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Struggle Between Good and Evil in William Golding's Lord of the Flies Essay examples

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The Struggle Between Good and Evil in William Golding's Lord of the Flies


    Evil is not an external force controlled by the devil, but rather the potential for evil resides within each person. Man has the potential to exhibit great kindness or to rape and pillage. In the novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding deals with this evil that exists in the heart of man. With his mastery of such literary tool as structure, syntax, diction, point of view and presentation of character, Golding allows the reader to easily identify with each character and explore the novel's main theme, the constant internal struggle between the forces of good and evil.

            Golding's novel has a "remarkably complete and solid structure"(Kinkead-Weekes 15). With the exception of Ralf's dream, Golding' novel follows chronological order. It begins with the boys' arrival on the island. Through the chapters one to four, the tension rises between Jack and Ralf, the two leaders. The crisis is reached in chapter five, "Beast from Water", when Simon comes face to face with the personification of evil, the Lord of the Flies. The tension mounts continually as the story unfolds for "the structure and technique of Lord of the Flies is one of revelation" (Kinkead-Weekes 22). The climax is reached shortly after the shattering of the conch and Piggy's death, when the boys attempt to kill Ralf. After this the story quickly comes to an end with the arrival of the naval officer. Thus the story follows the relatively common path of exposition, rising action, crisis, climax and falling action.

            Golding's skilful use of syntax is also quite common. He uses long periodic sentences when describing of the peaceful coral island, shadowed wit...


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...at "a clearly focused and coherent body of meaning [is] crystallizing out of every episode" (Kinkead-Weekes and Gregor 15). Lord of the Flies enables the reader to comprehend that the "devil rises, not out of pirates and cannibals and such alien creatures, but out of the darkness of man's heart" (Hynes 16).

Works Cited.

Baker, James R. "Why It's No Go." Critical Essays on William Golding. Ed. James R. Baker. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1988.

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. London: Faber and Faber, 1958.

Hynes, Samuel. "William Golding's Lord of the Flies." Critical Essays on William Golding. Ed. James R. Baker. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1988.

Kinkead-Weekes, Mark, and Ian Gregor. William Golding: a critical study. London: Faber and Faber, 1967.

Moody, Philippa. Golding: Lord of the Flies, a critical commentary. London: Macmillan, 1964.


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