The Lord Of The Flies: Themes

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The Lord of the Flies: Themes The world had witnessed the atrocities of World War II and began to examine the defects of their social ethics. Man's purity and innocence was gone. Man's ability to remain civilized was faltering. This change of attitude was extremely evident in the literature of the age. Writers, who through the use of clever symbolism, mocked the tragedy of man's fate. One such writer was William Golding. An author who has seen the destruction of war and despises its inevitable return. Through the use of innocent and untainted children, Golding illustrates how man is doomed by his own instinct. The novel is called Lord of the Flies, and is of extreme importance to help reconstruct the current wave of revolutionary ideas that swept the twentieth-century generation. Lord of the Flies portrays the belief of the age that man is in a constant struggle between darkness and light, the defects of human nature, and a philosophical pessimism that seals the fate of man. Golding's work are, due to their rigid structure and style, are interpreted in many different ways. Its unique style is different from the contemporary thought and therefor open for criticism. The struggle between darkness and light is a major theme in all the works of William Golding. Strong examples of this are found throughout Lord of the Flies. The most obvious is the struggle between Ralph and Jack. The characters themselves have been heavily influenced by the war. Ralph is the representative of Democracy. Elected as the leader he and Piggy his companion keep order and maintain a civilized government. The strength of Ralph's character was supported by the power of World War II. Jack, on the other hand, represents authoritarianism. He rules as a dictator and is the exact opposite of Ralph. Jack is exemplifying the Hitler's and Mussolini's of the world. He is what the world fears and yet follows. This struggle is born at the very beginning and escalates till the very end. The struggle in the book is a negative outlook on life in the future. One other example is the debate over the existence of the beast. The idea of a beast brings all into a state of chaotic excitement in which Ralph and Piggy lose control. Ralph and especially Piggy try to convince everyone that there is no such thing as a beast to maintain order. Jack an... ... middle of paper ... ...he war-paint and sticks of Jack and his followers. He too is chasing men in order to kill, and the dirty children mock the absurd civilized attempt to hide the power of evil. And so when Ralph weeps for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the death of his true wise friend, Piggy, he weeps for all the human race." (Cox 164) Such a tragic view of the future of mankind and their nature is a perfect window for people to understand how the impact of the war made the world rethink its ethics and how life was thought of as a punishment in the extreme sense and that there was no hope for the future except fear. This view has since changed but not greatly as one would imagine. The basic ideas are still their and modern society may still relate to this novel. The interpretation may not be exact but from now on mankind will always weep for " the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and" the most disturbing" for all the human race."
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