Irony in Lord of the Flies

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The irony within situations and statements dominates a story's plot, contributing to both the rising and the falling action, which William Golding accentuates in Lord of the Flies. When a group of young boys crash their plane on an island, they perceive the situation as an adventure, but they soon realize the danger in the unpropitious circumstances at hand. Through the situational and verbal irony that arises, Golding delineates how people can hypocritically adapt to having characteristics they do not condone in others and how innocence shields children from seeing flaws in adults. Sometimes, a person hypocritically comes to possess certain qualities that they loathe in others. At the beginning of the novel when the boys meet for the first time, Piggy, Ralph, and a few others mistaken the unacquainted boys approaching them for a "creature," foreshadowing the true identity of the symbolic "beast" that wreaks havoc on the island. The boys all turned their heads to see "something dark… fumbling along…The creature was a party of boys, marching approximately in step in two parallel lines" (Golding 19). At this point in the story, through imagery, the author directly compares the boys at an innocent stage to an undomesticated creature that they will soon become, essentially foreboding their adaptation to the ways of the island. Golding ironically portrays how the boys spend the whole novel searching and hunting for something that actually exists within all of them by the end of the novel. Contrary to the other savage boys, Simon, the levelheaded boy sees the evident truth about the beast's identity. Frightened by what the others may think, Simon sheepishly suggests, "Maybe there is a beast…Maybe it's only us" (Golding 89). Initially, the boys perceive the beast exists as an animal, but Simon introspectively points out the actual representation of the beast as the savage within all of them. As time passes, Golding verifies through situational irony how an inner...
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