Lord of the Flies
Have you ever wondered how a group of boys would survive on an Island? In William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies published In 1954, Golding uses characterization, diction, and imagery to create vivid scenarios in which a tribe of boys undergo tremendous change after finding themselves stranded. Through the boy’s actions and reactions, towards each other and events, we uncover true human nature. Ralph, the central character, represents leadership and equality. He is elected chief, and when he and pggy find the conch shell, they use It to create a emocracy.
Ralph is also the one that goes to look for the beast (even though he’s scared), to help the group. Jack directly represents evil and the desire for power which contrasts with Ralph. When Jack kills the pregnant female sow, we see his ignorance and unwillingness to change. Killing off the sow is symbolic of destroying the future. Jack takes control of his own tribe, and his actions bring about the murder of innocence. That innocence was embodied by Simon and Piggy, and destroyed as a direct result of Jack’s actions.
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Another key character Is Roger; he Is Jack’s right hand hit man and enforces Jack’s rules. He Is cruel and savage. We see the change In environment on the island parallel and foreshadow what events occur with the boys. For example, the forest starts out healthy with pigs and fruit trees, but they consume their resources and burn down the forest. The symbolism of the fire represents hope when they first come to the island because they want to be rescued, and it is also a contrast to the darkness, or evil, that descends on the island.
The conch is another important symbol, representing a civilized society, but after It Is destroyed and they stop following the rules, the boys turn into savages. Development of the beast directly parallels the darkness of the devil. Early on in the novel we learn of the beast. It is a creature that scares the children and embodies the evil nature of the devil. This creature, or darkness, is what lurks in the back of all human minds: The nature to destroy innocence in order to gain power.
The beast represents fear of the nknown; how superstition can be used to gain power, and the potential for evil within all of us. When the boys Imagine the dead pilot Is a beast and believe they lost their signal fire, Ralph says, “And now that thing squats by the flre as though It didn’t want us to be rescued. So, “We cant have a signal fire we’re beaten. ” When Jack leads his tribe and they kill Simon, the boys exhibit a mob mentality; they work themselves into frenzy, and as a group feed off each other in an irrational and violent way.
Their behavior is predatory and evil; they kill the innocence on the island. Piggy and Simon represent goodness and light which Is symbolic of God. In the story, Piggy represents democracy and Intelligence; his glasses are symbolic of knowledge. Simon says that intelligence is innocence in its purist form, drawing a parallel to Jesus Christ. Piggy just wanted to get off the island and back to modern democracy, saying to Ralph, “Right is Right,” expressing his high ethical standards. Simon is just a kind, caring person who wants the best for others.
He also represents spirituality; Simon is naturally good and seeks out the source of evil discovering its true nature. Simon stands on an entirely different plane from all the other boys as he embodies a splrltual goodness tnat Is deeply connected wltn nature and, In Its own way, as natlve as Jacks evil. When Simon and Piggy are killed, it is the destruction of pure innocence on the island. Not all innocence dies though; there is one survivor: Ralph. When the naval officer asks “Who’s boss here? ” Ralph replies, “l am.