Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lord of the Flies! The Movie!

Today I watched the movie the Lord of the Flies. I’m going to be blogging about the differences between the book and the movie and my reaction to the movie.

In the beginning of the book, the characters are all split up in the forest. In the movie, they are paddling to land on a raft. Another difference is that the pilot of the plane is on the island with the boys in the movie. The pilot wanders away from camp and they think he is the beast. In the book, the pilot was never known to be on the island. Sam and Eric chose to go to Jack’s side in the movie while they were forced to join his side in the book. The film was made in 1990. This version of Lord of the Flies was set at that time. I know this because in the movie, they talked about television shows that were playing in 1990. The book was set in the 1950’s.

In my opinion, I liked the book more than the movie. The book was more detailed and entertaining. In the book, I understood more about what the characters were feeling and thinking. I imagined the characters different than they were. The only character that resembled by imagination was Jack. Like I pictured, he was nasty and mean. Usually books are better than movies because movies cannot live up to your imagination.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

And Now for a Totally Different Ending

Can you imagine Ralph being murdered and no one being rescued? Can you imagine every one of the characters dying?

In this blog, I will be talking about an alternate ending I thought of and its overall effect on the reader and the story.

In the actual ending of the story, the protagonist, Ralph, is running from the chasing savages when he sees an officer standing on the beach with a revolver in his hand. Ralph quickly boards the boat and the savages slow down as they see the boat. Ralph and a few others are rescued.

In my alternate ending, Ralph heads toward the beach and accidently trips. The savages throw their spears at him. They stab him and he screams as blood spurts out of his body. The savages keep pounding him until he dies. After the savages realize what they’ve done, they overthrow the antagonist, Jack, and attempt to kill him. He runs away and hides for good, never to be seen again. Without anyone willing to take the throne, the savages are unorganized and don’t know what to do. Eventually, they all die on the island without being rescued.

The savages realized they had done a terrible thing when they killed Ralph. They then tried to redeem themselves by overthrowing Jack, but it was too late. They can’t make it on their own with both of their leaders gone. In most books I read or movies I watch, the good characters win and the evil characters lose. In this ending, no one wins. My ending is not a satisfying ending because it leaves no hope that good will prevail. Golding ended the book as he did to make readers feel hopeful that good people in society will be rewarded in the end.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Loss of Innocence

Another theme of Lord of the Flies is loss of innocence. In the beginning of the book, the boys were young, innocent British schoolboys. At the end of the book, they became savages. Before coming to the island, the boys had everything done for them. Their parents protected and sheltered them. Someone provided them food, either at home or at school. They never had to find their own food. They lived in houses and didn't have to worry about making their own shelter.

After the plane crashed on the island, their lives changed completely. They had to find their own food and make their own shelters. They had no one to protect them and became afraid. They grew more fearful as stories of a beast arose. They were so afraid that their fear controlled them. They lost control of themselves in a mob. They were excited because they thought they were going to kill the beast but they mistakenly killed Simon, an innocent boy.

"Ralph said, 'That was murder.'
" 'You stop it!!' said Piggy, shrilly. 'What good're you doing talking like that.'
"He jumped to his feet and stood over Ralph.
" 'It was dark. There was that-that bloody dance. There was lightning and thunder and rain. We was scared!'
" 'I wasn't scared,' said Ralph slowly, 'I was-I don't know what I was.'
" 'We was scared!' said Piggy excitedly. 'Anything might have happened. It wasn't-what you said.' " (Page 156).

From that point, their innocence was lost. There is no way to regain innocence.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fear + No Rules = Chaos!

Today's blog is about themes. Theme is the author's message.

Fear is one of the themes of Lord of the Flies by William Golding. The characters, British schoolboys, got out of control when they were scared and they did things they normally would not do, such as murder another boy. In the beginning of the book, they were afraid of the scary animal noises, darkness, and “the beast”, which is a mysterious ape-like creature. In the end of the book they were afraid of each other and death.

This passage illustrates the fear of the beast:
“He handed the conch to Eric, the nearest of the twins. ‘We’ve seen the beast with our own eyes. No-we weren’t asleep-’
“Sam took up the story. By custom now one conch did for both twins, for their substantial unity was recognized.
“ ‘It was furry. There was something moving behind its head-wings. The beast moved too-’
“ ‘That was awful. It kind of sat up-’
“ ‘The fire was bright-’
“ ‘We’d just made it up-’
“ ‘-more sticks on-’
“ ‘There were eyes-’
“ ‘Teeth-’
“ ‘Claws-’
“ ‘We ran as fast as we could-’
“ ‘Bashed into things-’
“ ‘The beast followed us-’
“ ‘I saw it slinking behind the trees-’
“ ‘Nearly touched me-’
“Ralph pointed fearfully at Eric’s face, which was striped with scars where the bushes had torn him.
“ ‘How did you do that?’
“Eric felt his face.
“ ‘I’m all rough. Am I bleeding?’ ” (Page 100)

Rules are another theme since there were no rules or grownups to guide them, they did whatever they wanted. There was no jail, there was no timeout, no detention.
“The fair boy began to pick his way as casually as possible toward the water. He tried to be offhand and not too obviously uninterested, but the fat boy hurried after him.
“ ‘Aren’t there any grownups at all?’
“ ‘I don’t think so.’
“The fair boy said this solemnly; but then the delight of a realized ambition overcame him. In the middle of the scar he stood on his head and grinned at the reversed fat boy.
“ ‘No grownups!’ ” (Page 8)
With rules, people are forced to make good choices or they get a consequence. In the book, there were no consequences for hurting someone. At the end of the book, the only person who followed the rules, Ralph, was rescued. The others, who were trying to kill Ralph, did not get rescued.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Power, Evil, and Savagery

I will focus on symbols in this blog.

