Student Spotlight: Lord of the Flies Constructed Response based on Chapter 4

Spotlight Student: Joseph, 10th grade

Teacher-Provided Prompt:

Chapter 4 ended with Jack and his hunter choir boys killing a pig. This is uncomfortable for the reader because the boys vividly describe the “smashing great time” they had in killing the pig: they “hit the pig;” one “fell on top” of it while another “cut the pig’s throat” (69). Laughing, Jack said, “There was lashing of blood…you should have seen it”(69). Read pages 70-75. Consider how Ralph, Piggy, and Simon are represented through the end of the chapter. How have these characters changed? Have they too become just as bad as Jack and his hunters? Is there any hope for them? Explain your response.

Student Response:

The characters in Lord of the Flies go through some pretty serious character changes from the beginning of the book to the fourth chapter. Three characters in particular change the most: Ralph, Piggy, and Simon. Since Ralph seems to be a main character of sorts, we will look at his change first. In the beginning of the book, Ralph was almost carefree and optimistic, hoping to bring everyone together in friendliness. Ralph gradually changed to be more mature, seeking an organized society that has delegated tasks and a smoothly functioning work system. This also causes some later strife with Jack, who tries to unite everyone under the same questionable desires. On pages 70-75, there is an escalating argument between Jack and Ralph. Ralph finally states that he believes the way Jack is handling things is wrong; he abandoned his other duties to pursue his own desires. As frustrated with Jack as he was, Ralph still ate the meat he had killed and cooked. Ralph has changed to become the apparent polar opposite of Jack.

Secondly, we have the first person Ralph met on the island, Piggy. Piggy was timid and shy at the beginning of the story, he didn’t have much presence, and was bullied by most everyone.   However, through the events of the story thus far, Piggy has “grown a backbone” to say the least. During the argument between Ralph and Jack, Piggy tried to input his ideas, but Jack rebuked him, instead of whimpering away like usual, Piggy stood up to Jack with his own remark, to which Jack punched him in response. Piggy has remained unchanged in the sense that his morals have not differed. Piggy has remained the character that tries his best to fit in and we all get to feel bad for him as he is constantly rejected.

Lastly, we have Simon. Simon was a kind of neutral character. Whenever an argument broke out, Simon left. Simon had so little presence to the argument that it never told you he left. The book would tell you that he was coming back, but never when he left. My teacher was kind enough to give me a little bit of his views on who Simon was, and I would like to share those here. He (Mr. Somers) believes that Simon represents a Christ-like figure, someone like Jesus. Simon seems to have a higher setting of morals than the other members of the choir and as mentioned before he always kept a neutral position in arguments, if he even stayed around for them. Simon is the person that keeps a cool head and meditates in the midst of chaos and immorality. Simon remains, in a word, pure. With no doubt, Simon has actually moved away from being like Jack, and now has created his own character group, not being like either of the two.

In conclusion, the three characters have gone through some big changes. Ralph became more mature and organized. Piggy has begun to learn to stand up for himself, and Simon has reached some form of moral high ground. None of the boys have become like Jack and the choir. Jack and the choir have become thirsty for blood, they crave hunting and killing. I predict that they will complete their descent into darkness by the end of the book. I am very interested to continue reading and watch these characters change even more.

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Let Joseph know how well he’s done or give him something specific you like about his work. Leave a comment below!

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