Saturday, April 18, 2020

Lord of the Flies Essay Example

Lord of the Flies Essay Civilization vs. Savagery What do symbols illustrate in novels? In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, symbols are illustrated through people, objects, and colors. In this novel, a group of children are faced with the difficulty of living isolated from society after their plane crashes on a deserted island. With no formal civilization, parents, or rules, the kids have the freedom to do as they choose. Throughout the novel, the boys find and use objects on the island that symbolize something of different importance. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses different objects to symbolize the difference between civilization and savagery. One of the first symbols presented in the Lord of the Flies is the conch shell. After the boys’ plane has crashed on the island, Ralph and Piggy, two of the main characters, find the conch lying in the sand on the beach. Ralph immediately recognizes the conch as being a possible way â€Å"to call the children to assemblies. † (Cox 170). The conch soon becomes one of the most powerful symbols of civilization in the novel. â€Å"He can hold it, when he’s speaking. † (Golding 33). This quote refers to the idea that, whoever has possession of the shell, may speak. It soon becomes a symbol of democratic power, proactively governing the boys. We will write a custom essay sample on Lord of the Flies specifically for you for only $16.38 $13.9/page Order now We will write a custom essay sample on Lord of the Flies specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer We will write a custom essay sample on Lord of the Flies specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer With Ralph being the leader, and Piggy by his side, the conch shell serves as an equivalent to the executive branch of government. He who holds the shell is superior, at that time. When savagery begins to take control of the boys as the novel progresses, the conch shell begins to lose power. After innocent Ralph is involved with the murdering of Simon, he holds onto the conch tightly, remembering the sense of graciousness that he once had. The conch shell ends up getting smashed during the scene of Piggy’s death, when Roger kills him with ‘the rock,’ another symbol in the book. Another symbol presented in Lord of the Flies is the beast. The beast, representing horror, is the most intricate of all the symbols. It is unique because it is not an actual object, but instead it is the imagination of the boys. It shows the inclination toward evil that all human beings are faced with in a time of great disaster. Simon, a character of human goodness rather than savage, comes up with the conclusion that the beast was not actually an object or figure, but instead it was the boys themselves. â€Å"Maybe it’s only us. † (Golding 89). After Simon speaks of this, the boys erupt in anger. Jack and the rest of his savage boys fall into chaos. Jack promises that there is a beast and they will find and kill it. The boys’ strong will to kill shows their fear of the beast and it disables the connection that they once had with civilization. As the savagery of the boys continues, the beast becomes looked upon as a leader, and they begin to make sacrifices. The erratic behavior expressed by the boys is what brings the beast out of their imaginations and portrays it as something that actually exists. The more devilish the boys become, the more the beast seems to be real. Along with the conch, the next symbol, the signal fire, was also present at the beginning of the novel. This symbol, representing life, was one of the only chances the boys had for reconnecting with society. Two signal fires were made on the island. One was built on the mountain in hope that a plane would see it, and the other was built on the beach, in hope that a ship would see it. In the first few chapters, the boys strived hard to keep the fire going, except for Jack. Instead of focusing on the fire, Jack was more excited about hunting for pigs. â€Å"There was a ship. Out there. You said you’d keep the fire going and you let it out! † (Golding 70). This shows how much the fire meant. Knowing that the boys may only have one chance at being saved, Ralph was furious at Jack when he found out that he let the fire burn out. The fire was so important to the boys on the island because it represented the small amount of civilization still left inside of them. When the fire burnt out and the ship did not see them, the boys ultimately gave up. They recognized the fact that they weren’t going to be saved and they would have to live lives of savages. Oddly enough however, at the end of the story the boys are saved because a ship sees a fire on the island; not the signal fire, but a fire made from the destruction caused by the savage boys. Another symbol is presented through the disability of one of the characters, Piggy, whose vision is much below average. He has glasses and these glasses play an important role throughout the book. Piggy is the smartest and most intellectual out of all the boys. From the very beginning of the novel Piggy’s intellect is shown when he uses his glasses to start the first ignal fire. He uses the lenses to reflect the sun’s light on a piece of wood. Piggy’s glasses play a key role in keeping the boys’ minds focused on being rescued. As long as they had a signal fire lit, the chances of being rescued were still probable. The boys’ chances of being returned to society vanish after an altercation between Ralph and Jack, where Jack steals Piggy’s glasses from his face. Ralph and Piggy are now left abandoned after Jack, now with the glasses, moves to the other side of the island with a few of the other boys. Piggy, without his glasses, cannot see. This represents the change from civilization to savagery. At the start of the novel, when Piggy first has his glasses, the boys on the island remain civilized, making attempts to keep the signal fire strong. As the