INTELLIGENCE, CIVILIZATION, AND INSTINCTS
Often times, authors use characters in their novels and stories as symbols. The characters may be symbolic of the tangible as well as the non-tangible. In addition, characters can often be looked at with a psychological approach to literature in order to better determine or understand their symbolic significance. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, special symbolic significance may be found in the characters, Piggy, Ralph, and Jack.
Piggy, the heavy, asthmatic, nearsighted boy, was often teased and ridiculed, however Golding made it obvious to the reader that Piggy was indeed the super ego. Piggy symbolizes all the hate and discrimination in the world. If it was not for Piggy’s bizarre appearance, he may have been made ruler of the island, and he certainly was the most suited for the job. He also symbolizes intelligence. He was analogous to sanity and reason. “Piggy’s role as a man’s reasoning faculties him as a father” (Rosenfield 264). Piggy always used ideal judgment and was the island’s only adult-like figure. He demonstrated this at a tribal meeting after the boys nearly burned down the island:
“I got the conch! Just you listen! The first thing we ought to have made was shelters down there by the beach. It wasn’t half cold there in the night but the first time Ralph says ‘fire’ you goes howling and screaming up this here mountain. Like a pack of kids!”
By now they were listening to the tirade.
“How can you expect to be rescued if you don’t put first things first and act proper?”
He took off his glasses and made as if to put down the conch; but the sudden motion towards it of most of the older boys changed his mind. He tucked the shell under his arm, and crouched back on a rock.
“Then when you get here you build a bonfire that isn’t no use. Now you been and set the whole island on fire. Won’t we look funny if the whole island burns up? Cooked fruit, that’s what we’ll have to eat, and roast pork. And that’s nothing to laugh at! You said Ralph was chief and you don’t give him time to think. Then when he says something you rush off, like, like—“
He paused for breath, and the fire growled at them.
“And that’s not all. Them kids. The ...
... middle of paper ...
...he id is also associated with basic human instincts. This further identifies the symbolic significance linked with Jack. After reading Lord of the Flies, it is obvious to one that Jack symbolizes natural human instincts.
After reading this essay and Golding’s novel, one now has a better understanding of the symbolic significance or the characters: Piggy, Ralph, and Jack. Piggy, symbolic of intelligence and prejudice, can be most closely compared to a modern-day “geek.” The geek may not seem to be of importance because of their awkwardness, but may be extremely intelligent. Ralph is the chief, leader, and symbol of civilization. He is the President of United States. He leads the society and governs the people. Finally, Jack, the barbaric hunter who symbolized human instincts is like the ancient cave man that hunted the wholly mammoth. Both survived solely on instinctive motives. When one understands the symbolic significance in a novel, they are able to better interpret the novel and understand it to a much fuller and broader extent.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Perigee Books, 1954.
Rosenfield. “Men of a Smaller Growth.”
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Every person has that one person, that when they first meet they can not stand. But after a while they become acquaintances, then friends and finally best friends. In William Golding Lord of the Flies Ralph and Piggy have this type of friendship. Ralph is a very tall, strong and a good mentor for the boys on the island. Where as Piggy is always getting bullied for being obese, having glasses and having asthma which are major setback compared to the other boys. The first couples months Ralph and Piggy do not get along, because Piggy is considered a burden.... [tags: Lord of the Flies Essays]
1118 words (3.2 pages)
- Lord of the Flies, which was written by William Golding, and The Coral Islands, which is written by R.M. Ballantyne were two books about British boys who were stuck on an island. Lord of the Flies is an imitation of The Coral Island. In Lord of the Flies the scene is set up with two boys stranded on an island from a plane crash, in which all the adults died. These boys were schoolboys that later found more boys that were stranded on the island by blowing on a conch shell. They all get together and they all decide to make their own society with a chief or leader.... [tags: Lord of the Flies, The Coral Islands]
951 words (2.7 pages)
