From Cinse Bonino, director of the Center for Instructional Practice
Questions for students to consider:
How might things have been different if the conch shell hadn’t been found and used?
How does Ralph try to impose order on their island society/community? What motivates him to deviate from this task?
Why did the needs for shelter and hunting polarize some of the boys?
How does their age affect the boys’ view of what makes a society civilized?
Did the boys have everything they needed to survive? To flourish?
What impact does the larger context of the “war” have on the boys’ island society?
How do different characters react to fear of the unknown?
How do the social skills possessed by certain boys impact other individuals’ fates and the fate of the group as a whole?
Which is a stronger influence – the boys’ ages or their individual personalities?
What do individual characters try to get the group to “see” about their situation? What methods do they use to do this? What are the outcomes of their attempts?
What causes the boys to often allow the process of attempting to control one thing to result in things getting “out of control” in another way?
Why were the boys so quick to believe in the existence of a “beastie”?
Why did the group “turn” on certain boys? What was it about these boys that made them targets?
Why do you think some characters do not show remorse for their actions?
Can the rescued boys resume being who they were before this experience?
- Fear of the unknown
- Power struggles – strong versus the weak
- Human nature’s influence on society
- Definitions of “civilized” and “savage”
- Definition of “maturity”
- Definition of “morality”
- Loss of innocence
- “Good” versus “evil”
- Evil within
- Projection of fear
- Intelligence versus social skills
- Bullying and human rights
- Hierarchy of basic needs
- Order versus chaos
- Authority and responsibility
- Communication styles
- Individuals versus the collective