Lord of the Flies

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Lord of the Flies

William Golding
In Between the Modern and the Postmodern

Content:

1. Fragments chosen.............................................................................. 2. In Between the Modern and the Postmodern - essey........................ 3. Questions.............................................................................................. 4. Bibliography........................................................................................

"[ ... ] The reef enclosed more than one side of the island, lying perhaps a mile out and parallel to what they now thought of as their beach. The coral was scribbled in the sea as though a giant had bent down to reproduce the shape of the island in a flowing, chalk line but tired before he had finished. Inside was peacock water, rock and weed showing as in an aquarium; outside was the dark blue of the sea. The tide was running so that long streaks of foam tailed way from the reef and for a moment they felt that the boat was moving steadily astern. " "I was choosing a place," said Jack. "I was just waiting for a moment to decide where to stab him." "You should stick a pig," said Ralph fiercely. "They always talk about sticking a pig."

"You cut a pig's throat to let the blood out," said Jack, "otherwise you can't eat the meat."

"Why didn't you - ?"

They knew very well why he hadn't: because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable blood.

The fragment is from Wiliam Golding's Lord of the Flies. The action of the novel takes place on a desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The book indicates that it takes place in the midst of an unspecified nuclear war. Some of the marooned characters are ordinary students, while others arrive as a musical choir under an established leader. Most appear never to have encountered one another before. The book portrays their descent into savagery, left to themselves in a paradisiacal country, far from modern civilisation, the well-educated children regress to a primitive state. At an allegorical level, the central theme is the conflicting impulses toward civilization — live by rules, peacefully and in harmony — and towards the will to power. Themes include the tension between groupthink and individuality, between rational and emotional reactions, and between morality and immorality. How these play out, and how different people feel the influences of these, form a major subtext of Lord of the Flies. If we look at Golding's novel at themes, motifs and symbols we discover intresting things. These issues show differences between the modern and the postmodern novel. Civilization vs. Savagery

The central concern of Lord of the Flies is the conflict between two competing impulses that exist within all human beings: the instinct to live by rules, act peacefully, follow moral commands, and value the good of the group against the instinct to gratify one’s immediate desires, act violently to obtain supremacy over others, and enforce one’s will. This conflict might be expressed in a number of ways: civilization vs. savagery, order vs. chaos, reason vs. impulse, law vs. anarchy, or the broader heading of good vs. evil. Throughout the novel, Golding associates the instinct of civilization with good and the instinct of savagery with evil. The conflict between the two instincts is the driving force of the novel, explored through the dissolution of the young English boys’ civilized, moral, disciplined behavior as they accustom themselves to a wild, brutal, barbaric life in the jungle. Lord of the Flies is an allegorical novel, which means that Golding conveys many of his main ideas and themes through symbolic characters and objects. He represents the conflict between civilization and savagery in the conflict between the novel’s two main characters: Ralph, the protagonist, who represents order and leadership; and Jack, the antagonist, who...
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