- In the novel, "Lord of the Flies," a group of British boys are left on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere. Throughout the novel, they have conflicts between civilization and savagery, good vs. evil, order vs. chaos, and reason vs. impulse. What would it be like if the boys were replaced by a group of girls. Would they behave the same way they did in the novel. I believe that the girls would act in the same behavior as the boys in all ways because, everyone is installed with evil inside them which is their natural instinct, also because in life there is always a power struggle in all manners, and the outcome with the girls would be similar-since both sexes would plan on getting resc... [tags: Lord of the Flies]
4475 words (12.8 pages)
- Biblical Allusions in Lord of the Flies In the story, Lord of the Flies, there are many biblical allusions; Simon represents Jesus, the pig’s head represents Satan or rather their satanic sides, Jack represents Judas, and the island represents the Garden of Eden. Through out this novel these allusions play large parts in the story and ideals place in the story. Simon, one of the major characters in the story, is set as the allusion of Jesus. Christ always had an affinity with children; in Ch. 4, he shows his way with the ‘littluns’ by picking fruit for them.... [tags: Lord of the Flies]
730 words (2.1 pages)
- William Golding, in his fictional novel Lord of the Flies, has created one of the most stunningly elaborate, captivating works of American literature. It is a straightforward story of a few shipwrecked schoolboys that dramatically turns into a multifaceted tale of endless deceit, trickery and all out jealousy. It is in this story that three boys, Ralph, Piggy, and Jack, come to play the pivotal parts of leaders to a group of children who are fighting for the right of survival. The first boy is Ralph, a fine example of morals, compassion and friendship.... [tags: Lord of the Flies Essays]
554 words (1.6 pages)
- Lord Of The Flies Book Analysis Title: Lord of the Flies Author: William Golding Date of original publication: 1954 Setting: The setting of Lord of the Flies is somewhat vague. The island is unnamed, and besides stating that it is during wartime, there is no specific date given. The island is uninhabited, and characterized by a beach, jungles, orchards, and a rocky mountain. The jungle that surrounds the characters represents death. It is dark and entangled in vines, which remind the small boys of snakes, and instill fear.... [tags: Lord of the Flies Essays]
1925 words (5.5 pages)
- INTELLIGENCE, CIVILIZATION, AND INSTINCTS Often times, authors use characters in their novels and stories as symbols. The characters may be symbolic of the tangible as well as the non-tangible. In addition, characters can often be looked at with a psychological approach to literature in order to better determine or understand their symbolic significance. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, special symbolic significance may be found in the characters, Piggy, Ralph, and Jack. Piggy, the heavy, asthmatic, nearsighted boy, was often teased and ridiculed, however Golding made it obvious to the reader that Piggy was indeed the super ego.... [tags: Lord of the Flies Essays]
1442 words (4.1 pages)
- Lord of the Flies Society frees the individual from the tyranny of disorder. When people are working together with rules, chaos does not occur. In Lord of the Flies, the shell signifies society and order. The book begins with Ralph and Piggy blowing the conch to call the other boys together to order and unity. Skinner explains this by people being completely controlled by their environment. The conch is similar to a bell at school where the boys instinctively come after hearing the noise. I agree that people really are controlled by their environment.... [tags: Lord of the Flies Literature Society Essays]
679 words (1.9 pages)
- Inherent Evil in Lord of the Flies Lord of the Flies provides one with a clear understanding of Golding's view of human nature. Whether this view is right or wrong is a point to be debated. This image Golding paints for the reader, that of humans being inherently bad, is a perspective not all people share. Lord of the Flies is but an abstract tool of Golding's to construct the idea of the inherent evil of human nature in the minds of his readers. To construct this idea of the inherent evil, Golding employs the symbolism of Simon, Ralph, the hunt and the island.... [tags: Lord Flies Essays]
838 words (2.4 pages)
- The novel, Lord of the Flies, deals a lot with characterization. The character that stood out the most was Ralph, who was excellently developed by Golding as a leader. The very first time Ralph is introduced to the reader, one can see his sense of observation even in the first sentence that he says: "This is an island, at least I think it's an island. That's a reef out in the sea. Perhaps there aren't any grownups anywhere." As everyone knows, a good sense of observation is essential for a leader.... [tags: Lord Flies William Golding Book Character Analysis]
919 words (2.6 pages)