William Golding 's Lord Of The Flies Essay

William Golding 's Lord Of The Flies Essay

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“Adults run the world; and there is war, and enmity, and destruction unending.” (Peter David) Throughout the novel, the boys in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies consistently admire the life of adults. Ironically, Golding’s imaginary island is a microcosm of the adult world- both destined to be destroyed. Golding reveals this microcosm through conflict and characterization.
The struggle for power between Jack and Ralph displays a person vs. person conflict. As Jack and Ralph argue over the rules, civilization and essentially control, Piggy 's main concern is what the grown-ups are"going to say"(114). Ironically throughout history adults have shown a craving for control. This craving has resulted in multiple wars, which will inevitably destroy the world. Piggy 's concern about what the adults will think about their behaviour is almost absurd, because of how similar the island is to the adult world. At the end of the novel, destruction strikes in the form of an unruly forest fire, which results from Jack and Ralph 's power struggle. The forest fire in the novel is a mirror to the adult world of what results when one becomes power hungry- an explosion. Power brings out the worst in people, especially the older boys in the novel. The lack of authority makes them feel untouchable, they take this feeling of superiority out on the littluns, who are weak and vulnerable. For instance, Roger, who is older picks up "a handful of stones and [begins] to throw them"(78) at Henry, who is a littlun. Throughout history there have been multiple occasions where the weak have been preyed on by the powerful. During World War II, the Nazi Party included mentally and physically disabled people in their violent crimes. Not only were those people weak,...


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...ly being a parent or adult figure in his life. Children learn by mirroring behaviours they see, so if Jack learnt his immoral behaviour from "the majesty of adult life" (117) what does that say about the adult world? Perhaps that it is not as majestic as the boys believe it to be.
Ironically the boys never notice that their admiration of this magnificent adult world is delusional. however their admiration is understandable, because they are just children. William Golding uses the boys ' innocence in Lord of the Flies to shock readers with the fact that the island is a microcosm of the adult world, using conflict and characterization. The events that take place in the novel are horrifying, which is why readers should take a look at their own lives, because if the behaviours and events on the island are a reflection of the adult world, it is destined to be destroyed.

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