Theme Analysis of Golding’s Lord of the Flies
In his novel, Lord of the Flies, William Golding creates a society that is doomed to fail because it lacks the rules that are necessary for its survival. When left to their own devices, the boys prove that human nature must be bridled or it will turn catastrophic. William Golding believes that total and complete freedom presents a danger to any society. The use of foreshadowing in the exposition, Jack’s internal conflicts and Ralph’s realizations about humanity warn the reader that the people in a society cannot be completely free or the society will collapse.
William Golding shows how unstable a society without rules is by foreshowing a disastrous end to the society in the exposition of the novel. In the first few pages of the novel when the boys are selecting a leader, they compare Jack and Ralph noting that “while the most obvious leader was Jack… there was a stillness about Ralph” (21) that causes them to pick him as their leader. By comparing the two boys, the author is foreshadowing a future conflict between them, and Jack’s eventual rise to power. The author also uses vivid imagery and personification to symbolize their inability to control certain aspects of their society. He personifies darkness, explaining how it “pour[s] out and submerge[s] between the trees”(31) making the forest as “strange as the bottom of the sea”(31). By comparing their environment to the bottom of the sea, a place where humans cannot survive for long, the author is foreshadowing an end to their society. In addition, because the boys are unable to stop the darkness, the author is symbolizing that there are aspects of their society that are out of their control. The author also uses in the exposition when he has Jack stab a knife into a tree trunk. Jack, frustrated at not killing a pig, “snatch[es] his knife out of the sheath and slam[s] it into a tree trunk”(29) and vows that “next time there would be no mercy”(29). Jack shows very...
Cited: Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. United States of America: Putnam, 1954.
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