Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Important Quotes with Page Numbers
The following quotes are not explained here, though most of their meanings are fairly evident. Some quotes do have a brief explanation in front of them. If the quote is spoken, the speaker is identified after it. If the quote is simply third person narration no speaker is identified ("N/A"). All of these quotes deal with theme or symbolism. Although many printings of this novel exist, the most prevalent seems to be the Perigee Book paper-back (with the drawing of a boy with leaves in his hair on the cover) published by the Berkley Publishing Group and all page numbers refer to this printing.
He felt himself facing something ungraspable.
He tried to convey the compulsion to track down and kill that was swallowing him up.
He became absorbed beyond mere happiness as he felt himself exercising control over living things.
...there was a space around Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law. Roger's arm was conditioned by a civilization that knew nothing of him and was in ruins.
...the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness.
His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink.
There was the brilliant world of hunting, tactics, fierce exhilaration, skill; and there was the world of longing and baffled commonsense.
Not even Ralph knew how a link between him and Jack had been snapped and fastened elsewhere.
He found himself understanding the wearisomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one's waking life was spent watching one's feet.
If faces where different when lit from above or below -- what was a face? What was anything?
"What I mean is... Maybe it's only us."... Simon became inarticulate in his efforts to express mankind's essential illness.
I'm scared of him, and that's why I know him. If you're scared of someone you hate him but you can't stop thinking about him. You kid yourself he's all right really, an' then when you see him again; it's like asthma an' you can't breathe.
Ralph too was fighting to get near, to get a handful of that brown, vulnerable flesh. The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering.
The beast is a hunter... we couldn't kill it.
I'm not going to play any longer. Not with you.
The half-shut eyes were dim with the infinite cynicism of adult life. They assured Simon that everything was a bad business.
We can't keep one fire going. And they don't care. And what's more, I don't sometimes.
The beast was harmless and horrible; and the news must reach the others as soon as possible.
Piggy and Ralph, under the threat of the sky, found themselves eager to take a place in this demented but partly secure society. They were glad to touch the brown backs of the fence that hemmed in the terror and made it governable.
There was something good about a fire. Something overwhelmingly good.
after all we aren't savages really and being rescued isn't a game
He... gazed at the green and black mask before him, trying to remember what Jack looked like.
- Chapter Summaries
- Character Analysis
- Important Quotes
- The Map