practice essay

  1. Describe an incident that changes the course of events in the written text(s). Explain how this change helped you to understand an important idea.

In the novel, Lord of the flies, by William Golding, the incident of Simons death and his conversation with the Pigs Head On The Stick, sparked the rapid spiral into savagery and altered the course of events for the rest of the novel. It also helped us to understand the idea of the role that structure and civilization plays in the world today. Golding links the incident to the idea which he is conveying to communicate to us that without the restrictions and structure in place in our world today, the human race would quickly descend into our original nature of savagery.

The important incident which changed the course of events was Simons conversation with the Lord of the Flies and his death following that. The incident is a corner in the book as it is the first time which Golding spells out the irony of the beast and we are left with dramatic irony throughout the rest of the novel. Simon, one of the older boys on the island, and the notably smarter of the group, ventures in the jungle covering the island alone. He stumbles across a clearing and watches as Jack and his hunters chase and kill an injured pig within an unsatisfiable blood lust lingering in their eyes. Their “urge to twist and kill was over-mastering” and Simon watched as they smeared the blood of their kill on their faces, indulging in their victim. This is a small sign by Golding of blood and violence which follows the boy’s death. Simon falls into a delusional trance and begins to have an imaginary conversation with the Pig Head that the hunters left as a gift for “the beast”. It refers to itself as “the Lord of the Flies”. This is a deliberate insight from Golding as the Lord of the Flies also known as Beelzebub, means the devil. The devil which is only a fragment of the boy’s imagination yet their whole way of life and actions are determined by the fear and domination the devil in their minds has upon them. Simon realizes this as he says “Maybe there’s a beast… Maybe it’s only us”. Yet despite Simons new-found knowledge, when he rushes out of the jungle to share this with the rest of the boys, he interrupts them as they feast on rich meat and dance around the fire. They mistake him as the beast running at them in a brutal attack and proceed to kill him mercilessly. In this deadly incident of cruelty, the irony that Simon figured out the problem of the beast and yet he literally became the beast. “Fancy thinking the beast was something you could hunt and kill” was the words of the Lord of the Flies only moments before Simons death where he became the beast in the boy’s eyes and yet he was killed with no mercy. The boys never heard what he was going to tell them, so as a reader, we are left knowing what is causing the havoc on the island but are left to watch in suspense and the boys live in the dark from their own situation. This technique used by Golding is mimicking his own situation as many others of the time, in the dark, not knowing if he would live to be old or die in a nuclear attack of the Cold War. This incident not only causes a dramatic change in events which alters the course of events throughout the rest of the book, it gives us further insight into Golding’s state of mind at the time of the writing.

The incident of Simons conversation with the Lord of the Flies and his death following that helped us further understand Golding’s overall idea of humans original nature of savagery and without the boundaries of modern society, the human race would quickly descend into a race of violence and anarchy. Golding is using the boys as an Allegory of the larger outside world and he uses the small sconces and the characters to portray larger effects of the small actions the boys perform on Golding’s small stage of the world. The death of Simon, the intelligent and insightful character, developed by Golding, shows the “end of innocence” and the beginning of the “darkness of man’s heart” awakening in the boys. The boys on the island “did everything the adults would do” yet it still “went wrong”. They tried to establish a small-scale civilization but they quickly overruled the little rules which they had to roam as units of savages, killing and shedding all prior civilized properties they once had. Golding is intervening the Allegory of the boys on the island as a small-scale world to mimic the effects that the lack of rules would play havoc in our larger scale world. The death of Simon marks the beginning of the spiral into savagery for the boys and without any consequences of their actions, the boys fall deeper still into a world where murder and violence are accepted and almost becomes a day-to-day occurrence. Golding is also using Simons character to represent everything that is logical and sensible on the island and in the world. When he is killed, all that he means and does in the small society of the boys dies with him. When they first arrive on the island, Ralph becomes the chief and uses the conch to get attention but before long, the boys begin to challenge to authority and with ramifications of their actions, power slips out from under Ralph and the conch. This is seen in many situations in the real world, where power-hungry dominants have caused an uprising against them by their people.

