Essay on Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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Wesleyan University
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Literature review
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Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a fascinating story that examines the darker side of human nature by exploring the cruelty and barbarism that exists in society. In the story, a group of boys finds themselves stranded on an island with no direction and has to do what they can to survive before they can be rescued. The boys are in categories of little ones and big ones with the first consisting of younger boys of around six and the second one consisting of slightly older boys between ten to twelve years of age. Piggy and Simon appear to be the intellectual characters in the novel. Piggys perception of the current events dictate that they should try to get help and not enjoy the conditions they are in. Also, Simon finds their savagery behavior as a way of expressing the evil in them. Ralph, Roger, and Jack, however, dislike living in supervised environments; therefore, to express their excitement, they find it better to embrace the fact that they are lost and live with it.

With time, the characters become absorbed by their new surroundings. Ralph, Jack, and Roger embrace savagery activities. Even Piggy and Simon start fearing that they might not be getting back to their homes anytime soon. The boys slowly turn from being innocent and stranded individuals into evil bloodthirsty humans. Nonetheless, their civilized manners still dominate their newfound savagery behavior. Hence, they set fire by the beach to create signals of life on the island. The savagery practices that the big boys employ are meant to illustrate how the world is dominated by evil traits. On the other hand, their desire to return to civilization illustrates the tendency of man to rely on hope to redeem himself from what he believes to be evil.

The narrator of the novel, Golding, does not take part in the novels main plot. This explains why the novel is a fable. Nonetheless, instead of using animated characters like most fables, Golding uses human characters. This is because many of the themes Golding creates are evidently related to humanity. The disposition in Goldings story is inversed. Having stayed on the island for a long time, the boys are convinced that there is a beast, which speaks to them. However, soon enough, they begin to question its existence. During one of their meetings, Simon says, What I mean is.maybe its only us (Golding, 2001). This statement also emphasizes the fact that the beliefs man has about his life might come from within him. This disposition undoubtedly affected my reading experience.

According to experts, the psychology of the mind is very influential to the human understanding. People believe in the existence of supernatural beings because they are afraid there may be a divine being that explains why things are the way they are. As a result, they are afraid to act or behave in questionable manners because they would feel guilty or anxious. Therefore, as humans, we end up dismissing individual choices due to fear of what other people will think of us. Also, we fear that others may be right, and if we do not follow in their beliefs, we might end up suffering the consequences. To avoid this, we adapt to the situation in the best way we can. When the boys find themselves on a tropical island after their plane crashes, their response behavior is quite evident. For characters such as Ralph and Jack, they are very happy to find themselves in an environment that provides them with the freedom they desire. However, for a character such as Piggy, there is no good thing about being stranded in the middle of nowhere. This situation is an instance, which shows how ones psychology manifests itself.

Golding uses metaphors and symbols in the story. For instance, the savagery activities are used as a symbol for the evil in society. Normally people think that because they act in devious ways, they are isolated. However, Golding clarifies this by showing that all of us have that evil trait in us, which can be eventually manifested in certain circumstances. Also, Golding uses imagery when Simon suggests that he saw a beast in his dream. When Simon first suggests that the beast is in them, he is sure that it is not in the water as he thought it might be. However, after revealing his encounter, the boys turn on him because they believe him to be the actual beast.

Although the novel provides a sad ending, it clearly portrays how human behavior is influenced by surroundings. Also, it depicts the role that civilization plays in dictating human behavior and beliefs. I chose this book because it helps one understand why certain things in life happen and what causes them. Also, given that the characters in the book are young, the novel serves as a good book to learn from. The different characters portrayed in the novel met my expectations since one can easily compare them to real life. I would recommend this book to any person young or old.


Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. , 2001. Internet resource.

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