Interpretive Argument on Lord of the Flies

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Ebony Watson

Paul Colby

ENG 101-046

14 November 2011

Lord of the Flies: Impact of "Savagery versus Civilization" on Society

The interpretations of the novel "Lord of the Flies" consist of how mankind can result to savagery ways when being considered the most civilized human beings. "Savagery versus Civilization" is used to define the acts of mankind on the island consisting of children who can barely take care of themselves. The author William Golding uses these children to symbolize for the audience the act of human evil in our society. According to L.L. Dickenson in "Critical Interpretations of Lord of the Flies", children are symbolized as innocent individuals who do understand the consequences of what could happen if anything illegal were to be done. Golding puts these children into a situation where the reader is quickly sympathizing due to the immediate plane crash which happens on a abandoned island. Furthermore, the children are left all by themselves without adult supervision (whom we never find out until the end of the novel what really happened to the adults). Though these children soon recuperate about the situation of being all by themselves, major changes start to happen where the well-behaved children begin to transform into a barbaric state. Another use of human evil in society which is used is between the two of the children who symbolize the good and evil doings in todays world.

Furthermore, another interpretation of the novel "Lord of the Flies" from Harold Bloom deals with the use of religion. Golding makes clear that when their is good there will be evil and vice versa. The island can be perceived as the Garden of Eden where before it became corrupted by mankind and its evil activities, such as the beast-like creature and the "snake-like" thing as stated from the boys. Many religious factors are used to determine the lack of mankind upon these boys. Satan in the Genesis account also has been read as a reflection of evil within human nature, readers usually consider Satan an external force. Original sin enters human nature because of Satan. Without a real Satan in the novel however Golding stresses the ways that this Eden is already fallen; for these boys evil already is within them waiting to be discovered. Bloom makes clear that evil vs. good is always associated with religious factors and Golding uses this children as innocent creatures who will not understand "adult like" situations; that why its easier for Satan to take over the minds of little children. Following Bloom's interpretation of the novel, Rebecca Black states from "The Lord of the Flies: Survey on World Literature", that Golding uses these children as an "eye-opener" for the reader to realize that they are not the only ones who are engaging in acts of savagery, the adults are as well. Golding this perspective at the final pages of the novel.

From both interpretations, I would agree each one because the reflection of how our society is today is being found in a novel which deals with adventure. The use of religion is an important interpretation because many symbolism shown in Lord of the Flies deals with religious dealings. On behalf of my personal experience, in the bible Beelzebub is translated in English to mean "lord of the flies" and from the children naming it after the head of a pig shows how the use of evil is controlling the minds and behaviors of how these children act upon their society. Each interpretation is done well and integrate with one another to the point that each author is able to point out the ideas which Golding was using in his novel. The usage of "Savagery versus Civilization" compares to the views of the professional interpretations from the following authors due to how each individual including myself is able to base the use of society and how it plays a major role in developing the overall idea of Golding's perspective on society.

Children are taught obedience and right from...
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