can be capable of such appalling cruelty?


- Using things or people to represent ideas.
This novel is full of symbols, some more important and more obvious than others. Often the symbols are also found in the Bible and in Greek Mythology. The more you delve into the symbolic references in this book, the more you uncover. In Greek Mythology FIRE is a symbol of KNOWLEDGE. And Eve tempted Adam with an apple from the Tree of
Knowledge. Both FIRE and KNOWLEDGE can HELP and HARM.

The beast

A major symbol is the beast which evolves into the 'Lord of the Flies’, physically the head of the slaughtered sow, a head placed on a stick, 'sharpened at both ends'. Remember that 'Lord of the Flies' literally translated into Hebrew is Beelzebub which is one of the names given to
Satan, the devil. Symbolically the ‘Lord of the Flies’ has won when the boys have become savages. The beast symbol therefore evolves gradually:

The choir is likened to an animal as it comes across the sand.


The fire is likened to Snakes and it kills one of the little'uns , the boy with the mulberry coloured birthmark. The snake is the devil in the Garden of Eden.
However fire is a symbol in Greek mythology for knowledge, in Greek the word is the same. Is Golding saying that knowledge is ‘two-edged’, it can be very useful and also very dangerous, like fire itself? Interestingly the Snake/Devil in
Eden tempts Adam with a fruit from the tree of knowledge. Remember that knowledge has brought us healing medicine and also the nuclear bomb!

Chapter Beast from the Water: The boys complain about the beast thing in the sea and
5: Jack uses this fear to offer 'protection' with his hunters.


© 2000

Beast from the Air: A dead parachutist lands on the mountain, taking over the place where the rescue fire is, the symbol of their aspirations. When they hear of this the older boys set off to investigate, all except Piggy who is left behind to look after the Little’uns. They begin by investigating Castle Rock, the only unexplored part of the island. Here Jack will ultimately set up his alternative tribal camp.

Page 5 of 8


They now set off for the mountain to investigate the beast. Anticipating a fainting attack, Simon volunteers to carry a message to Piggy that they will be late. He is unafraid of the beast in the jungle. For the final climb to the summit,
Jack and Ralph are joined by Roger. When they see the dead parachutist they run off terrified. Had he been there, Simon would have been unafraid, and therefore they would have discovered the truth. Significantly he isn't.


Jack makes his leadership bid, fails and decides to split away. The hunters join him and they hunt a sow. In the killing of the sow, symbolically they are killing a pregnant animal and thus destroying the future. The hunters dress as savages and mount the pig’s head on a stick as a gift to the ‘beast’. The killing ground is where Simon has hidden to have his ‘fit’. When he awakes, Simon, in an hallucinatory fit, talks to it and it ‘talks’ back, saying:

"You knew, didn't you I'm part of you? Close, close, close!
I’m the reason why it's no go? Why things are what they are?" Chapter


Other symbols

Simon now passes out and when he recovers he goes to the mountain top and discovers the truth. Meanwhile the boys have a feast on the beach. They fear the beast, it is night and there is a storm brewing and the boys, to get rid of their fear of the storm, begin a dance. Simon bursts into the dance, is mistaken for the beast and is killed. His body is washed away by the sea. He becomes a ‘scapegoat’, a beast sacrificed to the beast.
The savage tribe is now the beast and it steals Piggy's glasses.
Chapter 11: Piggy is killed by the tribe (the beast) when he and Ralph ask for his glasses back. Piggy is killed and Ralph is driven into hiding.
Chapter 12: The tribe hunt Ralph so that they can stick his head on the stick
'sharpened at both ends'. Ironically he is now the beast being hunted by the beast that is the tribe.

Other important symbols are:

the conch - symbol of democratic freedom, fire - symbol of hope and rescue, the huts - symbol of civilisation, etc. etc.

The Lord of the Flies copyright © William Golding
© 2000

Page 6 of 8

Having said all this the question remains, what does Golding mean by the 'Lord of the Flies'?
As he doesn’t provide us with the answer, it is up to you to decide.

My own view is that maybe he is saying that there is a beast, a ‘Lord of the Flies’ in all of us which is our potential for evil. This is controlled by our intellect and our sense of responsibility towards each other, what Jesus meant by ‘loving your neighbour’. Such a
'beast' causes football supporters to change into violent hooligans and it makes civilised countries commit appalling atrocities upon each other’s people; one only has to think of
Bosnia or Burundi. It might also make two young boys kill a little toddler, as in the
Bulger case. In all cases the action is self-destructive, and seems to take no thought to the outcome. People who act without thought for others or for the consequences of their actions are called SOCIOPATHS, and this is what the boys become. In their bloodlust for Ralph, the tribe destroy their home and their society.
The island is therefore a microcosm, a small version of a bigger world.

