Literary Analysis

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“Often fear of one evil leads us into a worse”(Despreaux). Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux is saying that fear consumes oneself and often times results in a worse fate. William Golding shares a similar viewpoint in his novel Lord of the Flies. A group of boys devastatingly land on a deserted island. Ralph and his friend Piggy form a group. Slowly, they become increasingly fearful. Then a boy named Jack rebels and forms his own tribe with a few boys such as Roger and Bill. Many things such as their environment, personalities and their own minds contribute to their change. Eventually, many of the boys revert to their inherently evil nature and become savage and only two boys remain civilized. The boys deal with many trials, including each other, and true colors show. In the end they are being rescued, but too much is lost. Their innocence is forever lost along with the lives Simon, a peaceful boy, and an intelligent boy, Piggy. Throughout the novel, Golding uses symbolism and characterization to show that savagery and evil are a direct effect of fear.
Initially, the boys carry on about in a civilized, systematic and fearless manner when first landing on the island. Ralph has just blown the conch and some small children responded to the sound by gathering at the source of the sound. Piggy is asking for their names. "The children gave him the same simple obedience that they had given to the man with megaphones"(Golding 18).The younger kids simply obey and respond to Piggy in the same way they would to an authoritative figure. The children's behavior towards piggy shows that they are still governed by civility and order. Furthermore, after blowing the conch, Ralph sees a group of boys walking in two parallel lines dressed in odd clothes. “T...

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...tate they are in is being caused by the beast, a symbol of fear. The barbaric way the boys attacked Simon without a moment of restraint shows that the beast had summoned their inner evil, primal, and savage minds. All of the boys but Simon are becoming the beast in that moment.
In Lord of the Flies, Golding proves that fear draws out man’s inner evil and barbarism. Within the novel, Golding uses characterization of the boys and symbolism of the beast to show the gradual change from their initial civility to savagery and inhumanity. Learned civility, order and humanity become ultimately futile in the face of fear. The author teaches that without logic, fear consumes endlessly. He shows that fear clouds the mind, thus making it absolutely imperative to maintain reason and logic throughout life. Fear will always end in a fate worse than death for those who survive it.
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