Lord of the Flies Study Guide Questions


Chapter One-“The Sound of the Shell”

1) What is the “scar”?

2) What happened to the mother plane?

3) Who are the two boys on the beach?  Describe the two boys.

4) Ralph said that his father will rescue them.  Ralph’s father is a commander in the navy.  Piggy said that they might never be rescued because no one knows where they are.  Why is Piggy so certain?

5) What does Ralph spot in the lagoon?

6) What does Piggy suggest be done with it?

7) What does the conch symbolize?

8) What are the names of the boys who gather around Ralph and Piggy on the beach?  Give a short description of them.

9) How is a leader chosen?  Who is it?

10) Why is he a logical choice for leader as the boys would see it?

11) What is the choir’s new job?

12) Who goes to explore the island?

13) When the boys heave a huge rock off the cliff, what do they compare it to?

14) The island’s shape is compared to what?

15) When they find the candlebushes, what are the different reactions of each of the three boys?

16) What information do they find out about the land that they are now inhabiting?

17) On the way down from the mountain, the three boys encounter a piglet.  Why wasn’t Jack able to kill it?

18) What is the significance of this chapter being entitled “The Sound of the Shell”?

19) Of all the boys on the island, Piggy is most associated with the world of adults.  How is this shown in Chapter One?

20) Does Ralph’s attitude toward Piggy change in this chapter?  Explain.

21) Three boys on the island have handicaps.  Which ones are they?

22) After Chapter One, what is your opinion of Jack Merridew?

Chapter Two-“Fire on the Mountain”

1) Before we go any further, discuss the three boys Ralph, Jack and Piggy.  What are their personalities like?

2) What are the rules of the conch?

3) Ralph compares their new freedom with what adventure stories?

4) What does the boy with the mulberry-colored birthmark ask?

5) What does he say the beastie does?

6) What is Ralph’s reaction to the idea of the beastie?

7) What is Jack’s reaction to the idea of the beastie?

8) What plan is there for helping them get rescued?

9) What problem is there when all the wood is accumulated?

10) How does Jack solve the problem?

11) How well is the rule of the conch working on the mountain?

12) How will future fires be taken care of?

13) What has happened to the fire they started?

14) What does Piggy think should be worked on first?  What else is Piggy concerned about?

15) Who is missing?  Where is he?  (Think about it—this one is tricky)

16) What does Piggy tell the boys on the mountain?

17) What is there about Piggy’s voice that causes the boys to hoot at and not listen to him?

18) Why is this chapter titled “Fire on the Mountain”?

Chapter Three-“ Huts on the Beach”

1) In the description of Jack hunting his pigs as the chapter begins, describe how Jack is changing?

2) What are Ralph and Simon doing on the beach?

3) How many shelters have been built?  Why aren’t there more?

4) What does Ralph accuse Jack of?

5) Why does Ralph feel they need shelter immediately?

6) What realization does Ralph come to about the meetings the boys have?

7) What idea does Jack mention to Ralph about hunting that makes one think Jack might believe in the beast?

8) Simon disappears and goes to his private place in the jungle to think.  Why?  How is he different from the others?

9) Why is this chapter titled “Huts on the Beach”?

Chapter Four-“Painted Faces and Long Hair”

1) Describe the rhythm of a day in the boys’ life now.

2) What happened to the littlun called Percival?

3) How do the littluns spend their days?

4) What do Roger and Maurice do to the littluns’ sand castles?

5) Roger throws stones at Henry, a littlun, and aims to miss.  Why?

6) What does Jack propose doing so he can kill some pigs?

7) What is the importance of this chapter being entitled “Painted Faces and Long Hair”?
8) What does Piggy propose to Ralph that they attempt to make?

9) Why is Piggy considered an outsider?

10) What does Ralph see on the horizon all of a sudden?

11) Are they rescued?  Why?

12) Did Jack kill his pig?

13) During Ralph and Jack’s confrontation on the mountain, Ralph finally takes a stand.  What is it?

14) Why does Jack refuse Piggy meat?