Other critics suggest that it might also be a macrocosm, a bigger version of the human character.. 'The symbolic encounter between Simon and the Lord of the Flies represents the conflict between good and evil as it occurs in every man. .... Analyse any individual and you find in him Ralph's tendency to adventure and common sense, Piggy's intellectualism,
Simon's religious and poetic feelings, Roger's willingness to torture, Jack's appetite for destruction, Sam'n'Eric's desire to please other people. How these different elements are oriented in the individual decides his moral outlook. But they are present as impulses in the human personality. Thus at the same time that this is a novel exploring the disintegration of a society, it is also a study of the identity of man.'

© 2000

Page 7 of 8

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Revision notes

Lord of the Flies - Character Chart

model boy

What he wants Jack

to be rescued


has to be in charge to hunt

blows the conch; group; hunts lights signal fire down Ralph

At beginning happy, excited by in charge of

At end


being hunted as animal chief of savages Sam'n'Eric




to be rescued

to know the truth?

to hurt

feeds ideas to Ralph

talks to ‘Lord of the kills Piggy
Flies’; solves mystery of beast

first to see the beast visionary brave

quiet; a 'loner'

no separate identities worried and frightened fainting

small, dark boy



a savage torturer


very responsible; hatred; natural serious; dreamer; easyleader thoughtful; loyal going control freak?




Main Actions forms democracy; hunts; splits

Main emotions Simon

amiable followers to follow

1.Platform, Mountain

2.Platfrom, Mountain

3. Jungle, Beach, Jungle.

4. Beach, Mountain

Ralph assembles boys by
Boys discuss plans, fears, climb Jack hunts, Ralph builds shelter. Jack kills pig but lets fire go blowing conch, is elected leader. mountain and light fire. Fire
Simon goes off to (butterflies) out. Piggy's glasses' lens
He, Jack and Simon climb out of control and littl'un killed. hiding place. broken mountain.
5. Platform

6. Mountain, Platform, Castle
Ralph lectures the boys. 'Things Dead parachutist lands on are breaking up' Jack breaks up mountain. Sam'n'Eric mistake meeting him for beast. Ralph leads search to castle Rock.

9.Mountain Beach. STORM

8. Beach, Jungle, Beach

Boar charges into boys and escapes. Ralph, Roger and Jack climb mountain. See beast and flee in terror.

Jack splits with Ralph and takes hunters. They kill sow.
Simon talks to Lord of the
Flies. Ralph lights fire on beach. 10. Beach, Castle Rock, Beach 11. Beach, Castle Rock

Simon solves identity of beast.
Ralph, Piggy and twins try to
Jack gives feast. Boys dance and keep fire going. Jack's tribe in kill Simon.
Castle Rock. They steal Piggy's glasses. © 2000

7. Jungle, Mountain

Ralph and co. go to Castle Rock for Piggy's glasses. Piggy murdered, twins captured. Ralph driven away.

12. Jungle, Castle Rock,
Jungle, Beach
Ralph hunted down by tribe.
Tribe sets fire to island.
Ship sees smoke and rescues the boys.

Page 8 of 8…...

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...Adventures of Huckleberry Finn resulted in generally friendly reviews, but the novel was controversial from the outset.[13] Upon issue of the American edition in 1885 a number of libraries banned it from their stacks.[14] The early criticism focused on what was perceived as the book's crudeness. One incident was recounted in the newspaper, the Boston Transcript: The Concord (Mass.) Public Library committee has decided to exclude Mark Twain's latest book from the library. One member of the committee says that, while he does not wish to call it immoral, he thinks it contains but little humor, and that of a very coarse type. He regards it as the veriest trash. The library and the other members of the committee entertain similar views, characterizing it as rough, coarse, and inelegant, dealing with a series of experiences not elevating, the whole book being more suited to the slums than to intelligent, respectable people.[14] Twain later remarked to his editor, "Apparently, the Concord library has condemned Huck as 'trash and only suitable for the slums.' This will sell us another five thousand copies for sure!" Soon after, in 1905, New York’s Brooklyn Public Library also banned the book due to bad word choice and Huck having “not only itched but scratched” within the novel, which was considered obscene.[15] When asked by a Brooklyn librarian about the situation, Twain replied: I am greatly troubled by what you say. I wrote 'Tom Sawyer' & 'Huck Finn' for adults exclusively,......

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Huck Finn

...themselves first before they look to others; many characters in Huckleberry Finn are guilty of this. People may say that this is the big problem with society today, because people are too concerned with what is going on only with them and not what is going on around them. With society being to self-serving we are missing things that are going wrong that could easily be fixed in our world today. Most characters in this novel fall guilty to this one time or another and some fall more than others do. Two big examples of this theme in the book Huckleberry Finn are the King and the Duke. Huck and Jim first encounter the King and the Duke when they are on the raft and the King and Duke being chased out of a town and they jump aboard the raft. As soon as they are on the raft the King and Duke make up stories on how they are royalty. The Duke does his story first saying he is the rightful Duke of Bridgewater by decent of his great-grandfather who was the eldest son of the old Duke of Bridgewater. The Duke because he was a “Duke” had Huck and Jim call him names like “Your Grace” “Your Lordship” and etcetera. After hearing this, the King then tells a story on how he is the late Dauphin “Looy” the seventeen, son of “Looy” the sixteenth and Marie Antonette. He also goes on saying how he should e the rightful king of France. The King made them call him names like “His Majesty” and another names fitting of a king. He also had Huck and Jim give him special privileges like waiting on him to......

