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WILLIAM GOLDING QUOTES


Lord of the Flies (1954)

This is our island. It’s a good island. Until the grown-ups come to fetch us we’ll have fun.

--Chapter 2

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.

--Chapter 2

How can you expect to be rescued if you don’t put first things first and act proper?

--Chapter 2

I bet if I blew the conch this minute, they'd come running. Then we'd be, you know, very solemn, and someone would say we ought to build a jet, or a submarine, or a TV set. When the meeting was over they'd work for five minutes, then wander off or go hunting.

--Chapter 3

The candle-buds opened their wide white flowers....Their scent spilled out into the air and took possession of the island.

--Chapter 3

Roger stooped, picked up a stone, aimed, and threw it at Henry— threw it to miss. The stone, that token of preposterous time, bounded five yards to Henry's right and fell in the water. Roger gathered a handful of stones and began to throw them. Yet there was a space round 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.

--Chapter 4

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.

--Chapter 4

Life ... is scientific.... I know there isn't no beast ... but I know there isn't no fear, either.... Unless we get frightened of people.

--Chapter 5

Fear can't hurt you any more than a dream.

--Chapter 5

Maybe there is a beast ... maybe it's only us.

--Chapter 5

Ralph ... 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.

--Chapter 7

The spear moved forward inch by inch and the terrified squealing became a high-pitched scream. Then Jack found the throat and the hot blood spouted over his hands. The sow collapsed under them and they were heavy and fulfilled upon her. The butterflies still danced, preoccupied in the center of the clearing.

--Chapter 8

Simon's head was tilted slightly up. His eyes could not break away and the Lord of the Flies hung in space before him.
"What are you doing out here all alone? Aren't you afraid of me?"
Simon shook.
"There isn't anyone to help you. Only me. And I'm the Beast."
Simon's mouth labored, brought forth audible words.
"Pig's head on a stick."
"Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew, didn't you?" said the head. For a moment or two the forest and all the other dimly appreciated places echoed with the parody of laughter. "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 what they are?"

--Chapter 8

What did it mean? A stick sharpened at both ends. What was there in that?

--Chapter 12

A semicircle of little boys, their bodies streaked with colored clay, sharp sticks in their hands, were standing on the beach making no noise at all.
"Fun and games," said the officer.

--Chapter 12

His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.

--Chapter 12

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