novel progresses, and Piggy looses his glasses, the decline of civilization toward savagery is present. The collapse of the boys is also revealed through the symbolic masks that the boys design. These masks, which are used by Jacks followers called ‘the hunters,’ are made of clay paint. The evilness of the boys is clearly shown when they wear the masks. It is almost as if an infectious disease is spread upon them; they lose all sense of civilization. After Jack paints the mask on his face for the first time, it is clear what it does to him. â€Å"He began to dance and his laughter became a blood thirsty snarling. â€Å"He capered toward Bill, and the mask was a thing of its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness. † (Golding 64). This not only shows the cruelty of the mask, but it also shows how it opens Jack into the world of being a savage. Also, Golding mentions the colors of Jack’s first mask as being Red, White, and Black. These colors symbolize â€Å"violence, terror, and evil. † (Golding). The darkest and most violent symbol on the island is the rock. Roger, one of the savage boys, uses the rock to kill Piggy. Comparable to the mask, the rock is red representing violence. â€Å"High overhead, Roger with a sense of delirium abandonment, leaned all of his weight on the lever. † (Golding 180). This describes the scene when Roger, standing on a cliff, pushes the rock down on Piggy. The scene in the story when Roger kills Piggy represents more than just the death of one of the protagonists. Not only does the rock smash Piggy, but it also shatters the conch. The conch and Piggy were a few of the only figures of civilization left on the island. At this point, almost all the boys become savages and feel no sympathy towards the death of Piggy. In Lord of the Flies, the main characters are used to signify important thoughts and concepts. Piggy represents â€Å"prudence, logic, science, and the process on thought, which he uses throughout the story to remain civilized. † (Taylor). Piggy is the thinker behind Ralph, the leader, who comes up with ideas such as starting the fire with his glasses. His intellect represents the world of civilization that the boys once lived in. Simon has been given the characteristic of a mystic, or someone that is supernatural. He signifies â€Å"the Christ-figure. † (Spitz). In an Interview, William Golding even refers to Simon as â€Å"a saint. † (Kermode 219). He is shy and incomplete, yet he uses the intellect that he has to help others. Ralph, who has been the leader from early in the novel, is the most important representation of civilization on the island. Even though he loses his best friend Piggy, his friend Simon, and the conch, he still remains civilized. Like Simon, he learns that savagery is present among all humans. Jack, being the first of two main antagonists, is the number one exemplary of savagery on the island. His lust for power and his rampant terror among the boys sets him far apart from the civilized. This is present at the very beginning of the novel when Jack becomes upset about loosing the top leadership position to Ralph. The second antagonist is Roger. Roger shows the cruelty and bloodthirstiness of the savages at their climax. Roger, being one of Jack’s main followers, ends up murdering Piggy with the rock. The most significant and most apparent symbol in the story is the Lord of the Flies. The Lord of the Flies, which gives the book its title, is a slaughtered pig’s head that is placed onto a spear. The head, seen by Simon, is described as gruesome and terrifying. When Simon stumbles upon it in the Jungle, it seems to talk to him, telling him about the evil that lies within all humans. The dead pig’s head also tells Simon that he is going to have some â€Å"fun† with him, which foreshadows Simon’s death. The Lord of the Flies is ultimately a symbol of terror, but more importantly a symbol of the devil. The evil shown through the pig’s head is the same evil that has been causing the civility of the boys to decline. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses different objects to symbolize the difference between civilization and savagery. From the beginning of the novel to the end, the decline of civilization toward savagery is present among the boys. At the start, the boys tried hard to remain civilized by using objects such as the signal fire and Piggy’s glasses. As the novel progressed, the turn from civilization to savagery began to take place after Jack lets his lust for savagery get the best of him when he steals Piggy’s glasses. Lastly, at the end of the novel, the domination of savagery is present with the masks, the Lord of the Flies, and the rock. Once all hope of returning to civilization is lost, the boys accept their lives as savages. The symbolism that Golding employs in Lord of the Flies shows the difference between the civilization that the boys’ once knew and the savagery that fell upon them. Works Cited Cox, C. B. A review of ‘Lord of the Flies. ’ † Critical Quarterly 2. 2 (Summer 1960): 112-17. Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Roger Matuz. Vol. 58. Detroit: Gale, 1990. 170-72. Dunn, Daisy, â€Å"Book Blog| The Spectator. † Spectator Magazine| World Politics Current Events, News, and Discussion. The Spectator. 17 Nov. 2011. Web. 25 Nov. 2011. Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006. Print. Golding, William. â€Å"Lord of the Flies Themes| Gradesaver. † Study Guides Essay Editing| Gradesaver. Gradesaver LLC, 1999. Web. 9. Nov. 2011. Kermode, Frank. â€Å"The Meaning of It All. † Lord of the Flies: Casebook Edition. Ed. James R. Baker Arthur P. Ziegler, Jr. New York: Penguin Group, 1988. Spitz, David. â€Å"Power And Authority: An Interpretation of Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies. ’ † The Antioch Review 30. 1 (Spring 1970): 21-33. Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Sharon R. Gunton. Vol. 17. Detroit: Gale, 1981. 