Lord of the Flies

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The Power of Secondary Characters in Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

“Secondary Characters are characters that are not the central characters that are the mainstay of a story, but still keep relevance because of their actions and proceedings that have great influence in a story.” -Chris Chen. In the novel Lord of the Flies William Golding uses several secondary characters to enhance and influence decisions of the main characters. These same characters serve to highlight the many themes in the novel. Percival, a seemingly trivial character underscores for the reader that an individual’s identity is inextricably linked to the fabric of society in which one lives. Sam n’ Eric, twins that don’t seem to have a large impact on the story, show that the pressure of society and the fear of authority can make one do things one doesn’t believe in. Lastly Simon, a peripheral character highlights that once one has a greater understanding, one becomes a threat.

“Once one lets society change them, one has lost one’s true physical identity.” This theme is highlighted by the character Percival Wemys Madison. This is shown when Ralph asks what Percival’s name is and answers by saying, “Percival Wemys Madison. The Vicarage, Harcourt St. Anthony, Hants, telephone, telephone, tele--” (Golding 32). He cannot remember his telephone number as the boys have already started becoming savage. The seclusion of the island as well as the new freedom triggers Percival and the boys losing their identity. Through murdering Piggy and Simon the majority of the private school boys start devolving. These events allow them to lose their identity and therefore change for the worst. Another instance in the novel is when Percival tries to introduce himself to the naval officer, “Quote” (Golding). This indicates how little time it has taken Percival to lose his identity completely. When he loses his sanity, he loses his identity and this is because of the pressure and fear of the newly developed...
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