Internal and External Conflicts in the Novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding Affect the Course of Events

Topics: Conflict, William Golding, English-language films Pages: 4 (1490 words) Published: January 15, 2013
Conflict is not something that can be avoided, especially in fiction. In fact, conflict is the main purpose of how a story came to be – without conflict, there will be no story. As quoted from Peder Hill (n.d.), “Its the primary ingredient that weaves together all the other elements of a novel”. However, conflict can arise in a story in various forms and they alter the course of the story. For instance, a conflict of decision. What decision is made by the characters moves the story. This is called external conflict, which Rector (2002) defines as “a struggle between a character and an outside force”. On the other hand, conflict within a character may also arise, which is called internal conflict. Internal conflict means “a struggle that takes place in a character's mind” (Rector, 2002). In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, these two conflicts affect the course of events, an din the process moves the story.

Lord of the Flies tells the story of British schoolboys, who in attempt to be transported away from the ongoing atomic war, is instead stranded on an island after their plane crashed. In their attempt to survive, they of course need a leader. The need for a leader arises a conflict that in turn plays throughout the story in the form of the protagonist, Ralph, and the antagonist, Jack. Ralph, the protagonist, is portrayed by Golding as charismatic by appearance. This is apparent in the first chapter, in the lines “But there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive apperance...” (pg. 22). Even though the boys could see that Piggy was the one with the knowledge and Jack with authority, the boys chose Ralph as their 'chief' because of his charismatic appearance. This instantly creates a conflict between Ralph and Jack, which Golding highlights in the first chapter as well; “...the freckles on Jack's face dissapeared under a blush of mortification.” (pg. 23) The conflict will then heighten as the...
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