Literary Analysis of Lord of The Flies
Golding’s novel and its exploration of temptation on a deserted island can be examined within a broader understanding of mankind and social order. Patrick Reilly from the University of Iowa Press states, “Lord of the Flies depicts the disintegration of a society whose members play rather than work.” (Reilly 138-61) The inclination to give in to temptation is depicted in biblical passages as far back as Adam and Eve. When they are told not to eat an apple from the tree of knowledge, they do so anyway because temptation drives them. Temptation can also be witnessed in the modern world. Even within a structured society that upholds rules and boundaries, the urge to act on impulse is inevitable. For example, people that cheat on their husbands or wives may be tempted by jealousy, revenge, and excitement. They can resist, but the drive to cheat is too strong for some. Even minor infractions such as speeding to get to work on time stem from temptation. Overall, temptation and its consequences play a huge role in societal behavior, and there is no way to evade it.
“He began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling.” (Golding 64) This powerful quote describes Jack immediately before he brutally murders a nursing sow. Bloodlust, defined as a desire for bloodshed, and temptation, the craving to have or do something that should be avoided alters Jack’s mind. The pigs that the boys hunt and kill in Golding’s novel Lord of The Flies represent how temptation can lead one into savagery and bloodlust.
As early as chapter one, temptation arises because of the basic need to eat and survive. The group is reluctant to kill a pig, let alone draw blood from a living thing. Their sense of morals is strong, and Jack is unable to kill the first pig they encounter. Golding states, “He raised his arm in the air. There came a pause…the blade continued to flash at the end of a bony arm....