Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read, and explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).

A group of schoolboys are being evacuated by plane from Britain during wartime. The plane is shot down over a deserted tropical island. Ralph and Piggy, two of the schoolboys who survived the crash gather themselves and use a conch shell to summon the other survivors. The surviving schoolboys elect Ralph as their leader and Ralph appoints Jack to be in charge of hunting for food. Ralph, Jack, and another boy, Simon, set off on an expedition to explore the island. Upon their return Ralph declares that their best hope of rescue is to light a signal fire to attract the attention of passing ships. The boys are able to start a small fire using Piggy’s glasses but quickly become distracted and the fire engulfs a section of the forest. One of the youngest of the boys disappears, presumably having burned in the fire. The boys are enjoying their lives without grown-ups and spend much of their time playing. Ralph complains that they should maintain the fire and the hunters continue to fail to catch a wild pig leading Jack to become increasingly preoccupied with hunting.
A ship appears on the horizon one day and, to the horror of Piggy and Ralph, the singal fire had gone out. The hunter were in charge of keeping the signal fire burning and a furious Ralph prepares to confront Jack, but when they return they are hefting their first kill, a wild pig. The hunters are in a form of bloodlust, in a weird sort of frenzy, and when Piggy begins to criticize Jack for allowing the fire to go out Jack hits Piggy across the face. To end it all Ralph blows the conch shell and demands a meeting, in the meeting he delivers a speech that, he hopes, will restore order. It quickly becomes clear that the smaller of the boys have become afraid and more and more boys believe that a terrible beast or monster lives on the island.
Not long after the meeting, an aerial dogfight takes place over the island. Unnoticed by the boys a single dead pilot parachuted down to earth. Sam and Eric, the two responsible for watching the fire wake up to see the enormous silhouette of the parachute and hear strange flapping noises. They believe it to be the island beast, and rush back to the camp in terror and report that the beast attacked them. The boys organize a hunting expedition to search for the monster. Jack and Ralph travel up the mountain and find the silhouette of the parachute from a distance and think it is a huge deformed ape. Later during a camp meeting, Jack calls Ralph a coward and says that he should be removed from his leadership position but other boys refuse to vote him out of power. Jack leaves and calls others to join him. Ralph rallies the remaining boys to rebuild the fire, this time on the beach. The group builds the fire but before it is completed most of the boys slip away to join Jack.
Jack declares himself the leader of the new tribe of hunters and organizes another hunt to start with a violent, ritual slaughter of a pig. The hunters put the pig’s head on a spike and offer it to beast. A somewhat dehydrated Simon has a vision where the head is speaking to him. Simon heads down the mountain and sees the dead parachutist, and realizes that there actually is no beast. Simon heads back to camp but the boys kill him with their bare hands.
The following morning Ralph and Piggy discuss what they have done. Jack and his hunters attack them and steal Piggy’s glasses. Ralph travels to Jack’s stronghold to reason with him but it quickly turns violent. During the battle one of the boys rolls a boulder down the mountain killing Piggy and shattering the conch shell. Ralph hides for the rest of the night and the following day while he is hunted like an animal. The hunters light the island on fire to smoke Ralph out. Ralph makes a final attempt to escape running along the beach but he eventually collapses from exhaustion at the feet of a British naval officer. The burning jungle had attracted the navy ship to the island. Overwhelmed by the bloodthirsty kids the officer asks Ralph to explain and the kids break down crying.

2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid cliches.

The theme of the novel is that human nature is innately harsh and at times savage. So the only monster in life is the monster of human nature we have inside of us.

3. Describe the author's tone.

The tone fits the plot of the story. A serious tone that feels slightly somber. As the story progresses and one by one characters begin to die the tone becomes more and more somber and gloomy culminating with the death of Piggy.

4. Describe a minimum of ten literary elements/techniques you observed that strengthened your understanding of the author's purpose, the text's theme and/or your sense of the tone. For each, please include textual support to help illustrate the point for your readers. (Please include edition and page numbers for easy reference.)

· Symbolism – “ -the beast- “ (pg 98) The kids live on the island in fear of a beast when in reality the beast is their savagery.
· Conflict – “You let the fire go out.” (pg 70) Jack and Ralph are in conflict the whole time on the island with Jack representing the more savage human nature and Ralph the good.
· Sibilace – “Hssss” (pg 34) Sibilance and onomatopoeia add to the descriptive nature
· Allegory – I am not entirely sure if the novel fits the definition of an allegory but it seems like it does. Each character represents a human emotion or condition the moral is that “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
· Apostrophe – “Pig’s head on a stick” (pg 143) Simon talks to the Lord of the Flies at one point, who is actually nothing more than a dead pilot and a pig’s head.
· Connotation – “The Lord of the Flies” (pg 143) The Lord of the Flies suggests more in then novel than just a bunch of flies but a devil like character or idea.
· Allusion – “The Lord of the Flies” (pg 143) The “Lord of the flies” is a reference to the devil
· Diction – “Sucks to your ass-mar” (pg 13) This shows that the characters are still only kids, a fact that, at points, needs reminding.
· Archetype – “The boy with fair hair…” (pg 1) It seems like each of the kids are an archetype. Piggy = the nerd, Ralph = good looking leader, Jack = harsh opponent
· Irony – “…one terrified mind…” (pg 98) We, as the audience, know that the beast is nothing more than a dead pilot but the kids still fear it.