By my definition a symbol is a concrete noun that represents an abstract noun. A few symbols I came up with are the conch shell, the pig’s head, and the beast.

I think the conch shell symbolizes power and leadership. It symbolizes power because it belongs to the chief and the chief blows it to start a meeting. During a meeting, only the person with the conch can speak.

The beast symbolizes the evil inside of everyone. It symbolizes evil because no one knows what it looks like. You can’t see the evil inside yourself. Evil takes over when the boys think they see the beast. They kill what they think is the beast and later find out they killed Simon.

The pig’s head represents the bad side of freedom. The boys are away from society. They’re wild and out of control. They killed one of their own. The pig’s head represents savagery.

“‘Pick up the pig.’

“Maurice and Robert skewered the carcass, lifted the dead weight, and stood ready. In the silence, and standing over the dry blood, they looked suddenly furtive.

“Jack spoke loudly.

“’This head is for the beast. It’s a gift.’

“The silence accepted the gift and awed them. The head remained there, dim-eyed, grinning faintly, blood blackening between the teeth. All at once they were running away, as fast as they could, through the forest to the open beach.” (Page 137).

In this passage, the characters are savages. They became savages after living without grownups and rules. Fear transformed them into savages.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bloody Murder!

Today I will be focusing on main events because important things happened.

On page 127, Jack got so angry with Ralph that he decided to break off and form his own group because they argued about the beast and who could kill it. I thought Jack would leave Ralph’s group. I think Ralph being separated from Jack is important to this story because without an opponent, the island would be fun and happy. Instead, there is a challenge between the two leaders which makes the book more entertaining and suspenseful.

Many of the hunters joined Jack. Later, Jack invited Ralph’s group to feast on a pig they caught and killed. Meanwhile, a few hunters loyal to Jack stole burning wood from Ralph’s fire. Jack angered Ralph, but Ralph went to the party anyway. No one could see at the party because it was very dark. Simon crawled in on his knees but no one knew it was him. Jack mistook him for the beast and yelled “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!”(page 152).

“The blue-white scar was constant, the noise unendurable. Simon was crying out something about a dead man on a hill.

“Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood! Do him in!

“The sticks fell and the mouth of the new circle crunched and screamed. The beast was on its knees in the center, its arms folded over its face. It was crying out against the abominable noise, something about a body on the hill. The beast struggled forward, broke the ring, and fell over the steep edge of the rock to the sand by the water. At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore. There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws.”

I think this passage means the boys were scared. They did not think as they acted, just did. I think the author stopped calling Simon by his name and started calling him “the beast” because the boys thought he was the beast.

I was surprised Simon died so early in the book, I sort-of liked his character. I don’t understand why the boys who killed him did not recognize that it was Simon. My guess is they were blinded by fear. At professional games some people get excited and go crazy. The boys were excited and couldn’t control themselves. These situations are alike because they are both pressured by a group of people.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Beast

Today I will blog about what happened in the book so far. I’m in the middle of the story. All of a sudden, exciting events started popping up.

So far, the boys who survived the plane crash formed a colony. The boys elected Ralph leader. Jack tried to elect himself as leader but he failed. They built a fire to signal ships but the fire went out. Instead of taking the blame for the fire, Jack bragged about killing a pig, which they ate. The boys painted their faces and pretended they were army men. These events happened in the first four chapters.

In chapter five, the little kids, called “littluns”, had nightmares about beasts. Then twins “Sam n’ Eric” saw a beast on page 98 when they were in charge of keeping the fire lit. They were horrified and reported quickly back to camp. “Sam looked at Eric irritably. The intensity of Eric’s gaze made the direction in which he looked terrible, for Sam had his back to it. He scrambled around the fire, squatted by Eric, and looked to see. They became motionless, gripped each other’s arms, four unwinking eyes aimed and two mouths open. Far beneath them, the trees of the forest sighed, then roared. The hair on their foreheads fluttered and flames blew out sideways from the fire. Fifteen yards away from them came the plopping noise of fabric blown open. Neither of the boys screamed but the grip of their arms tightened and their mouths grew peaked” (page 98). I think it is weird that Golding did not describe the beast. I think he’s not describing it to make the story more suspenseful.

Ralph and Jack led an expedition and found the beast. “In front of them, only three or four yards away, was a rock-like hump where no rock should be. Ralph could hear a tiny chattering noise coming from somewhere-perhaps from his own mouth. He bound himself together with his will, fused his fear and loathing into a hatred, and stood up. He took two leaden steps forward.

“Behind them the sliver of moon had drawn clear of the horizon. Before them, something like a great ape was sitting asleep with its head between its knees. Then the wind roared in the forest, there was confusion in the darkness, and the creature lifted its head, holding toward them the ruin of a face.

“Ralph found himself taking giant strides among the ashes, heard other creatures crying out and leaping, and dared the impossible on the dark slope; presently the mountain was deserted, save for the three abandoned sticks and the thing that bowed” (page 123).

I wonder why the author didn’t go into more detail about the beast.