Lord of the Flies: Loss of Innocence Term Paper

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Lord of the Flies by William Golding, explores the idea of the loss of innocence. Throughout the novel, many characters succumb to their savage instincts. Golding expresses his overwhelmingly pessimistic beliefs that in the absence of civilization human nature loses and resorts to animalistic behavior.

Golding’s idea of the emergence of inner evil when structured society is vacant, is emphasized numerous times throughout the text. “He found himself understanding the wearisomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one’s waking life was spent looking at one’s feet,” (page 76). This passage shows our main character, Ralph, pacing the beach while allowing himself time to thing. He is hit by the sudden realization that life is a series of improvisations; and grows aware of the fragility of life and how every decision made can alter it immensely. This dismal view of existence is very pessimistic coming from a twelve year-old boy, whose innocence is being challenged.

As the novel progresses we see the boys’ childish preconceptions further diminish. “Ralph’s voice, low and stricken, stopped Piggy’s gestures. He bent down and waited…҅Don’t you understand Piggy? The things we did- ’.” Here, the daunting acknowledgement of the monstrosity of their recent actions immobilizes them. They become suddenly aware of their actions. Ralph is clearly stunned and taken aback, realizing that they have killed Simon. Piggy on the on the other hand, refuses to accept the reality, and repeatedly tells Ralph that Simons’ death was an accident, and in no way their fault. Ralph is frightened by not only their actions, but by themselves, as he states shortly after. Ralph and Piggy are realizing that they are no longer the same innocent school boys they were upon their arrival. The boys have not yet come to terms with their gradual, but present, “loss of innocence,” but are becoming aware of their change and decline, on a basic level, of...
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