I believe that Golding’s purpose with his novel, Lord of the Flies, was to create a story which a reader would follow along and place themselves in the desperate situation faced by the boys to try to warn the human race that they could easily be facing a race of ravished savages once known as humankind if we proceeded to disregard our rules and structure.

In conclusion, the important incident of Simons discovery and death unleash a deadly chain of events which help gives us as a reader further insight into Golding’s intentions with the novel and help us grasp the overall Allegory that without the structured civilization of today, human race would follow in the footsteps of the boys into a life of violence and savagery. The novel was written at a highly tense and nervous time in the worlds history, the two new formed superpowers of the world, and holders of mass destruction nuclear weapons, USA and the USSR were at each others throats. Golding, in concern of another war with the capacity to ruin the world, expressed his deep feelings of anticipation and anger for the world but placing the boys on the island as an Allegory of the outside world. As the boys fell into anarchy, he feared the world would follow not far behind. I believe that Golding was trying to warn the human race of the shortcomings and destruction another war would have on us, he uses characters to represent the personality types which lead to the disagreements in the world, and the course of events to portray how much influence a small incident can have on the rest of society.










Repetition and adjectives.

In the paragraph, golding is expressing the idea that human’s original nature of urge for power and control is still very much present in people today. Henry is fascinated by the small creatures in front of him and becomes absorbed in the dominance he has over them. The repetition of them in the sentence,” destination talked to them, urging them, ordering them” shows the distinction of being different to the creatures. Referring to “them” as a higher being in control of the group in front.


“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.”

“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.”

“The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.”

“We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?”

“Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!”

“The rules!” shouted Ralph, “you’re breaking the rules!”
“Who cares?”

“The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering.”


Reading Response 6 – Poem.

“On His Blindness” by John Milton (1608-1674)

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

The poem by John Milton addresses the shortcomings and limitations one experiences in life. Everybody experiences them and the author has the perfect example, he is blind. Before he was blind, Milton rose to the top position as an English writer then became blind and descended all the way into a state where he was unable to read and write.

The poem is made by the way that Milton transcribes the misery he feels onto the page with imagery. First of all, he frames himself not as a miserable individual but a failed servant to God. Milton expresses his views of God entwined with his feelings of misery. As people, we all suffer from losses and setbacks but it is how we react that shows the person we really are. Setbacks can influence very important things, for example, an injury which causes you to miss out of your sports season or a bad result in an exam meaning you miss out on a class. Although it has the immediate cause of a missed opportunity, you can just as easily turn it around and use it to your advantage. Learning from mistakes and bad situations can help prepare you for future situations and give you valuable initiative. The lesson readers should take away from this is that everybody has setbacks but it can be turned around and used to my our advantage. This is seen in the novel “All the light we cannot see” where Marie Laure suffers the same problem of being blind but she uses this to her own advantage.

Although it is all well and good to get over your struggles and rise up from the occasion, in the poem, Milton does not speak as if he has risen up from his experience on the contrary, he has been left in a pit of misery, beaten by his situation which suggests he lacks the mental stamina to beat his own mind.


Reading Response 5 – Film.

The Shawshank Redemption.

Written and directed by Frank Darabont.

Released 22 September 1994.

I would never have thought that a movie about murder, rape, injustice, and corruption would leave me with a sense of satisfaction and warmth such as The Shawshank Redemption left me. The Shawshank Redemption was voted the best movie of all time and become the highest rated movie on IMDB with over 1.4 million votes. It is a story of a falsely convicted murderer by the name of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) who was sentenced to two life sentences for a crime he did not commit. Throughout the film, Andy Dufresne manipulated the corruption of the prison and bides his years tunneling through the wall of his cell to “keep his mind occupied”. When Andy finally escapes the prison and exposes the corrupt warden and guards, you are filled pride and warmth for Andy’s noble actions. Despite being wrongly imprisoned by the justice system, he uses it to bring real justice to the corruption at Shawshank Prison.