1. Describe two examples of direct characterization and two examples of indirect characterization.  Why does the author use both approaches, and to what end (i.e., what is your lasting impression of the character as a result)?


“The boy with fair hair…” (pg 1)
“He was shorter than the fair boy and very fat.” (pg 1)


“Shut up fatty.” (pg 21)
“I ought to be chief, said Jack with simple arrogance.” (pg 22)

The author uses direct characterization to create a simple physical picture of each character and indirect characterization to elaborate on the ideas and character of each character.

2. Does the author's syntax and/or diction change when s/he focuses on character?  How?  Example(s)?

Yes, as with most authors the wording becomes more descriptive when the story is focused on the characters. However, unlike other authors, Golding focuses a lot on a singular characteristic of each character.

3. Is the protagonist static or dynamic?  Flat or round?  Explain.

The protagonists of the story would be considered generally static and flat with each character representing a different characteristic. Each kid is a characteristic that normally would be given to a round character.

4. After reading the book did you come away feeling like you'd met a person or read a character?  Analyze one textual example that illustrates your reaction.

I still feel like I read a character because it is hard for me to believe that children can behave that violently only after less than a week or two removed from civilization.

“A naval officer stood on the sand, looking down at Ralph in wary astonishment.” (pg 200)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Why did Charles Dickens write the novel you're reading/reviewing? What in your analysis of literary techniques led you to this conclusion?

Well I am reading Great Expectations. Truthfully I do not like questions like this because you can never really know if they wrote it for the metaphorical deep emotional message about life that we are taught are in every work of literature or Mr. Dickens got bored one day and though "Maybe I can write a novel while we wait for television to be invented." but I will do my best.

I feel like Charles Dickens wrote this novel to illustrate the idea the money doesn't exactly make you happy. That money actually leads to nothing but unhappiness in life. "Money is the root of all evil". The literary techniques that led me to this are the author's tone, style, the plot, structure, and metaphors through out the novel.

The main plot points and characters that illustrate my conclusion of the reason for Dickens's writing are as follows:

  • Miss Havisham, is the most depressed and lonely character in the world of Great Expectations though she is the wealthiest.
  • As Pip becomes wealthier and more successful he finds himself becoming more and more unhappy. He finds himself alone more than ever.
  • Jager, he basically embodies what I'm talking about here. He is a rich, bitter person, who isn't exactly leading the funnest of lives.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


My "SMART" goal is to graduate Cal Poly SLO with a BS in Aerospace Engineering. From there I will work for NASA or one of the companies contracted out to NASA on a mission to Mars (manned or un-manned). With the success of this mission I will find my goal complete.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

St. Crispin’s Day Speech

Here is the video of me reciting the St. Crispin's Day Speech from Henry V for my AP English class, and the picture proof I took at the end:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

You Son of a Bitch

"You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, 'Look at that, you son of a bitch'"

-Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut


"Well here we are again." As one very annoyed robot once said.  (A Portal 2 reference for anyone that hasn't played it yet). 

A little...depressing, funny if you played the game. Which you should.

Here we are back at school ready to start the new semester. For some people they are lost, in search of some direction to take....Well for me it's quite different.  I have a goal already, and a plan. I want to graduate at the end of the year with at least a 4.2 GPA and an A in AP Physics. Also I will continue my duties as president of the Asian Pacific Club, but while doing this I will begin to expand my network of engineers. Once I graduate I want to attend Cal Poly SLO and get my BS in Aerospace Engineering. With that I will go work for NASA, ESA (European Space Agency), RFSA (Russian Federal Space Agency), or a company contracted out to any of the above and work my way up till I am able to work on the manned mars program. I want to be one of the engineers working on project. I want to be one of the people there when we hear the words "welcome to Mars". That's my plan in a nut shell.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


What is the significant about the title?

Siddhartha is the main character of the novel. The name means "one who attains their goal". This is Siddartha's goal in the novel, to attain his goal, which is to fine meaning in his life.

What are some of the themes of the novel?

One theme of the novel is to fine who you are in life. To find your own path and remember you are your own person.

How does Hesse reveal character in Siddhartha?

Not quite sure. I would need some more examples of characterization from the novel to answer the question.

Siddhartha believed that wisdom could only be attained by experience. How did his experiences lead him to nirvana?

Again I would need more examples of the plot to answer the question.

Describe the three stages of Siddhartha's life, and how all three stages were necessary for his attainment of wisdom.

Without reading the novel it is hard to answer this question.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What's In This For Me?

This English class, what is in it for me? Material wise it poses nothing of interest to me. I am an engineer, a man of science and mathematics, not so much of words and language. I would much rather make a rocket fly than write about one flying. This English class could be a stepping stone towards college for me, or maybe a challenge that I should face in life. Maybe all it offers is another point for my GPA. I am, personally, not sure. All I know is that I am sticking around for the ride no matter what.