A quiet, brooding member of Jack's chorus. Roger is at first little more than a mystery, a quiet, intense boy who seems to hide himself from the other boys. But as the trappings of civilization begin to recede on the island, Roger begins to reveal himself, first by throwing rocks at littleuns (and purposely missing), then by killing a pig more viciously than necessary, then by rolling a boulder down on Piggy, then by torturing Samneric, and finally by sharpening a stick on which he plans to stake Ralph's head, just as he earlier staked a pig's head. While Jack loves power, Roger loves to cause pain. He symbolizes mankind's sadistic instincts, the suppressed desire to hurt others.
The Lord of the Flies quotes below are all either spoken by Roger or refer to Roger. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of Lord of the Flies published in 2003.).
Chapter 4 Quotes
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.
The timeline below shows where the character Roger appears in Lord of the Flies. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...night. But Jack questions Ralph's courage, and so Ralph agrees to climb right then. Only Roger agrees to accompany them. Halfway up the mountain, Ralph decides it's foolish to go up... (full context)