The film brings forth the flaws in our justice system today and expresses this through irony. The extended irony through the film is the fact that Andy is innocent, yet he has to suffer all of the negative events in his life because of the justice system but at the end of the film, he manipulates the justice system as it manipulated him. The guards and warden becoming corrupt shows how easily some can become power craving and self-centered and only care for themselves with only the slightest taste of power.  This is very relevant to the modern world we live in and in the society that such people exist and do in-humane things for power and wealth. Corrupt governments are scattered across the world and obsess over power and money over their own citizens. While it’s a very different story, I found connections between the struggle for authority and power in the boys of the island in Lord Of The Flies to the corrupt staff at Shawshank Prison.

Another highlighted idea in The Shawshank Redemption is the idea of wrongful imprisonment. Andy is wrongly imprisoned through lack of legitimate evidence and basically, loses his life for a crime he did not commit. An example in the real world of this happening is Gerry Colon. Gerry was accused of being part of the IRA who was responsible for the Guildford Bombing in the U.K and killing five people in 1974. He suffered years of torture and imprisonment before new evidence surfaced proving his innocence. Recent statistics state, “The U.S., which leads the world in the incarceration of its citizens, has approximately 2 million people behind bars. That means a wrongful conviction rate of 1 percent would translate to 20,000 people punished for crimes they didn’t commit. On death row, 1 in 25 is likely innocent, according to a recent study.” These statistics show that anyone at any one time could be convicted of a crime they did not commit and if nothing is done about this issue more and more innocent people will have their lives taken away by the justice system. I’ve been brought up to respect the justice system and I still believe that it plays a vital role in our society however the film has undermined my complete unquestioning trust as I had never considered that people would suffer for a crime they did not commit.

The film is also very interesting because it uses the other perspective of Red ( Morgan Freeman ) to give us further insight into Andy Dufresne’s personality. Red articulates his feelings and thoughts on Andy Dufresne right from when he first got off the bus and Red and the other prisoners, made bets upon which new convict would break down that night. He continues to commentate Andy’s life all the way through to when they both are out of prison and are leaving to reconnect again after Andy’s escape. This brings another element to the film and builds a deeper emotional bond to Andy as a person as he is not a particularly effusive character.

The techniques and ideas used in the film help to bring you closer to the characters and connect with Andy Dufresne’s predicament. Overall it was very interesting to watch how Andy Dufresne dealt with his problems and how he not only dealt with the extremely unfortunate mistake but managed to use it to his advantage.

Reading Response 4 – Poem.

A Chance of Hope

On a road traveled, overgrown with time

Now a footpath memory, of bittersweet pines

The sign, with a smile, marks a turn, taken

Leading down to a tree, where first love was forsaken

A raging river of life, which flowed unbridled

Reduced to a stream, narrowing and idle

Where seeds of love, were sewn to the winds

Now echoes of lovers, reverberate within

Hallowed ground for a heart, with unbearable wounds

Once a cradle of love, now a visited tomb

Like a miner for gold, panning sands of time

With unstoppable tears, of melancholic brine

As the sun breaks through, the glint of a shard

Glitters in the light, like a twinkling star

Suddenly as despondency is relieved by hope

Panning faster, more appear, thawing love with a jolt

The stream rises and rushes, in response to the melt

Flowers bloom, birds sing, as new warmth is felt

Standing and smiling, pocketing the gold

Returns to reality and hopes love will grow

I read the poem, A Chance of Hope by Daniel Turner, and I interpreted the poem as he is exploring the idea of hope and its role in our lives. In the poem, Daniel uses rhyme and imagery to bring across the idea that without hope, all the wonderful things in our lives could not be brung about. Hope plays an important role in our lives and the way we live them. We live with expectancy and in bad situations, we can be “relieved by hope” that we can recover and learn from our mistakes. Turner is mainly exploring the idea of hope and love and how they intertwine to create a “ new warmth” of a relationship. I believe that hope is interconnected with every part in our lives and I have experienced the power of hope very frequently. In a recent sporting event, I took part in, I was competing with a good friend in a ski to bike race from the top of Cardrona to the bottom. I had not trained for the event but as a past time, I bike almost every day. I went into the race hoping and believing I could do well and came out with 2nd. This could be expanded to the larger world on a larger scale. A combination of training, hard work, and preparation mixed with hope and self-belief are the winning attributes in any discipline. Relating back to the ideas expressed by Turner in the poem, Love and hope are tightly interlocked as all you can do are be your own person and hope that you liked for who you are.

