If you studied Lord of the Flies you should be revising the novel in the holidays. A good place to start would be to look at Golding’s characters – although remember that at whatever level you are studying a simple description of a character is not much help. You will want to show understanding of:
· how a character develops and changes
· how the writer uses a character to aid the development of the plot
and linked to this
· how a character relates to the other key characters in the novel.
Let’s start with Roger. Golding has something special in mind for this character. There is a great deal to think about:
what happens to Roger during the course of the story? You will notice that it was actually Roger who suggested that there should be a vote for Chief … and he becomes the ‘hangman’ in the story, over whom hangs a threatening pall of death. In the chapter “Castle Rock”, you will find:
“High overhead, Roger, with a sense of delirious abandonment, leaned all his weight on the lever.”
We know the awful consequence of this. Roger becomes a threatening, violent presence. When the twins are captured, he shows that he enjoys or, at least, knows about violence:
“That’s not the way.” Roger shows Jack how to prod the twins effectively. When Jack is hunting Ralph, it is Roger who puts the pressure on the twins
“If you’re fooling us…”
Immediately after this, there came a gasp, and a squeal of pain.’
There are other pieces of evidence that suggest that Roger is someone different, and it is worth looking for these near the beginning of the novel. There are also clues as to how Roger develops:
· in the first description of him that we are given:
“There was a slight, furtive boy whom no one knew, who kept to himself with an inner intensity of avoidance and secrecy.” What else can you find out about Roger? What effect has the island experience had on him?