15) Why does Jack’s popularity gain here?

16) How did the boys kill the pig?

17) What does Ralph call at the end of the chapter?

Chapter Five-“Beast from Water”

1) Why does Ralph call this special meeting?

2) What is Ralph’s weakness?

3) What rules were made and disobeyed?

4) What does Ralph say they must do?

5) What does Jack say about fear and the beast?

6) What does Piggy say?

7) One littlun tells of someone he saw in the dark.  Who was it?

8) Who speaks next?  What does his speech show?

9) Where does Percival say the beast comes from?  What is the reaction?

10) What does Simon say the beast might be?

11) The boys vote on whether there are ghosts.  What is the consensus?

12) Jack breaks up the gathering by mocking Ralph and by destroying the discussion by dancing like a savage; he leads the boys away in that dance.  Piggy tells Ralph to blow the conch and get the boys back.  Why doesn’t Ralph blow the conch at this point?

13) What does Piggy respond?

14) Ralph wants to step down as leader.  Why does Piggy persuade Ralph to continue being chief?

15) Why do the boys continually talk about a nonexistent beast?

Chapter Six-“Beast from Air”

1) When the boys went to sleep that night, what happened ten miles above the island?  What resulted?  (Read this part carefully!)

2) Who is tending the fire on the mountain the next morning?

3) What did the twins do when they saw the parachutist?

4) Ralph and Jack both insist on going after the beast.  Why?  What’s important about it for each of them?

5) Why does Jack say the conch isn’t necessary any more?

6) Ralph regains control of the group and they hunt the beast on a part of the island where they have never been before.  What do they find?

7) The boys want to stay and play but Ralph insists on what?

8) What is so ironic about the parachutist’s arrival?  Think about how he got there and what’s happening on the island.

Chapter Seven-“Shadows and Tall Trees”

1) What does Ralph come to realize about how the boys live?

2) Ralph realizes something about the physical aspects of the island.  Discuss how different ends of the island make individuals feel.

3) Simon claims, “You’ll get back to where you came from.”  How might Simon know?  What does Simon seem to represent?

4) What does Jack suggest?  Does Ralph agree?

5) Ralph wounds a boar.  How does this make him feel?

6) How does Jack get the attention away from Ralph’s brave feat of injuring the boar?

7) What happens as Robert pretends to be a pig and boys circle around him?

8) Robert said they should use a real pig instead of a pretend person for their dance of the pig hunt.  What does Jack suggest?

9) Who volunteers to go back through the jungle alone to tell the others that they will be getting back after dark?  Why does he volunteer?

10) Ralph asks Jack, “Why do you hate me?”  Why does Jack hate Ralph?

11) Who pushes Ralph into climbing the mountain in the dark?  Who volunteered to accompany Ralph and Jack?

12) Jack makes the final climb alone.  What does he report to Ralph and Roger?

13) Who now insists on going up on the mountain to see?

14) Why do the boys run when they see the dead parachutist?  What does the darkness have to do with this?

Chapter Eight- “Gift for the Darkness”

1) Why does Jack call a meeting of the boys after their flight form what they think is a beast on the mountain?  What is the outcome?

2) What new idea does Piggy bring forth about fire and smoke?

3) After the fire is started, what do Piggy and Ralph realize?

4) The bigguns, big boys, had refused to vote for Jack as chief.  Then why do they slip off and join him now?

5) What had Simon suggested be done about the beast on the mountain?

6) What is Simon’s flaw?  What can’t he do well?

7) Where is Simon at this time?

8) How does Jack entice his group to stay with him?  Why do the boys agree?

9) What do the boys find?

10) What do they do?

11) This is the climax and turning point in the book.  Why?  What has changed?

12) What problem arises for Jack?

13) What solution does Jack have?

14) What do they leave for the beast on the mountain?

15) Did Simon see the boys kill the pig?

16) What does the pig’s head tell Simon?

17) Simon faints.  Why?

18) Later, what does the Lord of the Flies tell Simon?

