“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.”
“The greatest ideas are the simplest.”
“We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?”
“I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been.”
“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 what they are?”
“What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?”
“If faces were different when lit from above or below -- what was a face? What was anything?”
“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.”
“The world, that understandable and lawful world, was slipping away.”
“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.”
“They looked at each other, baffled, in love and hate.”
“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 mans heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.”
“The mask was a thing on it's own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-conciousness.”
“Which is better--to have laws and agree, or to hunt and kill?”
“Maybe," he said hesitantly, "maybe there is a beast." [...] "What I mean is, maybe it's only us.”
“They walked along, two continents of experience and feeling unable to communicate.”
“Towards midnight the rain ceased and the clouds drifted away, so that the sky was scattered once more with the incredible lamps of stars. Then the breeze died too and there was no noise save the drip and tickle of water that ran out of clefts and spilled down, leaf by leaf, to the brown earth of the island. The air was cool, moist, and clear; and presently even the sound of the water was still. The beast lay huddled on the pale beach and the stains spread, inch by inch.
The edge of the lagoon became a streak of phosphorescence which advanced minutely, as the great wave of the tide flowed. The clear water mirrored the clear sky and the angular bright constellations. The line of phosphorescence bulged about the sand grains and little pebbles; it held them each in a dimple of tension, then suddenly accepted them with an inaudible syllable and moved on.
Along the shoreward edge of the shallows the advancing clearness was full of strange, moonbeam-bodied creatures with fiery eyes. Here and there a larger pebble clung to its own air and was covered with a coat of pearls. The tide swelled in over the rain-pitted sand and smoothed everything with a layer of silver. Now it touched the first of the stains that seeped from the broken body and the creatures made a moving patch of light as they gathered at the edge. The water rose further and dressed Simon's coarse hair with brightness. The line of his cheek silvered and the turn of his shoulder became sculptured marble. The strange, attendant creatures, with their fiery eyes and trailing vapours busied themselves round his head. The body lifted a fraction of an inch from the sand and a bubble of air escaped from the mouth with a wet plop. Then it turned gently in the water.
Somewhere over the darkened curve of the world the sun and moon were pulling; and the film of water on the earth planet was held, bulging slightly on one side while the solid core turned. The great wave of the tide moved further along the island and the water lifted. Softly, surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures, itself a silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations, Simon's dead body moved out towards the open sea.”
“The rules!" shouted Ralph, "you're breaking the rules!"
“I know there isn't no beast—not with claws and all that, I mean—but I know there isn't no fear, either."
Ralph moved restlessly.
"Unless we get frightened of people.”
“There have been so many interpretations of the story that I'm not going to choose between them. Make your own choice. They contradict each other, the various choices. The only choice that really matters, the only interpretation of the story, if you want one, is your own. Not your teacher's, not your professor's, not mine, not a critic's, not some authority's. The only thing that matters is, first, the experience of being in the story, moving through it. Then any interpretation you like. If it's yours, then that's the right one, because what's in a book is not what an author thought he put into it, it's what the reader gets out of it.”
“He lost himself in a maze of thoughts that were rendered vague by his lack of words to express them. Frowning, he tried again.”
“the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist.”
“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.”
“Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood.”
“What I mean is... maybe it's only us...”
“I'm scared of him," said Piggy, "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...”
“My head cleared enough to realize she was talking to me slowly as if I was an unbalanced, crazy person, which was smart because I was an unbalanced, crazy person.”
“The Christian Gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.”
“But when a place has been an island the memory of water lingers, and of water magic, no matter how far away the sea may be, or how long ago it fell away. And”
“Even if we take Nietzsche figuratively (which he would have much preferred anyway), fifty years of research on stress shows that stressors are generally bad for people,3 contributing to depression, anxiety disorders, and heart disease.”
“What we have in life that we can count on is who we are and where we come from, she thought absently. For better or worse, that is what we have to sustain us in our endevors, to buttress us in our darker moments, and to remind us of our identity. Without those things, we are adrift.”
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