Before The Hunger Games, there was Sir William Golding’s novel, The Lord of the Flies. When a group of English school boys is stranded on an island, Golding muses the idea that violent human tendencies will break through the shell of civilization and innocence surrounding each child. As their time on the island increases the boys’ civility and logic decreases until they commit the unthinkable. Fighting in World War II, Golding saw first-hand how brutal man can be to one another. To be exact, being on the beaches of Normandy during Dooms Day, Golding definitely witnessed the extremity of man’s true vulgarities. In this novel, the theme most prominently displayed is that the loss of innocence can cause the savage impulses in human beings to take over. Golding molds this theme through the story’s plot along with his style of writing and development of each character.
The Lord of the Flies begins with a group of English school boys who have crash landed on a deserted island, presumably brought down by a bomb in the midst of war. To the boys’ delight there are absolutely no adults anywhere on the island. They soon realize, however; that this could be a terrible thing. They need adults to be rescued. In the exposition, the reader is introduced to Ralph and Piggy. Ralph is masculine and authoritative whereas Piggy is chubby and timid. While exploring, the two find a conch shell on the beach and since Piggy has asthma, he teaches Ralph how to use it. The rising actions begin when Ralph and Piggy use the conch to call the other school boys on the island. The group decides that they need to create their own government in order to heighten their chances of survival and rescue. Ralph is voted as the leader of the government and Jack is appointed as the head of the hunters. It is brought to the older boys’ attention that the “littleuns” believe they are being stalked by a beast inhabiting the island but, they ignore it for the time being. The boys start a fire on top of a tall mountain so passing ships will be able to see the smoke and aid in their rescue. By accident, they set a large portion of the island on fire and that is when the first boy goes missing. The boys become more and more barbaric as their time on the island increases. Instead of satiating their hunger with fruits and vegetables, they deem meat a necessity. Jack makes it his quest to kill a pig. When he finally achieves his goal, Ralph chides him for letting the fire on top of the mountain burn out. The climax of the story takes place after the group of boys splits into two separate tribes. Jack’s tribe is immensely primitive whereas Ralph’s tribe consists of only himself, Piggy, SamnEric, and a few littleuns. Their goal is rescue. However, while visiting Jack’s tribe, the boys engage in a caveman like dance. Caught up in the moment, they kill Simon mistaking him for the beast. The falling actions start when Jack steals Piggy’s glasses which is the only means of starting a fire on the whole island. In desperate need of warmth and a signal fire, Ralph’s tribe confronts Jack and his own. It is then when Rodger kills Piggy, SamnEric are held hostage, and the man-hunt for Ralph ensues. The resolution happens after Jack’s tribe sets ablaze the entire island in pursuit of Ralph. Seeing the smoke, a British naval ship passing by rescues the remaining boys. Only, who will save the adults from the real war?
The major theme portrayed in Sir William Golding’s The Lord of the Flies is that the loss of innocence is brought about by human being’s true savage nature. Before the group of boys were stranded on an island, they were blind to the cruelties of the world and humans in general. Aged from about six to twelve years old, every boy viewed the world as a carefree play zone without any consequences. An example of this is when the boys accidentally set the island on fire in the beginning. Instead of being fearful, the boys jumped around with hearts full of glee. The only...
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