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.

PG Quote Speaker

15 Here at last was the imagined but never fully realized place leaping into real life. N/A

21 For a moment the boys were a closed circuit of sympathy with Piggy on the outside... N/A

29 Eyes shining, mouths open, triumphant, they savored the right of domination. N/A

31 They knew very well why he hadn't [killed the piglet]: because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable blood. N/A

37 About Ralph's feeling of the beast:
He felt himself facing something ungraspable. N/A

38 Then, with the martyred expression of a parent who has to keep up with the senseless ebullience of the children, he [Piggy] picked up the conch, turned toward the forest, and began to pick his way over the tumbled scar. N/A

42 I agree with Ralph. We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages. We're English, and the English are best at everything. So we've got to do the right things. Jack

51 About Jack:
He tried to convey the compulsion to track down and kill that was swallowing him up. N/A

53 If you're hunting sometimes... you can feel as if you're not hunting, but -- being hunted, as if something's behind you all the time in the jungle. Jack

61 About Henry:
He became absorbed beyond mere happiness as he felt himself exercising control over living things. N/A

62 On Roger throwing stones:
...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. N/A

64 On Jack's 'mask':
...the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness. N/A

70 Jack's thoughts of his first kill:
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. N/A

71 About Jack and Ralph:
There was the brilliant world of hunting, tactics, fierce exhilaration, skill; and there was the world of longing and baffled commonsense. N/A

73 After the ship passes:
Not even Ralph knew how a link between him and Jack had been snapped and fastened elsewhere. N/A

76 Ralph's thoughts:
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. N/A

78 Ralph's thoughts:
If faces where different when lit from above or below -- what was a face? What was anything? N/A

81 But I tell you that smoke is more important than the pig, however often you kill one. Ralph

82 Things are breaking up. I don't understand why. We began well; we were happy. And then -- ...Then people started getting frightened. Ralph

84 I know there isn't no beast -- not with claws and all that, I mean -- but I know there isn't no fear either...Unless--...Unless we get frightened of people. Piggy

89 On The Beast:
"What I mean is... Maybe it's only us."... Simon became inarticulate in his efforts to express mankind's essential illness. Simon

91 The world, that understandable and lawful word, was slipping away. Once there was this and that; and now -- and the ship had gone. N/A

93 On Jack
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. Piggy

103 However Simon thought of the beast, there rose before his inward sight the picture of a human at once heroic and sick. N/A

115 On Ralph's first "dance":
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. N/A

117 By now, Ralph had no self-consciousness in public thinking but would treat the day's decisions as though he were playing chess. The only trouble was that he would never be a very good chess player. N/A

126 On The Beast:
The beast is a hunter... we couldn't kill it. Jack

127 Upon leaving the group:
I'm not going to play any longer. Not with you. Jack

137 Describing the Lord of the Flies:
The half-shut eyes were dim with the infinite cynicism of adult life. They assured Simon that everything was a bad business. N/A

139 On the fire:
We can't keep one fire going. And they don't care. And what's more, I don't sometimes. Ralph

142 There isn't anyone to help you. Only me. And I'm the Beast... Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!... You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you? Close, close, close! I'm the reason why it's no go? Why things are the way they are? The

142 Simon's knowledge:
The beast was harmless and horrible; and the news must reach the others as soon as possible. N/A

152 During Simon's death:
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. N/A

163 Ralph's thoughts:
There was something good about a fire. Something overwhelmingly good. N/A

170 Ralph's thoughts:
after all we aren't savages really and being rescued isn't a game Ralph

178 Ralph's actions:
He... gazed at the green and black mask before him, trying to remember what Jack looked like. N/A

202 ...Ralph wept for for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of a true, wise friend called Piggy. N/A