Essay about The Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Essay about The Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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At the beginning of World War II, a group of British schoolboys are loaded onto an airplane to evacuate them to safety, but after their plane is shot down, they end up on a desert island – but it’s not such a bad thing, at first. They crash-land on a warm beach on a sunny day on a seemingly perfect atoll. No one is injured. There is plenty of fruit to go around, pigs run wild in the lush jungle setting of the island, and there is a lagoon surrounded by a reef with water “warmer…than blood (Golding 12).” And the most lucrative and exciting part for the schoolboys is that there are no grownups on the island (Golding 8). At first, being stranded on an uninhabited, tropical islet might sound fun. In the fictional novel, The Lord of the Flies by William Golding, however, Golding seeks to “trace the defects of society through the defects in human nature (Epstein 204).” Shortly after arriving, things start to go wrong. Talk of a “beastie” that emerges from the forest or from the ocean at night gives everyone a scare. Then, the group starts to break up, and power goes to the heads of the ‘biguns’ who claim to be leaders. Abruptly, wild urges turn to the murders of two unfortunate boys. The seemingly perfect island turns into a battleground where two “leaders” – the oldest boys of the group – fight for power, and where almost all of the boys turn from innocent children into impulse-driven, sadistic savages. It is an island where the boys are far from ‘safe.’

When the boys first arrive on the island, they attempt to maintain their civilization and abide by the British social norm. Slowly, however, civilization begins to slip away and most of the boys begin to embrace savagery, and as fear sweeps over the island, so does tyranny and rebel...


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...hemselves. Finally, the final event that marks the completion of the transition into savagery transpires when the group of boys kill Simon. These powerful moments in The Lord of the Flies allow William Golding to “trace the defects in society through the defects in human nature (Epstein 204)” and shows us that all of us can be savages, too.



Works Cited

Epstein, Edmund L. "Notes on Lord of the Flies." Afterword. Lord of the Flies: A Novel. New York: Perigee, 1954. 203-08. Print.
"Freud, Sigmund." Science in the Early Twentieth Century: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2005. Credo Reference. Web. 12 Jan. 2014. .
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies: A Novel. New York: Perigee, 1954. Print.
"Sigmund Freud." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 01 Nov. 2013. Web. 12 Jan. 2014.

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