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    I was wondering if anyone could give me any feedback on this essay for Lord of the Flies:
    “Choose a novel or a short story or a work of non fiction which explores an important theme.By referring to appropriate techniques, show how the author has conveyed this theme.”

    William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” is a deeply disturbing and revealing novel. Writing in the midst of Cold War paranoia, Golding has attempted to convey the darkest aspects of mankind’s aptitude for (and attraction to) evil. The novel narrates the tale of a group of young schoolboys stranded on a desert island paradise, who soon turn on each other in united fear of a mythical “beast” who terrorises their dreams. Through characterisation, key moments of drama, language and symbolism Golding explored the theme of underlying savagery in deeply ingrained in the boys, who even at their most savage are startlingly childish and human.

    At the opening of the novel the boys are presented as polite, diligent products of their civilised society. They crave democracy, immediately deciding that they “ought to have a meeting,” where they “vote for chief”. The boys’ immediate craving for order reveals their childish, almost constrained nature which causes them to revert to what they’re used to. In this chapter the conch is introduced; it is used to call meetings and becomes a constant symbol of democracy and order which contrasts the boys’ increasing aptitude for savagery and decreases in value as the novel progresses. Here, Golding introduces the boys’ deep rooted sense of civilisation and law as they crave a structure within which they will live, and an eluted leader to follow. They also make regular references back to their “old lives”; Ralph acknowledges that they’ll have to follow rules “like at school” and the other boys agree. This reveals that the boys initially gravitate automatically to a structure which makes them feel safe and secure, which is in this case school.

    However, as the boys begin to settle into life on the island Golding very quickly reveals the fragility of civilisation and the strength of savagery by exposing the increasingly strange thoughts and behaviour of the boys. As some of the younger boys play, Roger becomes fascinated by watching them and attempts to confuse Henry by throwing rocks — to miss — in is direction. However, “there was a space round Henry… into which [Roger] dare not throw… Roger’s arm was conditioned by a civilisation that knew nothing of him and was in ruins.” Roger’s behaviour is clearly intended to be mean and tormenting towards the much younger Henry. However, without necessarily realising it Roger is being held back by the behaviour he has always been expected to uphold; he is acting as his civilised world would expect him to. Despite this, Roger’s actions foreshadow that his behaviour will become increasingly savage. He was still intending to torment Henry, and found this behaviour fascinating and enjoyable. This temptation clearly represents the beginning of society breaking down: it is implied that society’s constraints on all of the boys are lifting. The use of a previously innocuous character such as Roger as a representative of constrained evil is effective because it introduces the idea that savagery is universal, residing inside every person.

    Golding further exposes the conflict between good and evil (and the rising danger of savagery) through tensions between the characters of Ralph and Jack. At one stage the boys avoid rescue when a ship passes because Jack (unknown to Ralph) has taken the majority of the group out hunting, and thereby let the fire out. As conflict over this issue rises, Golding summarises the boys’ collective belief that “there was the brilliant world of hunting, tactics, fierce exhilaration, skill; and there was the world of logic and baffled common sense.” The use of four factors advocating Jack’s beliefs and only two for Ralph’s echoes the boys’ perception that following Jack would have far more benefits than attempting to uphold the laws of civilisation. The description of the two ideologies and “worlds” further emphasises the separation and isolation between Jack and Ralph’s ideas, and also mirrors the moral significance of the internal conflict between good and savagery in the boys’ subconscious. The boys are still choosing to abide by civilised rules, but they have begun to allow themselves to succumb to the temptation of savagery and evil. This foreshadows the eventual triumph of savagery.

    As the novel progresses a growing number of boys choose to join Jack’s tribe of savages, who eventually worship the beast and allow their mob mentality to control their behaviour (with fatal results). Simon is murdered by the boys in a moment of adrenaline-fuelled panic, as they mistake him for the beast. Simon is described as being “on its knees in the center, its arms folded over its face.” The constant referral to Simon (the Christ-like symbol and representation of faith and kindness) as “it” — and the fact that the boys believe he is the beast — exposes how savagery will demonise and objectify every aspect of humanity, making kindness appear detrimental and undesirable. Simon is not referred to by his name until the end of the passage, as Golding describes how “Simon’s dead body moved out towards open sea.” Re-identifying Simon by name shortly after his death suggests that, as a result of savagery, people will act impulsively and only realise the consequences after it’s too late. The death of Simon symbolises the point of irreversible moral decline for the boys. It marks the end of good and peace, allowing for the eventual triumph of savagery.