172-73. Taylor H. Harry. Rev. of The Case Against William Golding’s Simon-Piggy. (2004): 65-67. Bloom, Harold. â€Å"Bloom’s Guides: Comprehensive Research Study Guides. † Print. Lord Of The Flies Essay Example Lord Of The Flies Paper I will now talk about the opening of Harry Hooks second screen adaptation of William Goldings cult novel about a group of British school children that revert to savagery when marooned on a deserted island. The new adaptation replaces British school children with a group of American military cadets. Harry Hook is also a very effective professional film director who employs a wide range of camera techniques. At the start of Harry Hooks version of Lord Of The Flies we see a blank screen for about 10 seconds, we also hear very strange electronic music, which gives a strange intriguing effect. This also gives the audience no idea about what is going on this is very similar to Peter Brooks first shot in his screen adaptation of Lord Of The Flies only Brook has a bell in the background. We see the foot descending. When we see the foot it gives a shocking effect, but as we then see the full male body descending it seems quite peaceful. While we see this there is no noise at all. This is also very similar to Peter Brookss version of The Lord Of The Flies because I think Brook uses Cricket and people clapping politely to represent peace, Harry Hook decides to use the silence to represent peace. We will write a custom essay sample on Lord Of The Flies specifically for you for only $16.38 $13.9/page Order now We will write a custom essay sample on Lord Of The Flies specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer We will write a custom essay sample on Lord Of The Flies specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer When we see the man slowly sinking past the camera we see he is wearing a pilots uniform. The audience can infer that this man is a pilot. The audience can also deduce that we are in the sea or underwater. We then see bubbles rising from his mouth we can now infer that he is drowning; we then see a blue screen this is confusing the audience are trying to guess what is happening. The camera then cuts to a shot of boys above the water, the water is splashing against the camera and making the camera move so we can not see exactly what is going on, we hear loud screaming there is a sense of panic and worry. Harry Hook has used the camera in a first person point of view so it seems like we are actually seeing the view that one of the boys would see. We then see an underwater shot looking upwards we see flailing legs and hear muffled shouting. I like this camera technique because it creates a sense of confusion and disorientation. This camera technique was used a lot in the film Jaws it created a sense of panic and distress because when ever we seen an underwater shot in Jaws we knew something bad was going to happen just like when we hear the drum in Peter Brooks version of The Lord Of The Flies we know something bad is going to happen. The camera then rotates 360 degrees looking upwards from under the water. This shows the vulnerability of the survivors. We then see another underwater shot of a boy swimming down again. The audience is confused wondering what is he after? Then see a mid shot of a life raft then exploding open this startles the audience and explains how they survive and also what the boy was so desperate to retrieve from the water. In the next shot we see the title credits Lord Of The Flies on a silver and black background. And just like the Peter Brook version the letters stand out from the black background. We hear jaunty music drums, violins and flutes it has a very Irish jig feel to it, which in my opinion creates a sense of adventure and excitement. The next shot we see an extreme long shot of the island where their destination is. The raft floats onto the screen from a distance showing the survivors, who there are about twenty children and one pilot, unconscious. The boys wade ashore to where their journey begins. Lord of the Flies Essay Example Lord of the Flies Paper Lord of the Flies was written in the 50s, a decade or so after the war. The war demonstrated the savagery of the human race most famously so with the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The book is a reflection of Goldings pessimism of human nature. The island becomes a microcosm of the wider world where fallen human nature leads to a huge war. When all the boys meet together in chapter 2, there is initially some conflict between Ralph and Jack, but this is just a struggle of egos and not necessarily showing any kind of savagery. There is at first an agreement to order the island with a democratic system, and this is first represented by the conch, which is in effect the symbol for democracy on the island. Ill give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when hes speaking. Originally we see the boys as mildly presentable, most noticeably the choir who are introduced to us in a formation all in identical black clothing Each boy wore a square black cap with a silver badge in it. Their bodies from throat to ankle, were hidden with black cloaks. But soon all the boys except Piggy become far more scruffy and disorganised and eventually develop animalistic behaviour. These traits are most prominent in Jack. Here are some quotes showing his less civilised appearance Tattered shorts, hair is considerably longer, His bare back was a mass of dark freckles and peeling sunburn. He is described as dog like, flared nostrils hiss of indrawn breath, eyes are bolting and nearly mad. He speaks more aggressively now aswell as being offensive suddenly Jack shouted in rage Are you accusing? He and his now group of hunters which in itself is a descent into savagery turning a group of choir boys to hunters now discover bloodlust and have somewhat of an obsession with hunting. We will write a custom essay sample on Lord of the Flies specifically for you for only $16.38 $13.9/page Order now We will write a custom essay sample on Lord of the Flies specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer We will write a custom essay sample on Lord of the Flies specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer On Jacks first hunting attempt we saw reluctance in killing the pig. Perhaps because his consience is trying to prevent him from crossing the line into savagery. The next time Jack sees the pig he attacks it with no hesitation at all. He swung back his right arm and hurled the spear with all his strength. compulsion to kill Not only does he not hesitate when hunting anymore but he actually enjoys it as stated by Ralph But you like it! You want to hunt. Which is not followed by a denial from Jack. Hunting is becoming a personal preoccupation for him. Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood. Is Jacks most emphatic statement concerning hunting, and cements the idea in the readers head Jack is now a savage. His attitude rubs of on the boys, they become more savage and are made into a tribe, with painted faces and a desire to kill. The boys sat down and panted like dogs. paint our faces so they wouldnt see-surround them and then.. An example of Jacks attitude rubbing of on the choir boys is when Roger and Maurice kick over the littluns sand castles kicking them over, burying the flowers, scattering the chosen stones. Maurice followed, laughing, and added to the destruction. The fact that the small boys were known with the generic title of littluns and bullied about due to the social heirachy in place is explained by the fact there is no society where the boys are. No mothers watching their children the society is their own, and with those rules out of place Golding shows, this cruel nature is in all of us, but society restricts us from demonstrating it. Maurice had received chastisement for filling a younger eye with sand. Now there was no parent to let fall a heavy hand. The whole system of democracy begins to fail early on in the book, Jacks stubbornness to cooperate is a main cause of this, he hunts on his own and takes away many of the boys from democracy All at once the crowd swayed towards the island and were gone-following Jack. Most of the boys do not play their part in the democratic society Theyre off bathing, or eating, or playing Ralph makes meetings and everyone talks and makes decisions, but very rarely are these ideas actually into action Every day. Twice a day. We talk. Jack insists on dictatorship, he breaks the rules frequently and likes to control the group and not hear others views. Eventually he breaks away from the group and forms his own, who are complete savages and only seek to cause destruction upon the island. He becomes somewhat of a tribal chief, dressing himself up as an idol The move from democracy to dictatorship is shown through tribal dancing, chanting, feasting, disregard for the littluns. The tribe do not use names, they sacrifice a pigs head to the beast. The conch loses power throughout the book mainly because of Jack manipulating its purpose and rules. For instance he says the conch doesnt count at the top of the mountain and eventually it is destroyed in the fight between the two tribes. One can also detect the descend into savagery through the events of the boys using rocks and stones and making fires. The great rock of pink granite is the meeting place of the boys for meetings and could therefore be seen as the physical symbol of organisation, democracy and civilisation manifested on the island. Rocks and stones are soon items that aggression are taken out, for example there is a part of the book where Roger throws stones at Henry, even though he deliberately misses him because the way he acted in a civilised society is still fresh in his mind. here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. He is excited at the prospect of mastery over Henrys actions, an emotion showing fallen human nature. In Chapter 6 we see a party led by Ralph and Jack lead a party to hunt the beast on a previously unexplored part of the island. All but Ralph become restless with the challenge of being rescued and are instead compelled to tip over rocks, but this time it has a darker motive. The rocks are not just tipped for fun as they were with Jack, Simon and Ralph early on, but they are tools of losing aggression. The climax of rock tipping is met when Ralph and Piggy and the twins go to Jacks tribe on the fort. Roger finds a rock that would be suitable to crush the people down below a log had been jammed under the topmost rock and another lever under that a full effort would send the rock thundering down. Note that Roger no longer hesitates when it comes to using rocks to inflict pain, the invisible force that is his civilised self is now gone. Roger pushes the rock down and kills Piggy, the group have commited a deliberate act of murder and it completes the descendance of his tribe into evil, savage behaviour. The conch exploded into a thousand tiny fragments and ceased to exist this is a symbol of the complete and utter annhialation of democracy, order, and civilization. It holds the significance of Piggys glasses being broken (the breakdown of true vision) but on a grander scale. Also fire holds a role in the descent into savagery, originally fire is a good thing. It seems as though it is the boys escape from the island and perhaps their only hope, this would be done by sending up smoke which they hoped would be seen by a passing boat/ship If a ship comes near the island they may notice us. So we must make smoke on top of the mountain. This plan eventually turns into an assault on nature, the fire crawled through leaves and brushwood was savage with smoke and flame The fire spreads across the island and Golding suggests the death of the boy with the mulberry birthmark. Golding is perhaps demonstrating symbolically how all humans are born with the mark of original sin, and are destined to be evil and go to hell. This is suggested by the line Piggy looked nervously into hell. The task of keeping the rescue fire alight becomes increasingly