Written by William Golding, The Lord of the Flies is a phenomenal novel of sixties. It fetched the greatest prize of literature, the Nobel Prize for William Golding. The twisted story of the young lads stranded on an anonymous island. It shows human nature capable of becoming good or bad when thrown away from the social norms, traditions and laws. The novel is considered a masterpiece on human nature. Here are some of its memorable quotations with contextual explanation.
Examples of Famous Quotes from The Lord of the Flies
We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages. We’re English, and the English are best at everything. Jack, Chapter-Two
Jack, the anti-hero and opponent of Ralph, speaks these words to Ralph. He wants to stress upon his Englishness. It is actually a claim to civilization and order. The English are considered best and owner of the proud civilization. Here, Jack is stressing upon the same fact that they are English, and that they are the best at everything.
There aren’t any grownups. We shall have to look after ourselves. Ralph, Chapter-Two
These lines occur in Chapter Two of the novel when Ralph comes to know that there are only children with him on the island. He knows that that they would have to look after themselves, as there are no adults. In other words, it means there are no adults to guide them, supervise them and stop them from becoming good to bad.
We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages. Jack, Chapter-Two
These are very ironical lines spoken by the villain, Jack. He willingly accepts that there should be rules and that they should accept and obey these rules. He also asserts that they are not savages and wild people. Obeying rules means that they are civilized and cultured. But later in the novel he leads the savage hunters who try to hunt Ralph, their former leader.
They looked at each other, baffled, in love and hate. Chapter-Three
This sentence is about Ralph, the leader, and Jack, his opponent. They have small and young children with them on the island. Ralph represents order, civilization and peace. However, on the contrary, Jack represents disorder, chaos and savagery. When they meet, they are always wary of each other, as evil against good. In fact, they are unable to understand each other.
The smaller boys were known by the generic title of “littluns. Chapter-Three
This omniscient narrator of the novel speaks this line. He wants to show that unimportant people are named after their specific physical features and characteristics. Then they are herded for those features, and are controlled like cattle or herds of animals. This state of affairs lead to degeneration of governments. The same happens at the island where the young children have named little ones as “littluns.” It is derisive term to paint the little ones as dependent of the big boys.
Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood. Chapter-Four
Jack, the opponent of Ralph, speaks these words when going on hunting. He has gathered some sturdy and strong boys around him. He has asked them that they should paint their faces, as that they are all hunters. These words are a slogan for them as a provocation to repeat when going to hunt pigs on that island. It indicates slow degeneration of their civilized manners. The word “blood” shows that the hunters will soon turn to killing their opponents, as they are learning to spill the blood.
The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream. Ralph, Chapter-Five
Ralph speaks this line in response to Jack who is spreading fear on the island. His intention is to make his case of hunting strong, so that others could give him more importance. He knows that only fear can win him the leadership that is now in the hands of Ralph. That is why Ralph is asking the hunters and other boys to become wise and sane, as fear is nothing more than a dream. And like dream, it cannot hurt them.
What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages? What’s grownups going to think? Piggy, Chapter-Five
Piggy speak these words to Ralph when he sees that Ralph is not going to call the assembly and assert his authority as the leader. It shows that Piggy is the sane voice among the children on the island. He knows that they are becoming wild and savages. Therefore, he is reminding Ralph his responsibility and obligation to children. The question of grownups is posed to remind him of the rules and laws of the society.
Which is better—to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill? Piggy, Chapter-Eleven
Piggy, the only rationalist among the children, speaks these words to convince Jack and his hunters that they should abide by the rule and arrange fire for their rescue. However, they are busy in hunting and painting faces. Piggy knows that he can persuade them to abide by rules and stand by Ralph, as he is an elected leader.
And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph
wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the
true, wise friend called Piggy. Chapter-Twelve
These lines occur by the end of the novel when Ralph and other boys gather around the British officer. Ralph is standing in the middle of them, weeping for the end of innocence. It is the end of innocence because the hunters among them are after him to kill him. They have killed his wise friend Piggy and are running after Ralph through the thick forest when they come face to face the officer. The officer has just landed on the island to look for missing soldiers. Ralph actually weeps about how they were innocent children, and how they turned into savages on that island away from the society.
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