    Towards the climax of the novel, Golding marks the loss of order and reason through the death of Piggy and the smashing of the conch. At the same moment Piggy was crushed by a boulder, “the conch explode into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist.” The moment of the conch smashing marks the total loss f order and democracy in the boys’ lives. Furthermore, the description of “a thousand white fragments” and the death of Piggy implies the irretrievable nature of the loss of order. Golding describes the boys’ view of the dead Piggy by writing “his head opened and stuff came out and turned red.” The childish description of Piggy’s death reiterates that the boys in this move; are young children, which adds to the disturbing and shocking nature of the novel while also reinforcing the central message of the text that everyone has savagery inside them. Golding uses Piggy’s death and the smashing of the conch to strengthen his argument hat savagery is destructive (having destroyed all that is ordered or good on the island), and will affect every human being if the constraints of an ordered society are removed.

    Throughout the novel, the boys morally decline from “boys” to “hunters” and eventually to “savages”. The temptations of savagery slowly but utterly consume every aspect of their behaviour, erasing any trace of logic or faith in their hearts. Their eventual rescue comes at a great relief to the reader, but leaves no doubt in our minds that these boys have an immense capacity for evil. Golding’s novel is a beautiful and desperate attempt to urge the reader against the instinctive pull of evil and hatred, in favour of love, justice, trust and faith; the traits that turn us from savage to human.
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    (Original post by RockGirl19)
    I was wondering if anyone could give me any feedback on this essay for Lord of the Flies:
    “Choose a novel or a short story or a work of non fiction which explores an important theme.By referring to appropriate techniques, show how the author has conveyed this theme.”

    William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” is a deeply disturbing and revealing novel. Writing in the midst of Cold War paranoia, Golding has attempted to convey the darkest aspects of mankind’s aptitude for (and attraction to) evil. The novel narrates the tale of a group of young schoolboys stranded on a desert island paradise, who soon turn on each other in united fear of a mythical “beast” who terrorises their dreams. Through characterisation, key moments of drama, language and symbolism Golding explored the theme of underlying savagery in deeply ingrained in the boys, who even at their most savage are startlingly childish and human.

    At the opening of the novel the boys are presented as polite, diligent products of their civilised society. They crave democracy, immediately deciding that they “ought to have a meeting,” where they “vote for chief”. The boys’ immediate craving for order reveals their childish, almost constrained nature which causes them to revert to what they’re used to. In this chapter the conch is introduced; it is used to call meetings and becomes a constant symbol of democracy and order which contrasts the boys’ increasing aptitude for savagery and decreases in value as the novel progresses. Here, Golding introduces the boys’ deep rooted sense of civilisation and law as they crave a structure within which they will live, and an eluted leader to follow. They also make regular references back to their “old lives”; Ralph acknowledges that they’ll have to follow rules “like at school” and the other boys agree. This reveals that the boys initially gravitate automatically to a structure which makes them feel safe and secure, which is in this case school.

    However, as the boys begin to settle into life on the island Golding very quickly reveals the fragility of civilisation and the strength of savagery by exposing the increasingly strange thoughts and behaviour of the boys. As some of the younger boys play, Roger becomes fascinated by watching them and attempts to confuse Henry by throwing rocks — to miss — in is direction. However, “there was a space round Henry… into which [Roger] dare not throw… Roger’s arm was conditioned by a civilisation that knew nothing of him and was in ruins.” Roger’s behaviour is clearly intended to be mean and tormenting towards the much younger Henry. However, without necessarily realising it Roger is being held back by the behaviour he has always been expected to uphold; he is acting as his civilised world would expect him to. Despite this, Roger’s actions foreshadow that his behaviour will become increasingly savage. He was still intending to torment Henry, and found this behaviour fascinating and enjoyable. This temptation clearly represents the beginning of society breaking down: it is implied that society’s constraints on all of the boys are lifting. The use of a previously innocuous character such as Roger as a representative of constrained evil is effective because it introduces the idea that savagery is universal, residing inside every person.