Another strong theme apparent to me in this poem is the idea of the natural cycle of life, ups and downs, twists and turns, experienced by everyone. The poem starts with positive imagery of “bittersweet pines The sign, with a smile, marks a turn” which gradually descends into an increasingly negative space, with “unstoppable tears”, at rock bottom, only to rise again towards a brighter future. This captures the emotional rhythm of life and the changeable world experienced by humankind. Turner uses the striking images of nature to express his inner feelings, taking the reader along on his journey. This creates a symbolic experience of deeper meaning with the hope being the powerful undercurrent that pulls Turner through. The use of nature to capture and communicate emotional meaning can also be seen in ‘Sixteen Trees of Somme’  where the author uses wood as an analogy to express a deeper meaning.

Reading Response 3 – Extended Text.

Script Publication, Fantasy

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Author J.K Rowling

The latest story of Harry Potter is a tale of bravery, redemption and time travel. Albus Potter is a young wizard who is the son of the great Harry Potter. Although for Albus this is no honor, he wants nothing more than to be a normal wizard. As for adventure, it beckons him, just as it did his father. Along with being in the vast shadow of his father accomplishments, he feels the weight of those who have fallen at Harry’s expensive. Albus and his closet friend Scorpius will learn the hard way what happens when you mess with time.

An extremely relatable problem that Albus faces is the complications that come with friendship. When Albus first boards the Hogwarts Express, his destiny is changed forever when he meets Scorpius. Scorpius is the son of Draco Malfoy, but there are rumors that he may have a different origin. Some say that before the dark lord fell he created a child and rumor has it that Scorpius is that child. Although Albus is not bothered by this accusation, Harry is torn between ruining his son’s first real friendship and protecting him from his horrible past. Another friendship incident in the book which is very impactful to the story is Delphi’s betrayal. Albus and Scorpius trust her to guide them into the past and believe that she has good intentions only to have their trust thrown away and the dark lord almost return. Friendship is an invisible rope which holds us together. All through the previous books Harry and his friends scrape at the edges of death and are pulled through by the tight-rope of their friendship. There are millions of friendships across the globe, and this drama has taught me that no matter how hard it becomes, a good friend is something to fight for as they do not come along every day. I have faced hard times were just having the support of a good friend has helped me get through it.

A significant theme throughout the book which helped me create a connection to the character of Albus, and I found myself reliving his actions in my own life, was the idea of expectation.  Although the expectation is usually intended as a good thing, sometimes the pressure can result in failure. Albus experienced this throughout the script, as he is laden with reputations of the Potter name to fulfill.  Albus is plied with expectations and in the end, it becomes too much.  He fails the ultimate test when he is sorted into Slytherin House, the disbelief is felt by everyone including the reader, as Albus becomes the first one in his family to enter Slytherin. The bad decisions that Albus makes, are in my opinion forced by his need to belong and the weight of broken expectations on his shoulders.  This causes self-doubt which spirals him into rebellion in an attempt to earn his worth.  This is relatable to younger modern readers who constantly face the high expectations of their parents, in and out of their school lives. I have experienced self-doubt and the weight of expectations before entering my mock exams which I had to spend hours preparing for and was expected to perform at a high level. This culminated in me freezing up in one particular important exam, as the pressure of doing well overwhelmed me and ultimately resulted in an unsatisfactory result. Expectation can be a positive force that encourages you to believe in yourself as well to set high personal aspirations. This reminds me of the novel Sixteen Trees of Somme set in Norway. It is a story of an orphan coming of age and going on a journey of self-exploration to discover his inner person and his place in the world just as Albus did in the Cursed Child.