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Lord of the Flies Homework Aid


  Lord of the Flies Homework Notes:

Directions:  Our approach to Lord of the Flies will be as an allegorical study.  The type of allegory you isolate depends a lot on your life experience and what you know of the world.  Some students will see biblical allusion; others will notice biological connections to Darwin's Survival of the Fittest; still others will see psychological factors (Freud's Id, Ego, and Super Ego) at work.  To help you arrive your own interpretation, follow the following guide to do your homework analytically and comprehensively.  I will be doing homework checks, and if your homework follows these guidelines in a clear, logical, and in-depth way, you CAN”T get a poor homework grade.   See the rubric that follows to ensure your success.

Use key quotes to illustrate your thoughts.  Parse the quotes.  How many?  Of course it depends on the chapter; some characters aren't even in every chapter.  Focus on the main character(s) of each chapter.  I'd guess you should parse 2-3 quotes per character per chapter. If that seems too much or too little, use common sense to determine the significant quotes from busy work.

                                      Things to Notice: 

1.)   Keep track of physical changes.  How do the characters look in the first chapters?  What clothes do they wear?  What possessions do they have?  Are they physically strong or weak?  How do their looks change as they undergo the effects of a lack of civilization?  What do these changes mean?  Writers often use physical characteristics to tell us information about a character (=direct characterization)  What is Golding telling us about each of these major characters as a result of their physicality?            
2.)  Note behavior of the characters.  Another way of demonstrating what a character is like is how he acts.  How does each of these characters act alone?  In pairs?  In groups?  How do they speak to each other?  How do they treat each other?   Does this behavior change as the book progresses?  How?  (Be specific--quotes!)

3.)  What do other characters think/say about this character?  Other peoples’ observations about a character=indirect characterization.  Use specific quotes.  What do you learn indirectly about each character?  From whom?  Is this information likely to be true?  Why or Why not?            

4.)  Who does this character remind you of?  Why?  Be specific.  You can draw on personal connections, historical, biblical, literary, or other characters.

    5.)  If this character was a part of you, what part would he be?  Are you aware of this part of your personality? Is it well developed or “hidden?”  Why?

    6.)  What does this character symbolize in terms of the novel?  Be careful.  This may change as the book progresses.  Don’t make judgments about these characters that are set in stone.  Golding’s genius is apparent in his carefully paced revelation of character.  The reader learns who these characters are slowly as time passes--just like we learn who we are.  

Hint:  If you are unhappy with a homework grade you receive for a Journal Check, check out the journal of someone who received an A.  Look at the proportion of these questions that are answered and the depth with which they are answered.  Reread your grading rubric.  Now take an unbiased look at your own work.  Did you work with as much commitment?  No?  Then stop complaining.  Whining does not increase your grade...deeper commitment and analysis does.

                                    Rubric for LOF Homework Checks:

 4 (A): Demonstrates a thorough understanding of the novel in terms of comprehension, interpretation, and evaluation as is shown by perceptive and insightful reflective thinking about the text. Supports this thinking with specific evidence from the text (significant quotes) and parsing of those quotes as well as outside knowledge.

3 (B): Displays a complete and accurate understanding of the novel in terms of comprehension and interpretation.  Supports this thinking with specific evidence from the text (significant quotes and parsing) and outside experience but less than an "A" exemplar. 

2 (C): Displays an incomplete understanding of the novel in terms of comprehension and interpretation.  Does not attempt to look below the surface of a discussion of plot/character development/symbolism or makes has some notable misconceptions about the interpretation of the novel.  Plot summary falls under this category.  You know that's not what I want: Stop trying to give it to me.    

1 (D): Demonstrates severe misconceptions about the novel in terms of comprehension.  Makes no attempt at analysis and basic character development and theme are incorrectly summarized or not summarized at all.  Vague generalizations are used to avoid specific details.

0 (F):  No work is completed or minimal effort is expended.  Or cheating by copying the work of others is attempted.