Lord of the Flies: Golding's Literary Techniques

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A pack of boys crash-land on a desolate island and are left to survive on their own without the influence of society. After the boys struggle with their animal nature the protagonist, Ralph, gazes at the ocean and contemplates their deteriorating civilization. Golding expresses the idea that the boys will not be rescued from the island because of their savage nature through the use of personification, syntax, and juxtaposition.

Through the combined use of personification and animal imagery Golding expresses the progression of the boy’s savagery, which prevents them from being rescued. For example, at one point Ralph observes, “…[the waves] gather with a roar, irresistibly swelling over point and outcrop, climbing the little cliff…” (125). The ocean is portrayed as a wild animal climbing the cliff towards the boys as if hunting them, similarly to the rise of the boy’s subconscious beast. This action is described as “irresistible”, indicating the boys cannot defy instinctual behavior. At the same time the ocean is a physical barrier, as well as a mental barrier, between the boys and civilized society. The ocean is a literal blockade as well as a symbol for savagery; therefore the animal behavior also prevents them from being rescued. Furthermore, the “… retreating water, would sink past the rocks and plaster down the seaweed like shining hair…” (125). Throughout the novel hair is an effigy of savagery, so the personification of seaweed as hair connects the boys to the ocean, which emphasizes the boy’s connection to their savage nature. In addition, as Ralph looks out at the ocean “…the almost infinite size of this water forced itself on his attention” (125). Golding personifies the water, a symbol for the boy’s savagery, as an irresistible force that the boys cannot suppress. Since the boys cannot control their animal behavior, they will never be rescued from the island. In addition to animal imagery and personification Golding also uses syntax to convey his...
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