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Roger is one of the Biguns in the Lord of The Flies. He has black hair and a ‘sinister’ fringe. He is a cold and stoic boy, he is the most loyal of all of Jack's followers. He shows no remorse for any of the things that he does and earns a fearsome reputation among the other boys during the events on the island.
In the book he is described as quiet and secretive as if he was hiding a secret. This is true, as his ‘secret’ is that in his own way he is more sinister and cruel than Jack.
- 1 Role in the Story
- 2 Lord of the Flies Movie: 1963
- 3 Lord of the Flies Movie: 1990
Role in the Story [ ]
Roger is Jack's most loyal follower, following all orders without question. He starts out bullying some of the other boys, such as kicking over a sand castle on purpose, but gradually he realizes that he is not at school or in civilization at all anymore, and there is no one left to stop him from being as cruel as he wants.
Unlike most of the boys, Roger enjoys causing pain and requires no conditioning to be able to kill. He was always held in check before by the authority figures and constraints of civilization, but on the island, Roger can finally do as he pleases. Following Jack simply gives Roger an excuse to do what he has always wanted to.
Roger never shows mercy. He is the only one who intentionally kills another boy on the island - Piggy . He obtains sadistic pleasure from torturing the sow and Samneric . The book notes that Roger sharpened a stick at both ends, planning to behead Ralph and put the head on the point.
Roger is symbolic of all the irredeemable sadists and murderers in civilization, those that are held in check only so long as civilization exists and will do as they please the moment it disappears.
Lord of the Flies Movie: 1963 [ ]
In the 1963 film adaptation, Roger is portrayed by Roger Elwin. Like Jack, Simon, and several others, he is a member of the school choir. He almost never speaks, and virtually ignores Ralph and Piggy as they try to create a semblance of civilized order on the island. He joins Jack soon after the latter leaves to form his own camp and regularly participates in hunts for the wild pigs that live on the island.
While all the other boys, even Jack, are content to laugh and jeer at Piggy while he calls on them to return to following Ralph and behaving in a civilized manner, Roger takes his spear and starts wedging it under a boulder high above Piggy. He succeeds in pushing it over the side and silences Piggy forever. Soon afterward, Roger follows Jack in setting fire to the jungle, and is among those chasing after Ralph when the Royal Navy lands.
Lord of the Flies Movie: 1990 [ ]
In the 1990 adaptation, Roger is portrayed by Gary Rule. Like the others in this version, he is American and attends an unnamed military boarding school in the United States. Roger is the second-ranked cadet on the island (cadet captain) but he rarely speaks and never asserts himself as a contender for top leadership on the island. Roger is the first to side with Jack when the latter rebels and forms his own camp away from Ralph's.
In this version of the story, Roger is a teenager, same as Ralph and Jack, whereas in the 1963 film he is noticeably younger and shorter than those two boys.
Gallery [ ]
GCSE English Literature Lord of the Flies character Analysis Roger
- 1 Jack Merridew
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Character Analysis Roger
Roger represents the sadist, the individual who enjoys hurting others. His evil motives are different from Jack 's, who pursues leadership and stature and enjoys the thrill of the hunt. Roger just likes to hurt people. He is described in Chapter 1 as a boy "who kept to himself with avoidance and secrecy." His secret is that he is, in some ways, more evil than even Jack. All his life, Roger has been conditioned to leash or mask his impulses. The "irresponsible authority" of Jack's reign offers him the chance to unleash his innate cruelty. Initially, in a mean-spirited prank, Roger throws rocks at the unsuspecting littlun, Henry, but he throws them so that they miss , surrounded as Henry is by "the protection of parents and school and policeman and the law. Roger's arm was conditioned by . . . civilization." Once he joins Jack's tribe, he has lost that conditioning and eventually kills Piggy with one boulder, which was not intended to miss.
Roger carves out a distinct niche in the tribe as the hangman, the torturer who plays a key role in all dictatorships, and relishes the role of a killer. From his point of view on top of Castle Rock, "Ralph was a shock of hair and Piggy a bag of fat" — not other human beings. Mentally dehumanizing those not in his group frees Roger from the restraints of decency, an effect he feels as "a sense of delirious abandonment" when he releases the rock to kill Piggy.
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Roger is totally that kid on the playground who used to torture ants with a magnifying glass. He's bad news going all the way back to when we first meet him, a "slight" and "furtive" boy with "an inner intensity of avoidance and secrecy" who "mutters" (1). Let's just say, you do not want to be stuck on a deserted island with Roger, because this guy is sadistic, plain and simple.