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Huck Finn

...created equal. We commonly refer to it as “the American Dream.” This phrase was first used in 1931 to describe the attraction that brought immigrants to America. The pursuit of the American Dream is still something that is chased by the masses today. Huck Finn, Jim and Pap were all seeking to achieve that dream, though it had different meanings for each of them. Huck’s pursuit of the American Dream had to do with being able to be free to go where and when he wanted, without seeking permission from anyone. Huck felt if he were free to do as he pleased, then he would be a rich man. His happiness had nothing to do with financial wealth. Huck stated that fact to Judge Thatcher. I don’t want it at all-nor the six thousand, nuther I want you to take it; I want to give it to you-the six thousand and all…Don’t you ask me no questions about it please. You’ll tale it-won’t you?...Please take it..and don’t ask me nothing-then I wont have to tell no lies. (Twain 25). When Huck saw money, he did not equate that with happiness. Instead, he saw trouble from Pap. Huck felt he was in bondage to his alcoholic father and was finally set free from that fear. Huck did not need material possessions or social standing to be happy. Huck saw the widow and her sister’s social standing as true representatives of the American Dream; however, he could not abide by that standard. In spite of the guilt he felt, he escaped their care and the civilized life. He did not want to be......

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Huck Finn

...Huck and Jims Relationship: “I was never so glad to see Jim. I warn’t so lonesome now.” (Twain, 52) At this point in the story Huck and Jims relationship really comes together. They both realize that they are in similar positions. From this moment on Jim and Huck start to really bond. They realize that they both want the same thing: to be free. At this point Jim realizes that Huck only wants a companion and now the twos journey begins while they look out for one another. “Come in, Huck, but doan’ look at his face- its too gashly.” (Twain, 61) This quote comes from when Jim lies to Huck abut this dead body thinking it is for the good of their relationship. Although Jim may seem that he is simply thinking about himself and his freedom by not telling Huck because of what he thinks Huck will do but he also wants Huck to achieve his goal of being free and that is what friends do. At this point it is clear that Jim is beginning to not only care for himself but also he cares for Huck. He wants nothing but the best for Huck and it seems that he is beginning to love Huck almost as a father figure in Huck’s life. “No, you ain dead! You’s back ag’in, ‘live en soun’, jis de same old Huck- de same ole Huck, thanks to goodness!” (Twain, 94) This quote comes from Jim’s excitement after his first lonely night in a while and with that loneliness he is able to realize how much he cares for Huck. Jim loves and cares for Huck just the way he is which is different for Huck......

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Huck Finn

...Southern Negativity “A clear understanding of negative emitons dismisses them” - Vernon Harold. In the book, The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, it shows how some places can be different from others. Twains Novel Huck finn displays the South negatively though discrimination, loss of innocence and religion. The book Huck Finn by Mark twain sows an an exceptional amount of discrimination, while also displaying other negitive subjects. Discrimination in the book leads to different times thoughout the book such as the moment when Jim was talking about his freedom and children. Sadly the southern states did not agree with the freedom of slaves or African amaricans. “Then jum started talking about how he would buy his wife and then buy his children!” (Twain 66). This part within the book shows how Twain understands how different skin color depicted here you and your family would be treated and taught in the south. While also some types of skin had there own social class. While Huck finn was in the middle of the family feud, Huck had to make an escape but first he had to alert his friend Jim, but the other “slaves” had to tell Jim for huck first.”I wasn’t gonn shove off till jack comes and tells me he certen you’s ded”(twain 88).This plays a very important role in the souths part for discrimination becausese the other slaves were all excluded from the current events occurring in the household while they were ignored from society even while others were dieing......

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Huck Finn

...Conformity & Civilization in Huckleberry Finn A main issue in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the conflict of conformity and civilization. From the beginning of the novel, Huck struggles with what he thinks of society while living with Widow Douglas and Miss Watson. As the story elevates, Huck goes to live with Pap and develops further opinions about society. Many of Huck’s values are tested when he escapes to live with Jim on the river on the search for their freedom. Arguably, Huck learns the most about society from his adventures on the river with Jim. Huck’s moral development over the novel advances in many different stages, while different people and events influence Huck. Huck’s first exposure to the idea of trying to civilize someone is while living with Miss Watson and the Widow Douglas. Huck may have utterly despised the idea of living with them at first, but after a while Huck started to rather like the idea of having proper clothes and being clean. Although he started to like some aspects of living with them, it is not to say he completely enjoyed all the aspects of his new life. Huck found a lot of discontent in the moral convictions in his new life. The Widow told Huck “to pray every day, and whatever I asked for I would get it.” Huck knew this wasn’t true, commenting “but it warn’t so. I tried it” (Twain 8). Additionally, Huck didn’t see how it was right for Miss Watson to say that smoking was bad while she snuffed. Huck did not know whether he agreed......

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