Lord of the Flies opens with a plane full of British schoolboys who crashed on a deserted tropical island. With no adults surviving the crash, the boys are left to themselves to try to stay alive. Immediately a sort of informal society sprang up with the election of a leader and a set formal objectives and rules. Initially, rescue was foremost on the mind, but it was not long before a power struggle ensued with Jack, who attempted to sway the boys to his camp. Thought speedily changed from thoughts of rescue to thoughts set solidly on hunting boar and any other boyish thing that came to mind, with what “the little’uns” called “the beast”, or as the reader knows it The Lord of the Flies, constantly in the back of their mind. Possessing different goals and vastly different sets of ethics, the boys divided into two tribes, half separated into Ralph’s more thoughtful, and planned camp, and half into Jack’s, whose mind was set on gaining control of the island. Eventually, Ralph’s side of reason and rationality eventually gave way to Jack’s tribe of hunters, and the boys sank deeper and deeper into a dangerous and violent life.
The writing of Lord of the Flies is very dark, and clearly shows the true nature of the mind left without supervision. I began to feel like I was part of the story, due to the writing, and I would feel whatever the writer was trying to portray. It is interesting and scary to think of these young children left to their own devices, and how they quickly set up their own community, with rules, leaders, groups, hunters, and builders all in a small length of time. The writing is descriptive of emotions and shows most emotions through descriptions of eyes, an example being “He snatched up his spear and dashed it into the ground. The opaque, mad look came into his eyes again.”
There are several symbolic moments in the novel which mark power, savagery, and what seems to supernatural. There is a moment in the book in which Jack decided to paint his face, which signed a step towards madness, and the death of a mother pig, which showed that his mind noticeably stepped towards a mind without mercy. Because he killed the mother, the litter of baby pigs would die, thus making it more difficult to hunt in the future, if there would ever be one for this group.
Piggy’s classes are also quite symbolic, as they represented the children. When they first arrived in the island, his glasses were clean and perfect, but as time went on, they became dirty, and half of the specs broke. Piggy’s glasses also got stolen after Jack and Ralph separated, symbolizing that they were one step closer to a merciless mind.
Secondly, in the beginning, the conch shell represented power, and is respected, as it was the chiefs’ way to summon people to meetings, and was used as the object which you had to hold before you could spoke in a meeting, but as the story went on, the respect towards the conch and Ralph dropped drastically.
Some of the last things that purged out the last of the innocence of the island were the death of Simon, who is “mistaken” for the beast, when trying to tell the others that the thing they called “the beast” was actually a dead pilot who had been parachuting out of his airplane. So, in trying to explain that there was no beast, he was mistaken for the beast and killed. This is one of two murders committed by Jacks side. The other murder committed on the hellish island is the murder of Piggy, who was the only intellectual person left on the island besides Ralph. This murder was fully on purpose, and the savages did not regret it at all. This book could easily called a thriller, because of all of the creepy things left