The Fall of Innocence in Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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It’s one of the most famous stories to ever exist, the story of how two people changed what defines us as humans. It’s the story of Adam, Eve, a serpent, and the unbecoming of mankind, the Fall of Man. This iconic account has been the premise for many works over the centuries. Today, Lord of the Flies by William Golding is considered one of the most influential novels of our time, not only for its adventurous story of stranded boys on a lost island, but also because of its allegorical tale of the true fault in man’s soul. William Golding leans heavily upon the Biblical account of the Fall of Man to highlight man’s depravity in his novel, Lord of the Flies.

To begin with, Lord of the Flies is set on an untouched, what is perceived as holy, island. This is a parallel to the Garden of Eden which was paradise to Adam and Eve. In the beginning, Adam and Eve are enjoying Eden and taking in all its pure beauty, much like the boys in the novel. Ralph perceives the island as a sort of utopia, as Golding wrote “…he sat back and looked at the water with bright, excited eyes.”. The Garden of Eden was perfect and no evil was in the world at this time, which is also how the island was at the beginning. Again relating to the perfection of the island, Golding says “They accepted the pleasures of morning, the bright sun, the whelming sea and sweet air...” It’s also important to note that Golding when speaking of Ralph says “He undid the snake-clasp of his belt …and stood there naked, looking at the dazzling beach and the water.” This could be an allusion to how Adam and Eve felt no shame in the state of bareness in their pure society. The Garden of Eden was a place of innocence, despite the evil located at its roots. When Adam and Eve were faced ...

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... or rebel and ally with evil? There were simple rules in Eden and on the island. When those few rules were broken, evil took control. Order was collapsed in both societies, and from then on, man became savage.

All in all, Golding’s lean towards the Fall of Man is evident in Lord of the Flies. Adam and Eve’s purity was corrupted by man’s consuming desire, like the boys in the novel. In the end, evil conquered. "Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness in man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.” So why has this novel and the story of Genesis strived through the years? Simply, we, as imperfect humans, can sadly relate to it. We lose our child-like purity, like Ralph. We persecute people who are different than us like Piggy. But most of all, we give into our inner darkness, like Jack. We are the Fall of Man itself.

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