While Jack wants power because he likes the thought of being in charge, Roger wants power because he likes the idea of hurting others. Even before things have started to go too wrong, we can tell. He and his buddy Maurice destroy the littluns' sandcastles for no reason at all, "kicking them over, burying the flowers, scattering the chosen stones. Maurice followed, laughing, and added to the destruction" (4.7-8). This goes way beyond not helping the kids pick fruit to straight up psycho behavior.
Roger doesn't become a murderous psychopath all at once. At first, he's held back by the "taboo of the old life" (4.14). While he throws rocks in little Henry's general direction , he doesn't actually throw them at the kid: "round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law" (4.14). For now . By the end, Roger has given in. He's the one who, with "delirious abandonment," drops the rock that kills Piggy.
Not convinced that Roger is bad news? Sam and Eric hint at unspeakable—literally—horrors, when they say: of Sam and Eric's exchange:
"You don't know Roger. He's a terror."
"And the chief—they're both—"
"—only Roger—" (11)
Only Roger what ? We don't know, and we're not sure we want to. Is Golding saying that even beasts come in degrees—that some people are worse than others, even if we're all savages? Or is he saying the opposite? Could it be that Roger is actually the most human of them all?
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- Resources ,
Roger is a member of Jack’s choir and is described as ‘a slight furtive boy whom no one knew, who kept to himself with an inner intensity of avoidance and secrecy’ (p18). Surprisingly, it is Roger who suggest the boys have a vote to decide upon the leader.
Roger and Maurice destroy the sandcastles that the ‘littluns’ have built on the beach and as he watches them play, his ‘unsociable remoteness’ turns into ‘something forbidding’ (p63). Then, Roger follows Henry as he wanders off on his own. As Henry is swimming, Roger begins secretly throwing stones, meaning them to miss, near to Henry in the water. He dares not throw them directly at Henry – ‘Roger’s arm was conditioned by a civilisation that knew nothing of him and was in ruins’ (p65)
Roger’s quiet menace continues throughout the novel. When challenged by Robert, who is guarding Jack’s camp, Roger says ‘you couldn’t stop me coming if I wanted’ (p178). He quickly joins Jack and the rest of the ‘savages’ when they are punishing Wilfred and volunteers to accompany Jack and Maurice when they invade Ralph’s camp.
As Ralph, Piggy, Sam and Eric approach Jack’s camp, Roger is on guard. He begins throwing stones at the twins and ‘a source of power began to pulse’ in his body (p194). Roger leans on the lever of the trap at the top of the cliff, allowing the rock to fall where Piggy and Ralph stand below…
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William Golding's Lord of the Flies is, or used to be, a staple of everyone's teenage reading experience, a harrowing fable about how ordinary kids revert to savagery when they are marooned on a deserted island. The story is less poignant nowadays than it once was, if only because events take place every day on our mean streets that are more horrifying than anything the little monsters do to one another on Golding's island.
When Peter Brook made the first film version of the novel in 1963, most viewers no doubt identified with the character of Ralph, the little liberal humanist, instead of with Jack, the little free market economist. These days, I imagine the audiences are more evenly divided.
Of all the films that cry out to be remade, the call of Brook's "Lord of the Flies" is very faint indeed. But it has been heard by Harry Hook and Sara Schiff , who have directed and written this new and anemic Classics Illustrated version of the story.
Golding's tale is a parable, a simple one, ideal as the subject for essays in English class. Schoolboys from a private school are shipwrecked (or, in the new version, their airplane crashes into the sea), and they swim to a deserted island where they must fend for themselves. At first they stick together and act reasonably, but then they divide into two camps: followers of Ralph, who believe in decency and civilization, and followers of Jack, who paint their faces, sharpen their spears and become militarists. Despairing of ever being rescued, the boys go to war with one another, with deadly results.
The staging of this story is fairly straightforward. The kids crawl up on the sand, their clothes gradually grow more tattered, they light a signal fire and then fight over who will tend it, they fight for possession of the knife and a pair of glasses that can be used to start fires, and they draw the battle lines between their two camps.
Hook's visual sense is not acute here; he doesn't show the spontaneous sense of time and place that made his first film, "The Kitchen Toto" (1988), so convincing. He seems more concerned with telling the story than showing it, and there are too many passages in which the boys are simply trading dialogue. The color photography tends to turn many scenes into travelogues; this is a film that needs black and white to contain the lush scenery. The "lord of the flies" itself - the rotting head of a wild boar - never becomes the focus of horror it is intended as, and the surprise ending of the film is somehow over before we have the opportunity to be surprised. The acting is workmanlike.
Because this material is so obviously constructed to bear a message, a film made from it will work best if it concentrates on the story elements and lets the symbolism take care of itself. Hook's version does neither. The symbolism is right up front and unmissable, and the story part - the events that in theory should cause our throats to tighten and our pulses to quicken - is pretty lame. Once you understand what is going to happen (and even the viewer who has never heard of the book will not take long), there are few surprises. It happens.