difficult, Jacks group finds hunting a more desirable occupation and only Ralph, Piggy and Simon are left with the fire. A turning point in the book is when the fire goes out and a ship goes by without noticing the boys. The fire going out is symbolic of the hope of being rescued dying out, and the ship going away shows the boys going further and further from civilisation. The hunters later come back and look disappointed that the fire is gone, but a dead pig on the fire rises their spirits and it seems that eating the dead pig seems more important to them than the prospect of rescue, which is a demonstration of the group turning to savagery. At one point when Sam and Eric are guarding the fire, the flames illuminate the outline of the dead parachutist, this invokes fear them and they run away convinced they have seen the beast. Fear is then felt by all in the group at some point, even the rationally Piggy is swept away by supersticion. It is fear that is detrimental to the state of the group, sincere statements from Sam and Eric leave little room for doubt. Weve seen the beast with our own eyes-No we werent asleep they even give a detailed account of how the beast chased them through the forest. The groups response was a strong one The circle of boys shrank away in horror. Sam and Erics irrational fear has been passed to all other boys, even those who try to combat it feel fear, even Simon is fearful of it However Simon thought of the beast, there rose before his inward sight the picture of a human race once heroic and sick. Even though the boys descend from civilisation into savagery there are glimpses of their previous states of mind even in the light of their situation. Boys state their addresses and Jack flinches when describing how he killed a pig. Percival Wemys Madison, The Vicarage, Harcourt St. Anthony, Hants, telephone, telephone, telephone Civilisation is in the boys minds, but gradually savagery descends and we see all traces of society fade away, most noticeably in Jacks new found bloodlust and lack of hesitation when killing pigs. Lord of the Flies Essay Example Lord of the Flies Essay Argument 1: Civilization vs. Savagery Every human has a central instinct lying within them. It is not a question of how close to the actual surface it appears, but rather how well an individual controls and deals with it. In a state of increasing distress and panic, what is one truly capable of? Can one remain sophisticated or will the temptation of their dark inner most thoughts take over, bringing out the savage which exists in us all? William Golding’s Lord of the Flies explores this inquiry through an allegory represented by a group of boys who have been marooned on a deserted island, with no surviving adults. Lord of the Flies has been interpreted and analyzed in several different manners. It has been derived that the allegory of Civilization vs. Savagery is among the strongest interpretations based on considerable supporting evidence. William Goldings Lord of the Flies allegorically shows the good and evil that co-exists in every human being. Each character and symbol displays this possible by what it represents. Ralph and Jack allegorically represent opposing political forces: Jack as the dictator and Ralph as the prototype of a democratic leader. The disappearance of authority figures and the prospect of fun, however, also bring with them fear, for the boys are scared of the possibility of long-term abandonment on the island, a fear that is to be reinforced later by the monster. (Golding, note 1, p. 33) The island represents the archetypal garden and the conch shell which represents power. Golding uses British schoolboys to prove that a little bit of evil exists in all of us. Each of t hese symbols help in proving that we all have some evil in our hearts. â€Å"Everything is taken from the ship. Nothing is invented. We will write a custom essay sample on Lord of the Flies specifically for you for only $16.38 $13.9/page Order now We will write a custom essay sample on Lord of the Flies specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer We will write a custom essay sample on Lord of the Flies specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer It is all painstakingly applied on the island. Time is nothing but the time necessary for capital to produce a benefit as the outcome of work. And the providential function of God is to guarantee a return. God knows his people, the hardworking honest type, by their beautiful properties, and the evil doers, by their poorly maintained, shabby property. Robinsons companion is not Eve, but Friday, docile towards work, happy to be a slave, and too easily disgusted by cannibalism. Any healthy reader would dream of seeing him eat Robinson. † (Gilles Deleuze, p. 12) Ralph begins the story as a carefree boy who does not understand the tragedy amongst the boys. Ralph soon realizes a need for authority and becomes the true leader of the boys. He represents a democratic leader and a traditional form of government. To enforce a parliamentary procedure, he uses to conch shell. Weve got to talk about this fear and decide theres nothing in it. (Golding, note, 1, p. 88) This symbolizes power and authority. In the Civilization vs. Savagery allegory Ralph is part of civilization. He represents reason and leadership. While on the island it was Ralph who first gathered everyone on the beach. It was there that he was elected chief and he established their society. He runs a democracy where everyone votes on issues and he is willing to take everyone’s opinion into consideration. He believes that as long as they stay civilized they can easily survive, live in harmony, and eventually be rescued. â€Å"We’ve got to have rules and obey them,† (Golding, p. 42). Ralph insists on having rules on the island and at first Jack agrees with him although his jealousy for Ralph’s power drives him to constantly undermine and disobey Ralph and his requests. Argument 2: As a religious allegory The significance of Golding’s work is buried deep in his allegorical symbolism. The central focus of Golding’s allegory is the conflict between good and evil. Through his work, Golding attempts to define the nature of evil. He demonstrates the overwhelming presence of evil in every aspect of human life. He depicts evil in his story in many ways. Golding elaborates on the problems of moral choice as well as the inevitability of original sin and human fault. The blindness of self deception, as expressed by the boys, further aids in the development of Lord of the Flies as a religious allegory. During the time in which William Golding devised his allegory, the typical writing style of his contemporaries was centered about an uncertainty of human values. â€Å"The writers of the 1950’s exhibited a fundamental doubt whether life has any importance whatsoever† (Cox 49). Golding contrasted this typical point of view by describing friendship, guilt, pain, and horror with a full sense of how deeply meaningful these can be for the individual. Golding used young boys to show how religion and the teachings of the Bible remain present in every man’s life. Thus, Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, is a religious allegory with ties to both the new and Old Testament of the Bible. The success of Golding’s work is credited largely to his Christianity. His religion provides and intricate and symbolic plotline to many of his novels. His religious sense does not provoke him to give up all hope for human kind; instead, it provides him with insight to the dignity and importance of human action. The development of plot,descriptions of the island and sea, and treatment of character, he explores actual life to prove dramatically the authenticity of his own religious view point (Cox 48). Golding has been known to have a preoccupation with evil and original sin. Original sin is the Christian idea that all people are born with an inherent sin because of the actions of Adam and Eve. Golding once told a reporter, â€Å"Evil can look after itself. Evil is the problem† (qtd. in Green 173). Golding wishes to scrape off the labels and destroy artificial patterns. He represents himself as what used to be termed a Deist, yet the whole moral framework of his novels is conceived in terms of traditional Christian symbolism (Green 173). In the Lord of the Flies, the character Simon is presented as a Christ figure. There are many different interpretations of what Simon actually represents, however, Golding intended this character to be interpreted as a Christ-figure. As proven by this novel, along with his subsequent literary works, Golding is not to be labeled easily. His characters serve many purposes symbolically and in plot development. Lord of the Flies’ moral framework is conceived in terms of traditional Christian symbolism, however Golding does not fail to include several twists to further obfuscate the reader attempting to label his work. Golding has included a Christ-figure in several of his works. This Christ figure is always someone actively engaged in interpreting the human condition. The characters provide a sense of insight to the influence religion has had on William Golding’s life. The fact that so many of his works include such Christ-figures exhibits the prominent influence of religion in Golding’s life. Golding appears to be preoccupied with the problems that are the eternal questions of a religious man: the nature of good and evil, guilt and responsibility, the meaning of death and free will (Hynes, â€Å"Novels of a Religious Man† 70). His novels are preoccupied with these themes. The characters are challenged with the opportunity to do the right thing and the temptation to give in to the inherent evil within themselves. Golding’s strong intent to convey his message in made obvious in the way he communicates his central message. When Simon suggests that perhaps the beast is in only the boys themselves, it is very symbolic of this idea. This rather subtle interpretation of human nature from a small boy demonstrates further that Golding is so concentrated on his moral message that he will not hesitate to make the youngsters â€Å"dance to his tune† (Johnston 11). The fact that Golding will allow for his central message to be conveyed through the use of a young boy represented as the Christ-figure in the novel shows his intent and focus on religion as well as his concern for the human race. The allegorical symbolism of the novel is presented even more boldly in the content of the story. Even the title itself contains allegorical significance. The name, â€Å"Lord of the Flies,† was the Philistine Beelzebub or Satan. The Jews transmuted his name to mean Lord of the Dung or Filth (Green 176). This name is tied into the sodomy and brutal killing of the sow. It is also connected to the flies surrounding, seemingly engulfing the impaled pig’s head. By the time of the New Testament, â€Å"Lord of the Flies was translated to Lord of the Devils, a generalized Satan (Green 176). It seems utterly too coincidental for this title to have such a deep rooted-religious meaning without the intention of the author. Golding has purposely chosen such a title to lay the groundwork for his religious allegory. The title of the novel is not the only similarity between Golding’s work and the Old Testament. The approach of evil serves as another device to connect Golding’s work to the Bible. Literary critic E. M. Foster concurs with my observation about the approach of evil as an allegorical device. As in the Old Testament, when evil appears in the form of the â€Å"Lord of the Flies†, Beelzebub, he sends a messenger to prepare his way for him in another form. The name of his predecessor is Jack in the Old Testament (Foster 100). This is similar to the approach of evil in the Lord of the Flies. While some may interpret the odious Jack as the satanic figure, he can also be viewed as evil’s predecessor. His evil character and influence comes before the downfall of the island to the inherent evil of the boys. He is the first of all of the boys to have a bloodlust; Jack exhibits the first urge to hunt. Jack’s dictatorial character serves as a harbinger to the evil that will inhabit the island when it is unleashed in all the boys. Another connection to the Old Testament is found in the treatment of pigs throughout the course of the novel. Literary critic Kirsten Olsen notes that in the Old Testament the pig is a non-kosher food. The swine serves as a symbol of filth and forbiddenness (Olsen 130). In the story, the incidents associated with pigs are intertwined with the darkest aspects of human behavior. The hunting of the pigs for food turns into a joyous hunt for blood. The hunt of the female sow shows the true evil of the boys as they sodomize and torment the pig (Golding 135). The joy derived from the killing of the pigs exposes the true evil that is present in the boys. There is another strong association to the Old Testament found in the form of the murderous feast dance performed by the boys (Golding 135). Literary critic Kirsten Olsen observes that this ritualistic dance is strikingly similar to the dance of the Israelites depicted in the Old Testament. The boys dance ritualistically as they all fall victim to the mob mentality that surrounds them. The Israelites dance as they worship the golden calf: both ritualistic dances have an atmosphere of total abandon and revelry (Olsen 130). The last relationship to the Old Testament is present in the Christ-figure of the novel, Simon. While, Golding himself has referred to Simon as a Christ-figure, many literary critics interpret Simon as a derivative of Moses. The similarity between Moses and Simon is evident in their actions. Both Simon and Moses bring wisdom down from the mountain only to discover barbarous ignorance from their people (Olsen 130). The second portion of allegorical symbolism is connected with the New Testament. The first such symbolic intertwining is found in the setting of the island itself. The uninhabited island that serves as the setting for the Lord of the Flies is a mirror image of Eden when the boys first land there. The lush, remote island is full of fruit which hangs for the picking. As literary critic, Lawrence Friedman observes, the tropical climate prompts the boys to shed their clothes (Friedman 65). Literary critic L. L. Dickinson says the boys â€Å"accepted the pleasure of morning, the bright sun, the whelming sea and sweet air, as a time when play was good and life so full that hope was not necessary and therefore forgotten† (Dickinson 13). The boys are free to do what they wish, being restricted only by their own conscience. Just as Adam and Eve were at their own liberty do what they pleased, the boys unrestricted and free. They know however, that performing a morally wrong action will force them to suffer the consequences just as Adam and Eve. The perfection of the setting is placed in the boys’ hands. Just as Adam and Eve had their destiny placed at their fingertips, the boys are tempted with the same decisions. Golding illustrates that mankind is just like Adam and Eve: we can only suppress our greed and savagery for a short amount of time before it inevitably surfaces. Thus, the halcyon, â€Å"Edenic† setting slowly turns into a hell. The setting that resembles paradise is only ephemeral strictly because of the savagery within the boys. The irony is that boys create their own hell just as Adam and Eve were by their own fault exiled from Eden. The beginning of the transformation of the island is represented by the shattering of Piggy’s glasses (Friedman 68). Piggy represents reason in the microcosm of the island. Thus, when Jack strikes Piggy and consequently shatters one of his lenses, reason is symbolically half blind. Hence, without reason, the boys begin to express their inner savagery and slowly the island transforms. This incites the transformation of the innocuous little boys into cold hearted savages. The building of the first is a signal of resurgence of civilized values. However, the fire soon rages out of control. The boy with the birthmark is killed: the seed of fear has been planted (Friedman 68). Reason has failed to explain the darkness within and the island paradise begins its fatal transformation into hell. Golding’s story reflects his opinion on original sin and human nature. Golding demonstrates how evil is dormant in human nature even when the world appears sunny. He depicts how the corruption of darkness can arise from man himself and cast shadows over the sunny, seemingly pleasant setting (Hodson 22). The central Christian message of the novel that Golding attempts to convey is that we are all born in sin or will lapse into it (Foster 100). The boys’ behavior is inevitable because of man’s original sin. The growth of savagery in the boys demonstrates the overwhelming power of original sin (Cox 47). The boys are too evil to account for the evil within themselves. Thus, they project their irrational fears out into the outside world. The beast serves as the externalization of the inner darkness in the children’s nature and its ascendancy is inexorable, along with the path into savagery. This is symbolic of the evil instilled in man through original sin. Literary critic, Arnold Johnston, notes that this also depicts the challenge that the good or holy aspect of society must overcome (Johnston 10). Perhaps the most significant part of Golding’s allegorical puzzle is his Christ-figure, Simon. As well as being compared to Christ, Simon has also been interpreted by the literary critic Samuel Hynes as a saint. He is compared to his supposed namesake, Simon, from the New Testament (72). Simon is one of Christ’s apostles. Other than the name, the other similarity that Simon shares with Simon from the Bible is, as Golding himself puts it he â€Å"voluntarily embraces his fate† (qtd. n Hynes, â€Å"Novels of a Religious Man† 72). The first aspect in the development of Simon as the Christ-figure in the novel is his isolation. His lonely, voluntary quest for the beast is the symbolic core of the book. In his excursion away from the boys, Simon shows himself to be the one character who has an affinity with nature. His first act once the boys reach the island is to withdraw to a place of contemplation, a limpid, sunlit space in the midst of the forest (Hynes, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies19). There are strong religious overtones o the area that Simon finds which, with its candle-buds and serene stillness, resembles a place of worship. This withdrawal parallels Christ’s withdrawal to the temple as a young boy as described in the New Testament. Golding creates the character Simon with intentions for him to be the embodiment of moral understanding. Golding describes Simon to be â€Å"a lover of mankind, a visionary, who reaches commonsense attitudes not by reason but by intuition† and to be â€Å"a Christ-figure in my fable† (qtd. in Hodson 27). The whole story moves towards Simon’s view of reality. Simon helps the â€Å"littluns’ reach a high branch of fruit, indicating his kindness and sympathy; many of the older boys would rather torment the â€Å"littluns† than help them. Simon also sits alone in the jungle clearing while marveling at the beauty of nature. This indicates his basic connection with the natural world. Simon takes the responsibility to help Ralph with the shelter while the other boys enjoy the island or join Jack in the hunt (Golding 53). Simon is the sole exponent of fundamental, natural good. Through Simon’s pure goodness, he is ostracized form the rest of the boys on the island. Simon’s confrontation with the Lord of the Flies is the most complex of the whole novel. This scene is sublimated to its primary purpose: dramatizing the conflict between the civilizing and savage instincts in human beings. The scene also shows Simon’s innocence and sets the stage for the harsh contrast between him and the rest of the savage boys. While staring into the pig’s mouth he sees the infinite cynicism and evil of adult life. This scene serves to dramatize the clash between good and evil. Christ also has a confrontation with evil when he is tempted by Satan in the New Testament. The â€Å"Lord of the Flies† has invaded Simon’s forest sanctuary to preach an age old sermon: evil lies within man whose nature is inherently depraved. Simon cannot counter this lesson. He is engulfed by the spreading of the vast mouth, overwhelmed by Beelzebub’s power and thus he loses consciousness (Friedman 70). He later gathers the courage to face the evil; the inherent and inexorable evil that is in all the boys (Cox 53). He then climbs the hill to go spread the word to the rest of the boys and enlighten them. Golding paints his most startling and powerful scene shortly after the confrontation between good and evil. This scene is the brutal murder of Simon when he descends from the mountain to share the truths of life with the rest of the boys and free them from their fears. They eliminate the hope of Christ’s sacrifice by repeating the pattern of his crucifixion. Lawrence S. Friedman concurs that Simon’s fate underlines the most awful truths about human nature: its blindness, its irritability, and its blood lust (Friedman 71). Piggy and Ralph’s participation in Simon’s heinous murder help to further expose the hopeless human condition. The boys later console themselves and say that Simon’s death was an accident. Piggy’s desperate rationalizations of his ignominious action point to the inability of human reason to cope with the dark reality of nature. As literary critic Lawrence Friedman states, Piggy’s excuses are frantic attempts to explain basest human instincts and actions (Friedman 72). Another similarity between Simon and Christ is that both die for their society (Dickinson 24). Christ dies for the sins of the world; Simon dies as atonement for the evil in the boys. Simon’s dead corpse and the way it is carried out into the ocean is another way of tying him to Christ. He is seen in a holy light after his untimely death. The way Golding describes the corpse being carried out to sea suggests transcendence. â€Å"Softly surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures, itself a silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations, Simon’s dead body moved out toward the open sea† (184). The other characters in Lord of the Flies become allegorical agents through Golding’s intricate plot development. All of the boys are both good and bad. Even Ralph and Piggy participate in Simon’s murder: this demonstrates the complexities of human nature. Jack’s name is symbolic in its ties to the New Testament. Jack was a disciple of Christ (Dickinson 14). Thus, the miscreant, Jack, serves as an ironic twist of the religious connotations of his name. Golding’s novel serves as a lesson for society. It teaches us that evil is inherent in all men due to original sin. The spiritual vacuum of Golding’s novel is completed within the tragedy of Lord of the Flies: the futility of Simon’s sacrificial death, the failure of adult morality, and the final absence of God. In this novel, God’s absence leads only to despair. Golding himself states that theme of his novel is â€Å"grief, sheer grief, grief, grief† (qtd. n Friedman 74). The novel is a meditation on the nature of human political society, dealing with such concerns as the development of political systems and the clash in human nature between savage and civilized behavior. Golding has composed a narrative that is essentially a myth or allegory. His elusive writing style has been the central focus of countless literary critics. This myth or allegory strikes through to the deepest roots of our existence- to fear, to hunger, and then to the will to survive. Because these roots are universal to men, he has managed to give fictional form to religious themes. For it is through myths and allegories that the substance of religious belief is most directly communicated. ?

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