    Golding further exposes the conflict between good and evil (and the rising danger of savagery) through tensions between the characters of Ralph and Jack. At one stage the boys avoid rescue when a ship passes because Jack (unknown to Ralph) has taken the majority of the group out hunting, and thereby let the fire out. As conflict over this issue rises, Golding summarises the boys’ collective belief that “there was the brilliant world of hunting, tactics, fierce exhilaration, skill; and there was the world of logic and baffled common sense.” The use of four factors advocating Jack’s beliefs and only two for Ralph’s echoes the boys’ perception that following Jack would have far more benefits than attempting to uphold the laws of civilisation. The description of the two ideologies and “worlds” further emphasises the separation and isolation between Jack and Ralph’s ideas, and also mirrors the moral significance of the internal conflict between good and savagery in the boys’ subconscious. The boys are still choosing to abide by civilised rules, but they have begun to allow themselves to succumb to the temptation of savagery and evil. This foreshadows the eventual triumph of savagery.

    As the novel progresses a growing number of boys choose to join Jack’s tribe of savages, who eventually worship the beast and allow their mob mentality to control their behaviour (with fatal results). Simon is murdered by the boys in a moment of adrenaline-fuelled panic, as they mistake him for the beast. Simon is described as being “on its knees in the center, its arms folded over its face.” The constant referral to Simon (the Christ-like symbol and representation of faith and kindness) as “it” — and the fact that the boys believe he is the beast — exposes how savagery will demonise and objectify every aspect of humanity, making kindness appear detrimental and undesirable. Simon is not referred to by his name until the end of the passage, as Golding describes how “Simon’s dead body moved out towards open sea.” Re-identifying Simon by name shortly after his death suggests that, as a result of savagery, people will act impulsively and only realise the consequences after it’s too late. The death of Simon symbolises the point of irreversible moral decline for the boys. It marks the end of good and peace, allowing for the eventual triumph of savagery.

    Towards the climax of the novel, Golding marks the loss of order and reason through the death of Piggy and the smashing of the conch. At the same moment Piggy was crushed by a boulder, “the conch explode into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist.” The moment of the conch smashing marks the total loss f order and democracy in the boys’ lives. Furthermore, the description of “a thousand white fragments” and the death of Piggy implies the irretrievable nature of the loss of order. Golding describes the boys’ view of the dead Piggy by writing “his head opened and stuff came out and turned red.” The childish description of Piggy’s death reiterates that the boys in this move; are young children, which adds to the disturbing and shocking nature of the novel while also reinforcing the central message of the text that everyone has savagery inside them. Golding uses Piggy’s death and the smashing of the conch to strengthen his argument hat savagery is destructive (having destroyed all that is ordered or good on the island), and will affect every human being if the constraints of an ordered society are removed.

    Throughout the novel, the boys morally decline from “boys” to “hunters” and eventually to “savages”. The temptations of savagery slowly but utterly consume every aspect of their behaviour, erasing any trace of logic or faith in their hearts. Their eventual rescue comes at a great relief to the reader, but leaves no doubt in our minds that these boys have an immense capacity for evil. Golding’s novel is a beautiful and desperate attempt to urge the reader against the instinctive pull of evil and hatred, in favour of love, justice, trust and faith; the traits that turn us from savage to human.
    Wow, this is an amazing essay for National 5! I did Lord of the Flies for N5 too last year and got an A and I'm doing higher this year. In class we used to do a lot of peer marking and I would definitely say that essay should get in the 18-20 range. However, from doing higher this year, my teacher has given me tips on how to improve my essays which I'll be share below. Of course, you may have been told differently by your teacher so just stick with what he/she says.

