19 April 2013
Lord of the Flies: Structured by Religion
Human nature is a very recognized and popular topic, especially among those seeking a more profound perspective on life’s deeper meaning. A matter such as human nature cannot be considered without the mention of the infamous novel, Lord of the Flies, by William Golding. The question, of course, stands as: What is true human nature and how does it affect mankind? The answer is purely subjective, but most opinions are supported with truths and evidence that cannot be ignored. Lord of the Flies is notable for its persuasive point of view that human nature is one of evil and savage behavior. However, it is the way that William Golding creates this message that is so memorable, unique, and valid. Golding uses a familiar interest to appeal to all readers – religion. Religion is the essence of human nature and is key in any argument regarding the matter, making Lord of the Flies relevant in any time era. While not everybody identifies themselves as religious, religion is a subject that has become known across the globe through generations of traditions and history. Golding shared a view point with Christianity and used its beliefs to structure a novel of his own and to stimulate the readers into seeing human nature the way he does, which is a state of truculence. William Golding uses parallels with religion to expose a compelling message about human nature by narrating Simon’s life on an equivalent level of Jesus Christ’s, composing the “Beast” synonymously with the Devil, and exhibiting resemblance between events in Lord of the Flies and the Bible.
Simon is best associated with Jesus Christ because Golding composed him to be pure and sinless in the midst of a crowd of savages. Jesus Christ, the acclaimed son of God, was born into the Roman Empire and grew up to teach faith in God and free all persons from sin. Despite his holy intentions, he was cast out and crucified. Simon is first introduced to the readers as, “a skinny, vivid little boy, with a glance coming up from under a hut of straight hair that hung down, black and course” (Golding 16). This introduction is very humble and displays Simon’s modesty through his physical appearance. It shows that Simon carries himself like Jesus, who was also very humble in nature and appearance. This initiation of Simon also doubles as the first relation to a religious figure. Although Golding never directly states the connection between Simon and Jesus, the discreet alikeness between the two results in a subconscious recognition by the reader. The similarities between Simon and Jesus are more general in the beginning of the story, but as Simon develops as a character, so does his connection with Jesus. Another quality Simon shares with Jesus is his selflessness when it comes to helping others. When Ralph was trying to make shelters, the only person that dedicated his full time and help was Simon (Golding 41). Later the same day, Simon helped feed the younger boys on the island, “Then, amid the roar of bees in the sunlight, 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, outstretched hands. When he had satisfied them, he paused and looked round” (Golding 46). This specific scene demonstrates Simon’s good-hearted and selfless spirit because he volunteered his service to make sure that the young boys would not go hungry. This is very similar to a story of Jesus in the Bible. In this story, Jesus fed and satisfied an entire starving village with a mere two fish and five loaves of bread (Mark 6:30-44). He performed a miracle. In Lord of the Flies, the endless, outstretched arms of the young boys are a village, the fruit on the trees are like the two fish and loaves of bread, and Simon is representative of Jesus Christ. But Golding does not stop here, and in order to construct an even deeper...
Cited: Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin, 1999
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