How Does William Golding Use the Setting to Develop the Main Theme of His Novel, Lord of the Flies?

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Friday, 18th January, 2013
How does William Golding use the setting to develop the main theme of his novel, Lord of the Flies?

I think William Golding purposely chose the same setting as The Coral Island, but with a different ending of course, showing readers that us humans beings, as hard it might be to admit, unfortunately we have a wicked side and without supervision castigation to keep it in check. This sophisticated society that we live in would’ve turned into a barbaric anarchy instantly and still today, we have people who choose to ignore the civilization, take the risk and act like savages despite the “sophisticated society” but those people end up in jail.

One of the major themes, isolation. What better way can you put it? The boys are stranded on an island, not mentioning the fact that they are still kids, innocent kids without adult supervision. This was obviously slowly making them hopeless as they realize that there is no way they’ll be rescued. But if you give it some thought, the island is similar to our society in many ways. Firstly, Golding makes the conch delineate power and authority, like the government today, because whoever held the conch in the story had the authority to speak. That rule is official when Ralph says “And another thing. We can’t have everybody talking at once. We’ll have to have hands up like at school then I’ll give him the conch.” (Golding 31) This shows the effort Ralph was putting into bringing rules and order so it could bring all the other boys closer together as a society.

The island is basically a microcosm, Golding uses it to imitate our world while giving comments and his own view of human nature and how it is. For that to happen, he uses objects that are symbolic referring to his ideas like the previous example I gave about the Government. Golding also uses the characters that duplicate historical and/or religious people and finally the setting where all the conflicts happen, having parallels in the...
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