William Golding 's Lord Of The Flies Essay

William Golding 's Lord Of The Flies Essay

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William Golding’s perspective of war as illustrated in Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies by William Golding paints a graphic tale of the horrific acts of savagery committed by a group of boys abandoned on an island. While diving further into the novel the reader begins to realize that the acts of the boys are not far from the crimes of mankind. In Lord of the Flies, Golding uses Irony and characterization to illustrate that despite advancements in technology, war is still nothing more than the primal savagery of man.

The message from the grown up world that is sent to the boys highlights the irony in the contrast of the idealistic view that is placed on civilization and its actual nature. After an assembly Piggy and Ralph begin to worry about the boy’s digression into disorder and savagery, and feel that they are helpless and foolish; “’Grownups know things’, said Piggy. ‘They ain’t afraid of the dark. They’d meet and have tea and discuss. Then things ‘ud be all right. If only they could send us something grownup…a sign or something’” (82). The boys have developed an idealistic view of adult civilization and deem the society they come from the pinnacle of order and civilization and wish they could be more like the adults. “But a sign did come down from the world of grown-ups, though at the time there was no child to read it. There was a sudden bright explosion and corkscrew trail across the sky; then darkness again and stars. There was a speck above their island, a figure that hung with dangling limbs” (83). The sign that is sent to the boys is the body of a war pilot. They finally get their message from the grownups; however, it is not one that matches up to their idealistic views of the adult world, rather it is a message o...


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...t human history (Smolensky). Golding use of Jack and his tribe to point out that refinement of weaponry is not equal to the refinement of humanity. The savagery of man is not erased by the sophistications in the structure and technology used for the carnage.

Golding views war as an act of primitive barbarity, which he makes clear in Lord of the Flies. His views of war are exemplified in the irony of the only sign that the boys have left of the grownups is one of war and brutality rather than order and advancement in morals. Irony is also found in the fact that their savior is a man from the corrupt world of war. Lastly, Golding used the similarity in the characterization of the hunters to an army to hold a mirror up to humanity and allow it to see the ugly truth. Though a bomb may be more developed than a spear its fundamental use of brutality is no less barbaric.

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