Literary Analysis – The Lord of the Flies
In William Golding’s novel The Lord of the Flies(1954), he questions the nature of man and origins of evil within human beings. The plot involves a plane full of British boys, between the ages of six to twelve, crashing on an isolated island. There, they are stranded without any adults and as time progresses, the upbringing of the boys regarding societal rules and morals are tested as they revert into a life of savagery. Golding proposes a shocking revelation that human nature is naturally evil. This is demonstrated through mob mentality as well as hidden symbols throughout the book.
We can see that towards the beginning of the novel that Jack the leader of the boys’ choir was not able to kill a pig. We are told that it was, “because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable blood” (Golding, p.31). This is one of the only weaknesses that Jack shows throughout the book. Later on in the novel when the boys kill a sow we are shown the boys were very excited over the triumph. This shows us that the boys have developed a passion for hunting. The sows death and disfigurement marks the triumph of evil.
Throughout the novel Lord of the Flies, the boys on the island are constantly faced with various fears. However there is nothing on the island which they fear more than the beast, although the beast does not even actually exist in a true physical form. Firstly the title of the book is a metaphor which refers to a name for the devil. “Simon became inarticulate in his effort to convey mankind’s essential illness”(Golding, p.89). Golding uses Simon to suggest that the beast is inside of them, as the beast is mankinds’ potential to do evil things. While the beast started as an imaginary “beastic” or a “snake thing” from the imaginations of children, by the end of their time on the island, the beast has become altogether more real. The...
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