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The Religion of Man Essay

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The religion of man
“Religion is not something separate and apart from ordinary life. It is life -- life of every kind viewed from the standpoint of meaning and purpose: life lived in the fuller awareness of its human quality and spiritual significance.” (A. Powell Davies). At the very heart of man, there is religion; it lies within our morals, our actions, and our very minds and desires. William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies is a very symbolically heavy piece. The book can be interpreted in many ways. The most common allegories associated with this novel are: political, Freudian psychological, and religious. I believe that out of the three, lord of the flies can best be read as a religious allegory, because of its biblical parallels and symbols. In order to establish a religious allegory a piece must have at least two of these three concepts: a holy figure, a demonic figure, or a theme that mirrors a biblical story. Lord of the flies happens to contain all three of these three key concepts.
The first and most prominent of these is the holy or Christ like figure in the book. Simon is an altruistic boy who is thought of as queer and peculiar. Out of all the boys on the island, Simon is the only one who seems to genuinely care about the “littluns”. “Simon [finds] for them fruit they could not reach” (Golding 72). And, instead of going off to play, spends his time “[working] all day with [Ralph]” on shelters for the smaller boys on the island. (61). Not only is Simon compassionate like Jesus but he also has a very similar and symbolic death. Within the novel Simon has a very peaceful garden like spot that he goes to be alone; However, this spot is poisoned by jacks offering to the “Beast”, a sow’s head on a stake that is labele...


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...tical to that of Cain and Abel. And their stories are very similar. The congruence between them provides us with our biblical parallel solidifies our religious allegory.
When we take into consideration the satanic and holy figures and the biblical parallel in the lord of the flies we can come to the conclusion the lord of the flies can best be read as a religious allegory. The symbolism of the snake and the sow’s head on a stake, and the garden-of-Eden like island, combined with the Christ like character portrayed by Simon added to the Cain and Abel relationship between jack and Ralph, the lord of the flies is flawlessly a perfect example of a religious allegory. Although if we look hard enough we can find religion in all stories; Religion is life. If we choose to view life with purpose and meaning then we will soon be able to see religion in all aspects of life.


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