Lord of the Flies Chapter 4 Analysis: Persona and Key Themes

Lord of the Flies Chapter 4

This lesson plan, centered around Chapter 4 of Lord of the Flies, is designed to foster students’ understanding and appreciation of the novel’s complex thematic elements and character development. By engaging in a creative mask-making activity, students will delve into the symbolic representation of themes such as identity transformation and the dichotomy of civilization versus savagery. This artistic endeavor complements the reading and discussion of the chapter, encouraging students to interpret and express the novel’s concepts through visual art. They will explore the significant transformation of characters like Jack and examine how their actions and personas are influenced by the uninhibited environment of the island. This hands-on activity, paired with insightful discussions and reflective writing, aims to provide a multifaceted approach to understanding William Golding’s timeless exploration of human nature.

Learning Goals

  • I will be able to identify and analyze central themes in Lord of the Flies.
  • I will be able to connect character traits and qualities to visual symbols.
  • I will be able to critically engage with the text through reflective writing and discussion.
  • I will be able to articulate the significance of color and symbolism in my creative work.



  1. Review the mask project with students before reading the chapter.
  2. If doing the additional questions, review those with students before reading the chapter.
  3. Read Chapter 4 of Lord of the Flies
  4. Give students time to work on the mask.
  5. Complete the chapter questions, if doing them.

Lord of the Flies Mask Project: Student Instructions

As exhibited in the following passage from Lord of the Flies, Jack begins to embrace a new persona and mentality after carefully applying some paint and charcoal to his face (persona – the aspect of someone’s character that is presented to or perceived by others).

“He knelt, holding the shell of water. A rounded patch of sunlight fell on his face and a brightness appeared in the depths of the water. He looked on in astonishment, no longer at himself but at an awesome stranger. He split the water and leapt to his feet, laughing excitedly. Beside the pool his sinewy body held up a mask that drew their eyes and appalled them. He began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling…the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness. (63-64)

Your task is to create a mask that captures the essence of one of the following: 

  • A central theme from Lord of the Flies like good vs. evil, or the downfall of civilization.
  • The traits and qualities of a character from Lord of the Flies.
  • A mask that depicts the inner-workings of your mind or represents you in many different ways.


  1. Your mask needs to be VERY colorful and VERY neat.
  2. It needs to include several icons (graphic symbols that represent an idea) that represent your universal theme, a character from the novel, or that represent you personally.
  3. The written portion of the mask assignment must include three paragraphs that address the following topics.

A. The icons you chose, what traits those graphics represent, and why those icons represent those particular traits.

B. While wearing the mask, some of the wearer’s traits will get stronger or more obvious while the mask may hide some of that person’s traits completely. Explain which of the traits on your mask make the wearer more powerful and make them act bolder. Also tell us about which traits the wearer may not want anyone to see…and why the wearer may choose to keep those traits hidden.

C. Include explanations about the colors you used. You must do a little research (and provide a link) to determine what your different colors mean.

Marking Criteria (Total: 20 Marks)

Design and Creativity (8 Marks)

  • Colorfulness and Neatness
  • Representation of Theme/Character/Personal Elements

Iconography (6 Marks)

  • Selection and Representation of Icons

Written Component (6 Marks)

  • Explanation of Traits (2 Marks)
  • Effect of Mask on Wearer (2 Marks)
  • Color Significance (2 Marks)

Additional Questions

  1. How has Jack’s character changed since the beginning of the book? Provide examples from Chapter 4 to support your answer.
  2. What role does Ralph play in the group’s dynamics? How does his character contribute to the story’s development?
  3. How does the character of Piggy contribute to the group’s survival? What does his character reveal about the importance of intelligence and rational thinking?
  4. What does the character of Roger reveal about human nature? Provide examples from Chapter 4 to support your answer.
  5. Choose one character from Chapter 4 and describe how their actions and decisions impact the group’s survival. What does their character reveal about the human condition?
  6. What literary devices does the author use to develop the characters in Chapter 4? Provide examples and explain their significance.
  7. Imagine you are a character in Chapter 4. How would you react to the events that take place? What decisions would you make and why?

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