Lord of the Flies

Satisfactory Essays
Lord of the Flies

Man must have rules in order to control his savage side. William Golding brings out this theme in the novel Lord of the Flies. When you first read Lord of the Flies you may think it is merely a simple adventure story of boys on a deserted island. But if you take a deeper look into it and consider the statement above you will see that this book is also an attempt to trace the defects of civilization back to the defects of human nature.

There are many characters in the story that help prove how man must have rules in order to control his savage side. Ralph is the chief and he represents civilization and its parliaments. Piggy is Ralph’s brain trust and an intellectual. Both Ralph and Piggy represent the struggle for order and democracy. Jack is the spark of wildness that burns hot and close to the surface, which later conflicts with Ralph. From the very beginning Jack seems to harbor emotions of anger and savagery. Simon has them most positive outlook out of all of the characters and is a “Christ figure.” He is good and pure and insists that they will be rescued. Roger represents pure evil and wrongness. He gets pleasure in torturing pigs and was the first one to intentionally kill another boy when he smashed Piggy with a boulder. Sam and Eric are the twins that do everything together.

They represent unity and reliance. Later in the story they reveal Ralph’s hiding place to Jack because the loss of civilization led them to lose any real sense of loyalty to others. These characters assist in showing how the theme is brought out.

There are also many symbols in the novel. The conch represents rules, civilization, democracy and order. Piggy’s glasses represent clear-sightedness and intelligence. The state of the glasses represents the status of social order. When they break it marks the progressive decay of rational influence. The island represents the world. The “scar” represents man’s destruction. The Lord of the Flies represents the Devil and the great danger or evil. The killing of the sow and the hunting of pigs are accomplished in terms of sexual intercourse. The beast that the “littleuns” are afraid of is created by the emotions that all of the boys on the island are experiencing. The beast represents the evil residing within everyone and the dark side of human nature.
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