    - Stay in the present tense
    - In your final sentence of the introduction, don't make a long list of techniques. Instead, relate this sentence directly to the second sentence of the question, by answering HOW the theme is established with reference to plot. You could still mention symbolism here though, since it is so important in Lord of the Flies.
    - Explicitly state the theme in the introduction.
    - Don't use pointless adjectives in the opening sentence of the essay like 'enlightening, captivating, gripping' etc. Instead just relate it to the question in some way. In this instance you could mention the theme. This would probably be good vs. evil.
    - Have clear topic sentences relating directly to the question. I think you could improve your first topic sentence.

    And, the actual main body of your essay is really good. I think I did either this exact question last year or a very similar one. You could also consider writing about the contrasts between Ralph and Jack at the beginning. From memory I remember using something about a boxer for Ralph along with something about his mouth and eyes, showing he is clearly good. And for Jack I used '' I ought to be chief' said Jack with simple arrogance'.

    Your quotes analysis is very good, but you could possibly aim to include more quotes with there being 2/3 or more per paragraph. You could run-in short quotes to deepen your argument. Although, your analysis it probably so thorough that you don't need/ have time for that.

    I would also suggest looking into the final chapter in more detail. You could mention Ralph's loss of innocence showing the long-term consequences of his experience.

    And your conclusion is very good, again, with a stronge personal response. However, you could cut down on the adjectives.

    Also, you may have found it easier to focus specifically on one theme instead both good vs. evil & savagery. The question does state 'theme' so be careful about how you interpret the question.

    But these are all minor criticisms. Well done!
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    Thank you so much for your response, especially for the tips (most of which hadn't occurred to me) . I was a bit worried about the essay writing as the marking seems so subjective, but your comments gave me a lot of confidence particularly as I'm hoping to do Higher next year.
    Good luck with your Highers!
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    (Original post by RockGirl19)
    I was wondering if anyone could give me any feedback on this essay for Lord of the Flies:
    “Choose a novel or a short story or a work of non fiction which explores an important theme.By referring to appropriate techniques, show how the author has conveyed this theme.”

    William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” is a deeply disturbing and revealing novel. Writing in the midst of Cold War paranoia, Golding has attempted to convey the darkest aspects of mankind’s aptitude for (and attraction to) evil. The novel narrates the tale of a group of young schoolboys stranded on a desert island paradise, who soon turn on each other in united fear of a mythical “beast” who terrorises their dreams. Through characterisation, key moments of drama, language and symbolism Golding explored the theme of underlying savagery in deeply ingrained in the boys, who even at their most savage are startlingly childish and human.

    At the opening of the novel the boys are presented as polite, diligent products of their civilised society. They crave democracy, immediately deciding that they “ought to have a meeting,” where they “vote for chief”. The boys’ immediate craving for order reveals their childish, almost constrained nature which causes them to revert to what they’re used to. In this chapter the conch is introduced; it is used to call meetings and becomes a constant symbol of democracy and order which contrasts the boys’ increasing aptitude for savagery and decreases in value as the novel progresses. Here, Golding introduces the boys’ deep rooted sense of civilisation and law as they crave a structure within which they will live, and an eluted leader to follow. They also make regular references back to their “old lives”; Ralph acknowledges that they’ll have to follow rules “like at school” and the other boys agree. This reveals that the boys initially gravitate automatically to a structure which makes them feel safe and secure, which is in this case school.

    However, as the boys begin to settle into life on the island Golding very quickly reveals the fragility of civilisation and the strength of savagery by exposing the increasingly strange thoughts and behaviour of the boys. As some of the younger boys play, Roger becomes fascinated by watching them and attempts to confuse Henry by throwing rocks — to miss — in is direction. However, “there was a space round Henry… into which [Roger] dare not throw… Roger’s arm was conditioned by a civilisation that knew nothing of him and was in ruins.” Roger’s behaviour is clearly intended to be mean and tormenting towards the much younger Henry. However, without necessarily realising it Roger is being held back by the behaviour he has always been expected to uphold; he is acting as his civilised world would expect him to. Despite this, Roger’s actions foreshadow that his behaviour will become increasingly savage. He was still intending to torment Henry, and found this behaviour fascinating and enjoyable. This temptation clearly represents the beginning of society breaking down: it is implied that society’s constraints on all of the boys are lifting. The use of a previously innocuous character such as Roger as a representative of constrained evil is effective because it introduces the idea that savagery is universal, residing inside every person.

