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Lord of the Flies

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When reading books, we learn about the authors’ opinions and the messages that they try to convey about society. In these books we also learn about the multiple meanings in objects, people, or even the words in it. Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a story which expresses Golding’s idea of man’s essential nature in humanity being evil. In the book, Lord of the Flies, there is hidden symbolic meaning in the characters and these symbols show that the characters represent archetypes in humanity that prove his idea of man’s essential nature being evil. In Lord of the Flies, the character Ralph represents order, leadership, and civilization. For example, when Ralph is talking to the other boys in a meeting he says, “I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he’s speaking…”We’ll have rules!” he cried excitedly. “Lots of rules!” (33). Ralph makes this decision in this quote because as the leader of the group he wants to establish rules so that there will be order. This demonstrates that Ralph wants the group to be easily monitored and with rules they could get jobs done more efficiently. This shows that Ralph is trying to maximize their chance of getting off the island and with a controlled group of kids. Even though Ralph is the leader of the boys, the boys start to disagree with his decisions and they eventually separate from his group and join Jack’s. They even try to kill Ralph; this shows that the other boys’ evil nature is finally starting to show and their innocence is beginning to decay. Additionally, when Ralph was with Piggy at the beach, “Ralph continued to blow till voices shouted in the forest” (18). This shows that, even at the beginning of the story, Ralph has the power to gather all the boys and lead them to him. It is important to notice that Ralph is the first one to gather the boys to him; this reveals that Ralph was born to be a leader. This is important in the story because Ralph is the character that blows the conch; this means that Ralph is the only one destined to lead the group. Even though Ralph is destined to lead, Jack takes that position from him and becomes the new leader. This shows that Jack has become corrupt and he wants to be more powerful; his thirst for power leads him to a path of evil, which eventually leads him to try to kill Ralph. In the Lord of the Flies, Golding creates because Ralph is supposed to represent the leader character in the story. In the novel, Lord of the Flies, the character Jack represents savagery, a thirst for power and violence. For example, when Jack is explaining to Roger about hunting, “He smeared on the clay…”For hunting. Like in the war. You know-dazzle paint. Like things trying to look like something else-“(63). This means that Jack is losing his identity and he is adapting to the colors and is making the island a part of himself. When Jack refers to the face paint as “dazzle paint” he refers to the camouflage used by soldiers in the war. His face paint represents the unleashing of evil and the beginning of being uncivilized. In addition, when Jack is explaining to Ralph about killing a pig, he thinks, “His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink. He spread his arms wide. “You should have seen the blood!”(70). When Jack talks about killing the pig, it reveals his deterioration of being civil and the start of savagery. This is important because it marks the first life that was taken away by the hands of one of the boys. It also demonstrates Jack's own self desires running amuck and him not caring about following the rules set forth by Ralph; thus showing that savagery is consuming the innocence within Jack. Golding clearly shows that Jack represents all that is savage and violent by his actions throughout the book. In Lord of the Flies, the character Simon is portrayed as the Christ figure throughout the story and he also represents all that is good in humanity. For example, when the littleluns are with Simon, they see that, “Simon found for them the fruit they could not reach, pulled off, the choicest from up in the foliage, passed them back down to the endless out-stretched hands. When he had satisfied them he paused and looked round” (56). When Simon helps out the children, it reveals that he is a very caring and considerate figure. He cares for the littleluns like no one else, he doesn’t harm them, but instead he helps get them food. This shows that, unlike the other boys, he is different from the rest of the boys and embodies a kind of innate, sweetness. In addition, when Simon dies, “The great wave of the tide moved farther along the island and the water lifted. Softly, surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures, itself a silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations, Simon’s dead body moved out toward the open sea” (154). As Simon is drifting into the sea, the phosphorescence surrounds his dead body, creating a glowing effect around his body. This event symbolizes Simon being the Christ-like character of the story and it relates him to Jesus. This is important because Simon’s death shows that he sacrifices himself to save the other boys from the impending evil that is the Devil/Lord of the Flies. This shows that Simon is the opposing force that fights against all that is evil in humanity. It also relates Simon to Jesus, when Jesus sacrificed himself for all of mankind. In the novel, Lord of the Flies, Simon represents the Christ-like character by helping others and ultimately, sacrificing himself for the greater good of humanity. In the novel, Lord of the Flies, we have learned that the characters in the book represent humanity. Golding teaches us that man’s essential nature is evil and when given the right time it will unleash itself. There are many more messages that we learn about society in books around the world. The authors that write these books also teach us valuable morals and their separate opinions about their own personal views on the world.

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