Lord of the Flies by William Golding
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Choose ONE of the following topics for your final essay. Make sure you have a clear and specific thesis and that you support your argument with at least six well-chosen CDs, three for each body paragraph.
- After Jack and a few of his hunters have deserted Ralph’s group, Jack addresses them and “size[s] them up. Each of them wore the remains of a black cap and ages ago they had stood in two demure rows and their voices had been the song of angels” (133). Later that day, these same boys “screamed, struck, bit, [and] tore” as they attacked and killed Simon (153). What do passages like these, and the novel as a whole, have to say about human nature? What point(s) is William Golding making about mankind through the story of these schoolboys?
There are many things you might bring up in your response, but the secret to doing well is to try to focus this broad topic as much as possible. For instance, you could talk about how Golding’s points are related to Simon’s idea about the beast: “a human at once heroic and sick” (103). That’s just one idea. What other specific image or phrasing can you use to make a thoughtful point about the author’s sense of human beings?
- Choose one of the following scenes in the novel and develop a focused argument in which you discuss how it clarifies a major theme in the story. Do a close reading of its lines and details and explain how they reflect an idea that the whole book ultimately develops.
- A conversation between Jack and Ralph (and Simon) on the beach in Chapter 3 (pgs 50-55)
- The stand-off between Jack and Ralph atop the mountain after the fires goes out (and its aftermath) in Chapter 4 (pgs 68-75)
- The night assembly that ends in chaos in Chapter 5 (pgs 78-92)
- Jack’s “party,” which ends in Simon’s murder in Chapter 9 (pgs 148-153)
- The confrontation between the two groups of boys at Castle Rock in Chapter 11 (pgs 174-182)
- The manhunt in Chapter 12 (pgs 184-200)
In your thesis, you should point to the scene you’re using and offer an idea about what it illustrates, highlights, develops, reveals, underlines, underscores, suggests, etc. You want your thesis to use a strong verb to make a direct statement about the importance of the scene. Then body paragraphs would take up separate topics, such as different themes the scene develops, points about different parts of or characters in the scene, etc.
- We spent some time talking about Sigmund Freud’s idea of the unconscious and tying his notion of a selfish, animalistic “id” to characters and scenes in Lord of the Flies. In what ways does the novel work to illustrate Freud’s ideas about the id? What particular qualities of it does the book portray? Where and how?
As with Topic One, to succeed, you’ll need to narrow things down. When you write, try to make your body paragraphs develop focused points about specific behaviors, scenes, or characters. For example, you could provide a strong focus by writing about the emergence of the id in just one character. You might write about where and how you see this in Ralph to make your argument more insightful and complicated. You could talk solely about one aspect of the id (e.g. the search for pleasure or dominance). Or, you could talk about what conditions allow for the release of this hidden, caged side of man’s nature. For example, what does “paint” have to do with it? Try to individualize your argument as much as possible.
Steps for Writing and Submitting the LAST Essay:
- Work on developing a good, focused thesis first.
- Then think how you might split that up into more focused sub-topics (e.g. by scene, character, or idea).
- Then work on an outline: develop topic sentences and choose three CDs to support each one. Choose CDs carefully.
- Add lead-ins and MLA references.
- Submit your outline to turnitin.com by midnight of Saturday, May 25th.
- Have someone review your outline and provide feedback, using the peer editing materials in today’s folder.
- Begin drafting the essay, considering your peer reviewer’s feedback. Add CM and transitions to body paragraphs.
- Write an introduction paragraph, ending it with your thesis.
- Write a conclusion paragraph.
- Make sure everything (font, spacing, heading, references, etc.) conforms to MLA format.
- Add a “Works Cited” page (see Schoology > General Course Materials > Essay Materials).
- Proofread your essay. Check for simple typographical mistakes, but also check your essay with the criteria on the peer editing checklist in the folder for May 21st/22nd.
- Turn in the final draft by midnight of Wednesday, May 27th.