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Lord of the Flies Literary Analysis Paper

By brinakaye Apr 16, 2013 944 Words
Through the Doors of High School
Bullying – something that happens every day in high schools, but yet people do not always acknowledge what goes on. According to the article Bully Facts & Statistics, 56% of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school. Bullying exceedingly affects a person. Whether it comes to a stop or not, the person harassed will never have the same mentality.  In William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies, a plane crashes on a deserted island and all that remains is a group of boys. No adults – young boys all alone. Throughout the novel the children have leadership roles and rules in order for their continued existence. The experience a person has while on the island is how they reach their goal – survival. Lord of the Flies is a classic because it is seen as a metaphor for high school in this contemporary era because of the struggle for power that is showed through the setting, the characters, and the symbols. Golding uses the scar on the island as a part of the setting to relate to high school. No matter if the boys abscond from the island, the mark will still exist similar to a student’s reputation in high school.  The scar in the novel is the scene where the plane crash emerges. This is the characteristics of the scar after the crash: “The undergrowth of the side of the scar was shaken and a multitude of raindrops fell pattering” (7). A scar literally means leaving a mark on something. The popular crowd in high school ensures an easier time of leaving a positive impact on the school, because they have additional power over the other students. This is an example of students struggling for power. Besides the popular crowd, everyone else has a hard time of gaining their power and making an impact on the school. A person will never forget about their experience in high school just like the boys will never overlook the effects of the plane crash that happened in Lord of the Flies on the island.  From the novel Lord of the Flies, Piggy’s characteristics remain not all that different from high school students. Early on in the novel, when Piggy and Ralph first meet, Piggy states, ‘”I don’t care what they call me,” he said confidentially, ‘“so long as they don’t call me what they used to call me at school”’ (11). Piggy’s declaration refers to how he accustomed to be treated back home. Piggy’s heavyset body and nerdy glasses causes constant harassment directed towards him. Contrary, high school students remain not all that different. Whether in high school or Lord of the Flies, name calling can really get to a person. The students that get picked on constantly are the ones that struggle the most at gaining power. The students that pick on others are the ones that contain the most power. On the island, a social stance takes place. Ralph and Jack are the leaders while the litluns follow them. Piggy remains the outcast. In schools the bullies, usually the jocks, tend to pick on the nerds. Although Piggy was known as the outcast, he had brains. "But Piggy, for all his ludicrous body, had brains. Ralph was a specialist in thought now, and could recognize thought in another (78).” Piggy was smarter than most of the others; that was part of the reason of why he stood out. Similarly, high school students judge to quickly. Again, that is a big part of why bullying takes place at school. Because Piggy is smarter than the others, it causes him to struggle the most for power. He is seen differently than the others and judged for it. Furthermore, possessions parallel materialistic possessions of people in high school. In the novel, the conch is used as an important object to the boys. Towards the end of the book when Roger rolls a boulder on Piggy, “The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist” (181). In Lord of the Flies, the conch symbolizes power. The conch represents order; it keeps the boys in line. Similar to high school, the conch represents power like students’ possessions. By having expensive clothes, it symbolizes richness, coolness, and popularity. Ralph a leader in the novel, uses the conch to gain his power. But Ralph eventually loses his power. “The space under the palm trees was full of noise and movement. Ralph was on his feet too, shouting for quiet, but no one heard him. All at once the crowd swayed toward the island and was gone – following Jack (38).” This is like high school because everyone fights for their power. Ralph represents society and in order for them to maintain their societal image; Ralph guides the boys by making rules. The conch calls the group to meetings and remains exceedingly important to the boys – especially Ralph. After giving the boys false information for a period of time, the boys turn to Jack as their leader instead of Ralph. Therefore, Lord of the Flies is a classic because it persists as a metaphor for high school in this contemporary era because of the struggle for power showed through the setting, the characters, and the symbols. In Lord of the Flies people have to deal with bullying every day. All because of the social groups that take place and the power that comes along with it. Always remember – bullying will proceed to exist in high schools but if a person does not let it bother them then it will not be as affective.

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