The reviews of Brook's 1963 film version were not glowing ("Semiprofessional . . . crude and unconvincing" - Halliwell; "Patched together" - Kauffmann). But I recall it having at least a certain force, maybe because in 1963 it was still shocking that ordinary schoolkids could be killers - that they had the seeds of evil in them, and, given the opportunity and freedom from the restraints of society, the seeds would grow.
Golding's novel is the sort of fable that could shock only those who believe in the onwardness of civilization, as some still did in those days. At the time of its publication (1954) attempts were made to find political messages in it, but today it seems more like a sad prophecy of what is happening in neighborhoods ruled by drugs. What week goes by without another story of a Ralph gunned down by a Jack?
Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.
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Lord Of The Flies (1990)
Chris Furrh as Jack
Balthazar Getty as Ralph
Danuel Pipoly as Piggy
Badgett Dale as Simon
Directed and Edited by
- Martin Fuhrer
- Philippe Sarde
- Sara Schiff
- Ross Milloy
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Lord of the Flies
William golding, everything you need for every book you read..
A group of English schoolboys are marooned on a jungle island with no adults after their plane is shot down in the middle of a war. Two of the boys, Ralph and Piggy find a conch shell. Ralph blows into it like a horn, and all the boys on the island assemble. At the assembly, a boy named Jack mocks Piggy for being fat and runs against Ralph to become chief of the group. Ralph wins the election, and declares Jack the leader of the group's hunters. Soon after, Ralph, Jack, and another boy named Simon explore the island and discover wild pigs.
At a second assembly, the boys set up rules to govern themselves. The first rule is that whoever wants to speak at an assembly must hold the conch. At the meeting, one young boy claims he saw a " beastie " in the jungle, but Ralph dismisses it as just the product of a nightmare. Ralph then suggests that they build a signal fire at the top of a mountain so any passing ships will see its smoke and rescue them. The boys use Piggy's glasses to light the fire, but they're careless, and accidentally set part of the forest on fire. The boy who saw the beastie vanishes during the fire and is never seen again.
Time passes. Tensions rise. Ralph becomes frustrated when no one helps him build shelters. Lots of boys goof off, while Jack obsesses about hunting and takes every opportunity to mock Piggy, who is smart but weak. Simon, meanwhile, often wanders off into the forest to meditate. The rivalry between Ralph and Jack erupts when Jack forces the boys who were supposed to watch the signal fire come hunting with him. They kill their first pig, but a ship passes while the signal fire is out, which causes a tremendous argument between Ralph and Jack.
Ralph calls an assembly hoping to set things right. But the meeting soon becomes chaotic as several younger boys talk about the beast. Now even the bigger boys are fearful. That night, after a distant airplane battle, a dead parachutist lands on the mountaintop next to the signal fire. The boys on duty at the fire think it's the beast. Soon Ralph and Jack lead an expedition to search the island for the beast. While searching, they find a rock outcropping that would make a great fort, but no beast. Tempers between the two boys soon flare up, and they climb the mountain in the dark to prove their courage. They spot the shadowy parachutist and think he's the beast.
The next morning, Jack challenges Ralph's authority at an assembly. Ralph wins, but Jack leaves the group, and most of the older boys join him. Jack's tribe paint their faces, hunt, and kill a pig. They then leave its head as an offering to the beast. Simon comes upon the head, and sees that it's the Lord of the Flies —the beast within all men. While Jack invites everyone to come to a feast, Simon climbs the mountain and sees the parachutist. When Simon returns to tell everyone the truth about the "beast," however, the boys at the feast have become a frenzied mob, acting out a ritual killing of a pig. The mob thinks Simon is the beast and kills him.
Jack's tribe moves to the rock fort. They steal Piggy's glasses to make fire. Ralph and his last allies, Piggy and the twins named Samneric , go to get the glasses back. Jack's tribe captures the twins, and a boy named Roger rolls a boulder from the fort that smashes the conch and kills Piggy. The next day the tribe hunts Ralph, setting fire to the forest as they do. He evades them as best he can, and becomes a kind of animal that thinks only of survival and escape. Eventually the boys corner Ralph on the beach where they first set up their society when they crash landed on the island. But the burning jungle has attracted a British Naval ship, and an officer is standing on the shore. The boys stop, stunned, and stare at the man. He jokingly asks if the boys are playing at war, and whether there were any casualties. When Ralph says yes, the officer is shocked and disappointed that English boys would act in such a manner. Ralph starts to cry, and soon the other boys start crying too. The officer, uncomfortable, looks away toward his warship.