Religious Themes in Lord Of The Flies Essay
Length: 1267 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)
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Simon, unlike the other boys who completely disregard heir moral behavior the moment civilization is found unable to control them, seems to embody a deep spiritual human overall kindness and hope with a strong connection to the beauty of nature, all of which reveal an undeniable resemblance towards Jesus Christ. Clearly, this resemblance is quite significant because it offers one of many biblical parallels that reveal the lasting desideratum for deliverance. In chapter eight, for example, Simon is shown having a confrontation with the Lord of the Flies which parallels excerpts from the bible with much effectiveness. The Lord of the Flies tempts Simon with the gift of ignorance after revealing the unsettling and shocking truth, manically persuading him to "Get back and forget the whole thing", much like the devil tempting Jesus in Matthew 4:1-4:11 form the bible (143). This demonstrates that Simon resembles Jesus Christ in the sense that their actions and surrounding conflicts are consubstantial. They are neutral and show the everlasting goodness in mankind by not submitting to such temptation. Furthermore, Simon manages to defy the Lord of the Flies as he claims "he" is no more than a "pig's head on a stick", much like Jesus defies the Devil time an time again in Matthew 4:1-11 (143). This displays Simon's deep desire for lack and abstinence of lust, an emotion deeply rooted in the essence of evil.
This newfound and honorable ability to deny what is iniquitous incontestably shows a parallelism between Jesus Christ and Simon. Such an empowering spiritual connection and biblical parallel contribute greatly to the demonstration of the need for salvation that the boys are being overwhelmed with at this time.
Not only does Golding use Simon's undeniable resemblance towards Jesus Christ to show a deep desire for salvation, but he also uses the Lord of the Flies to depict the devil so as to further develop the theme that the island is gradually becoming corrupted. In chapter five, for example, the possibility of the beast being a mere figment of the boy's deluded imaginations springs up when Simon suggests "it's only [them]" (89). This shows that the Lord of the Flies, much like the devil, is poisoning the minds of once innocent young boys and has launched them into barbarian savagery. In a way, he manipulates the boys ad nauseam, making them escalate to the point of being capable to kill and strip the life away form another living being, much like the devil corrupts God's new, untainted world in the bible's Genesis 3:1-3:22. Moreover, as the boys venture on an uncontrolled and completely gruesome hunt in chapter seven, they ponder the suggestion of killing "a littlun" instead of an animal (115). This completely obscene and macabre suggestion form Jack reveals that the idea of such savagery and brutality to the degree of killing an actual human being doesn't discomfort the boys in the least. Furthermore, their reaction to this ludicrous idea, laughing and accepting it as humorous rather than unsettling, shows that the beast has truly stained their minds and prospects of reality, (that moral behavior and ethics are essential to a successful life) filling them with the thought that killing is the absolute definition and assertion of power, a concept much paralleling the beliefs of Satanism and the devil. This depiction of the devil by the Lord of the Flies reveals the deep gashes made in civilization as it becomes consumed with the starvation for salvation.
Without contest, the most significant symbol in this classic and riveting novel is undoubtedly the climax confrontation between Simon and the Lord of the Flies due to its mastery and perfection when it comes establishing a flawless biblical parallel as well as completing the spiritual connection that Golding strives to achieve throughout this novel's entirety. In chapter eight, for example, when this disturbing yet immensely important confrontation occurs, the truth about the notorious beast is revealed as the Lord of the Flies tells Simon that "[he] is the beast" and that to "hunt and kill" him is a completely useless and ridiculous idea to pursue (143). This completes the idea that the boys' worst fears in the form of a pure evil essence are in fact that of their own creation and are therefore unstoppable and immortal. It also demonstrates how far the boys have traveled along the moral spectrum since losing civilization, from drinking from the fountain of order to basking in the ocean of fear. This alludes to the very real concepts expressed in Catholicism; that one is ruled by their internal emotions, it is their choices that judge them damned or worthy of forgiveness. Additionally, the Lord of the Flies reminds Simon that "there isn't anyone to help [them]" (143). This shows that, now that any attempts at a new civilization have crumbled in defeat, savagery, symbolizing the evil essence, will rule; much like the book of revelation of the bible in which "The Beast" reigns in the absence of salvation. The Lord of the Flies rules with such corruption, controlling the boy's actions and bestowing savage and inhumane instincts upon them, just as the manner in which humans carry out actions out of pure hatred and gluttony for putrescence. This confrontation with Simon and the Lord of the Flies shows the manner in which the evil essence overwhelms the human spirit and slowly but surly obliterates an untainted society, bringing forth a prodigious yearning and need for amity and the extrication from obscurity.
Although one may concede that spiritual elements, such as a strong resemblance when comparing Simon to Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Flies depicting the devil, and Simon's confrontation with the Lord of the Flies, overall weaken and cause confusion, when misinterpreted, for the meaning of William Golding's Lord of the Flies; the biblical parallels and potent spiritual connection reveal depth as well as a timeless message of the lasting need for salvation in a society being slowly corrupted. Biblical parallels contribute to the novel's spiritual impact on the reader and make it allegorical. Spiritual connections, such as a congruency when comparing significant characters and confrontations to biblical conflicts and figures, grant Lord of the Flies the ability to be interpreted in a variety of ways, giving its lasting overall theme the exacting power to transcend time as well as generations. The lasting need for salvation throughout the novel awards it a spectrum of deep emotions and contributes to the desperation as the battle between the impulses for civilization and savagery continues.