Evaluation Of The Lord Of The Flies Essay

Evaluation Of The Lord Of The Flies Essay

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Evaluation of The Lord of the Flies

     Lord of the Flies is a 202 page long adventure story written by William
Golding in 1954 about a number of boys marooned on a tropical island and left to
fend for themselves. While on the island, they discover quite a bit of evil
within themselves.
     A few years after World War 2, a planeful of boys as young as 5 or 6
but most no older than 11 or 12 crashes near an uninhabited tropical island. As
soon as they land, one of the eldest assumes leadership of the others, but not
before befriending an overweight, asthmatic boy nicknamed Piggy. Ralph takes
control of the boys and organizes a small expedition up the mountain. He meets
Jack Merridew, the chief antagonist. Jack is then a leader of choir boys, but
will soon turn into a leader of savages. On the mountain, Jack hunts but does
not kill a pig. He vows to kill it the next time. On their return, Ralph holds
an informational meeting and informs the boys that they will be safe, but that
they must start a signal fire and set up temporary shelters until help can be
found. A rumour of a beast is heard, but is quickly discounted as a nightmare.
It will later be a major theme in the book. On the mountain, fire is created,
but only through the use of Piggy's glasses. After Jack goes off to hunt and
comes back, Ralph discusses the problems of people not working with Jack. Simon
goes into the jungle alone and contemplates. The boys become used to the daily
tasks on the island. The small children play all the time while the older ones
do most of the work. The first flash of Jack's future warrior/hunter position as
leader is shown as he comes back to camp with his face painted. A ship is
spotted, but they find that the signal fire on the mountain has gone out, and
the ship passes them by. Jack finally kills a pig, but Piggy criticizes him. In
return, Jack slaps Piggy and breaks one of the lenses on his glasses. Ralph
warns Jack to stop this destructive behaviour. Jack starts roasting the pig he
had killed earlier. Jack does not initially give Ralph any food, but he does
finally get some. Ralph calls an assembly after the feast. He verbally attacks
all the boys for their neglect for the daily tasks that must be completed such
as building shelters and keeping the fire lit. The fear of the beast grows even
larger. Piggy begins t...

... middle of paper ...

... government and rules must be carefully imposed to
preserve order, like Hobbes, I would also be interested in knowing what his
other philosophical positions were as he wrote this novel. Finally, I would be
interested in knowing what particular event he witnessed or was part of in real
life drove him to write this book. Could it have been an experience he had in
World War II? What could have been so bad as to inspire a book of this
passionate intensity?
     Although I disagree with Golding's view of the world as basically evil,
his book is certainly a good argument for that position. It shockingly reveals
that none have innocence and even the best among us can be brought down to a
near-beast state, as even Ralph was by the end of the book, consigned to
mindless running from the evil. I find it interesting how Golding made the Beast,
the Lord of the Flies, the apparent evil in this book and the focus of the
hunter's search, but in fact the Beast is the hunters themselves and the evil
they represent. I think that although the brutality in the book may be a bit
much for some, I do not think that Golding would have been able to get his point
across without it.

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