19) Why do the boys take fire from Ralph and not the conch?

20) Jack stands before Ralph’s group; his face is painted and he no longer feels any inhibition for what he does.  What invitation does he extend to Ralph’s group of boys?

21) What does Jack make Maurice and Robert say when he has finished his vocal invitation?

22) What does Ralph explain to his group?

23) What does Ralph’s group want to do?

24) Why don’t the boys get their own meat?

25) Are they going to go to Jack’s feast?

Chapter Nine- “ A View to a Death”

1) How does nature parallel what is happening on the island?

2) What has Simon decided to do by himself?

3) What did Simon do before he left the parachutist after he found him?

4) What does Simon resolve to do?

5) What do Ralph and Piggy notice?

6) What reason does Ralph give for the boys going to the feast?

7) Why does Piggy suggest that he and Ralph go the feast too?

8) Give Jack’s qualities as a leader.

9) Jack does not possess the conch, the symbol of leadership.  How can he rule without it?

10) Where does Jack sit when his group meets?

11) Why do Ralph and Piggy go to the feast?

12) Does Jack allow them to have meat?

13) How can Jack act the way he does?

14) As a storm blows up and the Littluns begin to cry, how does Jack again divert the boys from the fact that they have no shelters to go to, to get away from the storm?

15) Why do Ralph and Piggy take part in the savage dance?

16) Who comes out of the forest at this time?  What happens to him?  Why does this happen?

17) How is Simon’s dead body made to seem beautiful and glorified as it is floated out to sea?  Why does this fit Simon?

Chapter Ten- “The Shell and the Glasses”

1) Why don’t Sam, Eric, Ralph, and Piggy openly admit that they helped kill Simon?

2) Why do they excuse their actions by saying it was dark?

3) How does Jack excuse the death of Simon?

4) What decision does Jack state as to the beast?

5) Jack punishes Wilfred.  How?

6) What does this say about Jack’s leadership?

7) Jack raids Ralph’s camp.  Why?

8) Why didn’t Jack take the conch?

Chapter Eleven- “Castle Rock”

1) Of all the boys, after Jack raids the camp for Piggy’s glasses, how many are left now in Ralph’s group?

2) What happened to their fire?

3) At the pitifully small meeting they call, what is decided?

4) Why does Ralph suggest that they clean up before they go?

5) Why does Ralph forget about rescue at times and have to be reminded by Piggy?

6) When they reach Castle Rock, describe how Jack’s tribe looks.

7) Why won’t Jack’s group of boys listen to Ralph and Piggy’s talk of fire and rescue?

8) When Piggy showed the boys the conch shell and tried to talk, what did Roger do?

9) What happens to Ralph?

10) What happens to Sam and Eric?

11) What does it mean when “Roger edged past the chief (Jack), only just avoiding pushing him with his shoulder”?

Chapter Twelve-  “Cry of the Hunters”

1) What does Ralph do by himself now?

2) What does Ralph understand now about his status with Jack’s tribe?

3) Two boys are guarding Castle Rock when Ralph returns to it.  Who are they?

4) Ralph gets what information from Sam and Eric after climbing Castle Rock and talking to them frantically?

5) What do the twins shove at Ralph before he leaves?

6) After thinking, what does Ralph realize Jack and Roger are planning to do with him when they capture him?

7) Why must Jack and Roger kill Ralph?  What does he represent to them?

8) What does Ralph tell the twins before he departs?

9) What do the twins tell Jack and Roger the next morning after again being tortured?

10) What methods do they use to try to kill Ralph in his secure hiding place?

11) What does Ralph do?

12) What choices does Ralph feel he now has?

13) Ralph become gradually aware that what has happened on the island?

14) Ralph decides to hide.  Is he found?  What does he do?

15) Who rescues Ralph?

16) The officer asks Percival his name.  Why can’t Percival remember what he had recited about his name just a few days ago?

17) How had Ralph been acting as he ran from the boys?

18) What is ironic about the island being on fire?

19) What is ironic about the rescue by an officer from a ship from the civilized world?