    Golding further exposes the conflict between good and evil (and the rising danger of savagery) through tensions between the characters of Ralph and Jack. At one stage the boys avoid rescue when a ship passes because Jack (unknown to Ralph) has taken the majority of the group out hunting, and thereby let the fire out. As conflict over this issue rises, Golding summarises the boys’ collective belief that “there was the brilliant world of hunting, tactics, fierce exhilaration, skill; and there was the world of logic and baffled common sense.” The use of four factors advocating Jack’s beliefs and only two for Ralph’s echoes the boys’ perception that following Jack would have far more benefits than attempting to uphold the laws of civilisation. The description of the two ideologies and “worlds” further emphasises the separation and isolation between Jack and Ralph’s ideas, and also mirrors the moral significance of the internal conflict between good and savagery in the boys’ subconscious. The boys are still choosing to abide by civilised rules, but they have begun to allow themselves to succumb to the temptation of savagery and evil. This foreshadows the eventual triumph of savagery.

    As the novel progresses a growing number of boys choose to join Jack’s tribe of savages, who eventually worship the beast and allow their mob mentality to control their behaviour (with fatal results). Simon is murdered by the boys in a moment of adrenaline-fuelled panic, as they mistake him for the beast. Simon is described as being “on its knees in the center, its arms folded over its face.” The constant referral to Simon (the Christ-like symbol and representation of faith and kindness) as “it” — and the fact that the boys believe he is the beast — exposes how savagery will demonise and objectify every aspect of humanity, making kindness appear detrimental and undesirable. Simon is not referred to by his name until the end of the passage, as Golding describes how “Simon’s dead body moved out towards open sea.” Re-identifying Simon by name shortly after his death suggests that, as a result of savagery, people will act impulsively and only realise the consequences after it’s too late. The death of Simon symbolises the point of irreversible moral decline for the boys. It marks the end of good and peace, allowing for the eventual triumph of savagery.

    Towards the climax of the novel, Golding marks the loss of order and reason through the death of Piggy and the smashing of the conch. At the same moment Piggy was crushed by a boulder, “the conch explode into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist.” The moment of the conch smashing marks the total loss f order and democracy in the boys’ lives. Furthermore, the description of “a thousand white fragments” and the death of Piggy implies the irretrievable nature of the loss of order. Golding describes the boys’ view of the dead Piggy by writing “his head opened and stuff came out and turned red.” The childish description of Piggy’s death reiterates that the boys in this move; are young children, which adds to the disturbing and shocking nature of the novel while also reinforcing the central message of the text that everyone has savagery inside them. Golding uses Piggy’s death and the smashing of the conch to strengthen his argument hat savagery is destructive (having destroyed all that is ordered or good on the island), and will affect every human being if the constraints of an ordered society are removed.

    Throughout the novel, the boys morally decline from “boys” to “hunters” and eventually to “savages”. The temptations of savagery slowly but utterly consume every aspect of their behaviour, erasing any trace of logic or faith in their hearts. Their eventual rescue comes at a great relief to the reader, but leaves no doubt in our minds that these boys have an immense capacity for evil. Golding’s novel is a beautiful and desperate attempt to urge the reader against the instinctive pull of evil and hatred, in favour of love, justice, trust and faith; the traits that turn us from savage to human.
    Excellent for N5. I do ADVH and it would give some of the people in my class a run for their money. I've not much more to add that Angel99 hasn't already said. My only main critique, which is more of a personal stylistic preference, is that you should maybe cut down on the use of parenthetical brackets and swap some with parenthetical commas or dashes. Your technical accuracy is also great. Watch out on your use of semi colons near the end, however: your last should be a colon. Don't worry too much about peppering your essay with quotes; short quotes embedded into your line of argument are best. A convincing, well-thought out response to the question is most important (which clearly you are more than capable of doing). I know some students who bloat their essays with so many quotes that the depth of their arguments suffer. I'd say the number of quotes in this essay is enough not to negatively affect your mark.
 
 
 
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