william goulding - lord of the flies Essay

Submitted By kyliewinterling
Words: 549
Pages: 3

William Golding’s 1954 novel, The ‘Lord of the Flies’ is an allegorical novel with a fairly obvious set of symbols to decode. A group of very ordinary, well-mannered young boys maroon on a coral island after their plane has crashed. The boys, deducted of adults vote for chief and learn to survive. The protagonist Ralph, is chief. He realizes quickly that human nature is irrelevantly violent, the boys in whom he trusted loss their innocence for power. But though Ralph is nimble he never grasps the connotation of ‘the beast’.

“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it's only us.” Golding tries to portray the image that within each of us there is an evil. The imaginary beast that frightens all the boys stands for the primal instinct of savagery that exists within all human beings. The boys are afraid of the beast, but only Simon reaches the realization that they fear the beast because it exists within each of them. As the boys grow more savage, their belief in the beast grows stronger. By the end of the novel, the boys are leaving it sacrifices and treating it as a totemic god. The boys’ behavior is what brings the beast into existence, so the more savagely the boys act, the more real the beast seems to become. “Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?” Looking at the novel in the context of biblical parallels, the Lord of the Flies recalls the devil, just as Simon recalls Jesus. The name “Lord of the Flies” is a literal translation of the name of the biblical name Beelzebub, a powerful demon in hell sometimes thought to be the devil himself. The devil is known to show no mercy. The boys on the island develop into something similar.

They progress from well-behaved, orderly children longing for rescue to cruel, bloodthirsty hunters who have no desire to return to civilization, they naturally lose the sense of innocence that they possessed at the beginning of the novel. “Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of…