Top-Rated Free Essay

An Analysis of the Lord of the Flies

Good Essays
An Analysis of The Lord of the Flies

The novel Lord of the Flies, written by William Gerald Golding, is a remarkable piece of literature that discusses many important topics while remaining an enjoyable read. One of the important topics that is discussed in the novel is human nature. Many aspects of human nature is depicted in the book, but one major is the development of a man's personality and character. This aspect of human idiosyncrasy is portrayed through the development of Ralph, the main character and protagonist of the novel. Ralph's development from innocent, irresponsible, playful adolescent to a tough, self-reliant man shows how the hardships and turmoil of life can greatly effect a person's character. The story takes place on a deserted island after a plane crash strands a group of adolescent boys. The boys are forced to learn how to live on the land without any resources or adult assistance. The group chooses Ralph as their leader and gives him the responsibility of guiding the group. Ralph's main enemy and adversary is Jack, the appointed leader of the savage hunters. The boys go through many trials and hardships while on the island including the dangers of the jungle, finding food, and remaining a functional group. The novel's main focus is on Ralph and his experiences on the island.
As leader of the group, Ralph has a great deal of responsibility and must learn how to work with this responsibility. Through the course of the story, Ralph changes from an adolescent child to a mature person, but ends up breaking down at the end of the novel. This aspect of Ralph's character is a way that Golding depicts human behavior in society, which is the main theme of the book. As the novel begins, Ralph is portrayed as being a normal adolescent who is irresponsible and negligent. Even when he is chosen as leader, he still is depicted as an inexperience boy. One example of this childish action is seen at the beginning of the novel when Ralph plays games while doing serious work. By doing things like this Ralph tries to show the freedom the boys have without any adult supervision. These are not the acts of a responsible leader and is something that Ralph soon comes to regret. With progression of the story, Ralph's attitudes change as he becomes more responsible and mature. He realizes the importance of being a responsible leader and begins to guide the other boys more. Ralph begins to try to convince the others that they act with the groups best interest at hand and tells them to be more responsible. He tells them to build shelters so that they would be safe from the weather. He also tells them to keep the signal fire burning because it is their only hope of being rescued. The other boys do not listen to Ralph's suggestions and begin to act as savages Ralph becomes the defender of civil behavior and common sense. By the end of the novel, Ralph begins to breakdown after the others ignore his views. He begins act more as a savage and strays from the ideals of civil behavior. His savageness is portrayed in a ritualized hunt of a boy, where Ralph is among the people who kill the boy. In the last chapter, Ralph is the one who is being hunted and must become totally self-reliant. He ends up being reduce to tears as he cries over the "end of innocence." At this point,
Ralph's character has totally changed from a boy to a man. The maturity that Ralph goes through shows how human nature and character can be drastically changed during times of hardship. He evolves from a fragile, irresponsible boy to a strong, self-reliant man. He falls from the pressures of leadership but still learns to survive.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Manangan 1 Czarlene Manangan Mitchell English 10 H P5 08 March 2015 Lord of the Flies Analysis: Bullying Fear is the kid in the sandbox carefully building his sandcastle out of survival and sanity. Power is the boy stomping his way over to Fear, reaching down for a handful of sand to hurl into his eyes. Control, power 's identical twin, stomps on Fear 's sandcastle until every block of hope disintegrates. Fear cries and crashes down to the floor, as Power and Control cackle at his pain…

    • 655 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Anonymous Mrs. Snow Classics and Composition I 25 February 2013 Savagery vs. Civilization In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, the boys on the island start off as a group of refined British boys, however as time goes by, their humane ways are put to rest and readers witness the savagery and violence that these once-civil boys possess. In the beginning of the book, all the boys portray a civilized attitude about them—some more than others. Piggy for instance, throughout the story is the…

    • 547 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Lord of the Flies is based on human nature and how evil is upon every human. William Golding believed that no matter how good a person is, there’s always an evil side. In the Lord of the Flies, children are tested if they could keep their insanity or not. In the novel, Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, he write about characters who suffers fears and savagery to survive. The setting is at an island. Around that time, a war was going on. The main characters are Ralph, Jack, and Piggy…

    • 465 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Kamar Mack Mr. Thompson English 9, Period 1 7 November 2011 Behind the Words William Golding’s Lord of the Flies (1954) is an allegory where young British boys are stranded on an island without the help and guidance of adults, and they originally behave with a cooperative democratic system, led by a charismatic boy named Ralph, as they have become accustomed to in England, for “‘…we’re not savages. We’re English, and the English are the best at everything. So we’ve got to do the right…

    • 976 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Destruction The novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding definitely represents Golding’s fear of the thin veneer of civilization in the modern world and how it is bound to crumble at any time. In Golding’s novel, the boys who are stuck on the island resort to savagery after many grueling months of forcing civilization on each other. Once the boys have exited the modern world the thin layer of civilization is now gone. This forced them to use savagery to get what they want instead of being organized…

    • 2600 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Lord Of The Flies Analysis

    • 1926 Words
    • 8 Pages

    What is the true nature of man? In both ‘Lord of the Flies’ by Golding and ‘Brighton Rock’ by Green, the different sides of human nature are revealed, from kindness to pure evil. The further both novels progress, the more they reveal that we as humans are not perfect and when the opportunity of chaos manifests, society is infected and the downward spiral into a fractured community is rapid. They also both present the need for power, and how one man’s desires can lead him to performing the most…

    • 1926 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Lord of the Flies Analysis

    • 1157 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Why did things go wrong for the boys on the island? William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ is a book about the true nature of young boys and how quickly they can resort to savagery. This book was written in the aftermath of World War II. In this book Golding perfectly portrays the nature of humans, the power hungry attitude that causes so many problems. After a very short amount of time things begin to go wrong for the boys. In this essay I am going to explore the reasons why everything began to…

    • 1157 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    is the major theme in William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies.” Deserted on a remote island from a plane crash, a group of schoolboys initially attempted to collaborate for survival. However, as time goes on, the hungry mist of savagery seemed to overcome them, and thus began their descent into the dark side of humanity. Robert Ardret, a social scientist, believes that such human behavior is the result of evolution. This is displayed in the “Lord of the Flies,” revealing a glimpse of mankind’s true…

    • 973 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Lord of the Flies Analysis

    • 1024 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Chris Sani Alexopoulos English 2 7th period October 2, 2012 Study of savagery through the novel Lord of the Flies “Isolation is a dream killer” (Barbara Sher). In the novel Lord of the Flies written by William Golding, kids stranded on an island must figure out how to survive. By hunting pigs and building shelters the kids tried to subsist on the island. Through the process of hunting, the kids became cruel, evolving to the point of being barbaric. Thus, through the barbaric actions of the…

    • 1024 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    fall of science and rationality before the evil of human. These three issues are developed throughout the whole novel with this passage as the conclusion of the main theme - human beings are evil by nature. The plot of William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies suggests that Golding supports the biblical idea that every human is born tainted with evil, and that men are born savage, driven by their instincts. Chaos and savagery come about as a result of men trying to attain pleasure without making any…

    • 959 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays