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__________________________Lord of the Flies by William Golding

 


STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES

Lord of the Flies

 

 

Background on Lord of the Flies

William Golding wrote the novel Lord of the Flies with the intent to include certain elements of moral behavior for readers to absorb. He utilized specific symbols found scattered in the novel to portray his intended message to all those who read his work of Literature. The author builds his message into the novel in the form of adventure. The actions done by characters in the novel eventually create Golding's message to the reader.

It can be said that Golding describes the moral of the book in relation to the scientific mechanics of society. This is found as a major theme in the book, which is actually fear. The boys on the island view this ideal in the form of the "beastie". The "beastie" is an unseen figure on the island, which is symbolized of the dead parachutist. This fear, however, represents the potential evil found in humans. Yet, this evil is only brought about amongst specific environmental conditions, which Golding synthesized in the book.

The most interesting aspect and probably the most influential characteristic of the story is found to be the age of the characters. The author successfully attempts to show how capable the aspect of evil is among human beings. However, Golding perfects this idea as he used children, who represent purity and innocence in a normal society. Through the use of children, the reader finds that barbarity and savagery can exist amongst even the smallest and most innocuous form of human beings.

One can interpret that Golding is trying to represent human nature in its entirety. It is obvious that Golding is showing all levels of human capability in terms of psychology and science. The reader sees that humans exist in higher levels, such as present day activity, as well as the lowest form, which is represented by Lord of the Flies . The author creates a situation, which includes factors that are capable of forcing humans to fall into lower forms of mentality.

A very important concept of the story is the fact that in the society which was created on the island, order is a needed tool for existence. The concept of order is found to be a key issue as the society which Golding created contained no order. This book accurately shows how the absence of order results in an alteration of moral behavior. In Lord of the Flies , morals can be seen in the form of aggressive behavioral actions. Such actions include the murder of Piggy. Obviously children would never come to such decisions or actions against one another under normal societal conditions. However, Golding creates a barbaric civilization in which children do such actions.

Lord of the Flies can be considered a classical novel. A classic in the respect that the author creates special circumstances under which abnormal actions and functions mutate into everyday activity. All of these concepts and ideals are generated by Golding to finally produce a novel of both perplexity and perfection.

Everything about Lord of the Flies is thematic. The story revolves around a question: Is unshackled freedom a good thing? Golding's obvious answer is the need for civilization, its rules, laws, and expectations. (Ironically, the nearly blind Piggy was the one boy who could "see" this most clearly.) Yet, while Ralph personifies law, cooperation and democratic choice, it is Jack's reliance on charisma, brute force and authoritarian rule that wins out on the island.

Chilling words from Golding's Notes reveal the final irony of this book: "The officer, having interrupted a man-hunt, prepares to take the children off the island in a cruiser which will presently be hunting its [own] enemy in the same implacable way. And who will rescue the adult and his cruiser?

  • Biography of William Golding

  • Quick/Fast Review

  • Character List

  • About the Novel

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 1-3

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 4-6

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 7-9

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 10-12

  • Studyworld Essay Search on Lord of the Flies

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