The Lord Of The Flies


The Lord Of The Flies Essay, Research Paper

The adventure novel, The Lord of the Flies, was an epic tale that depicted the different

facets of the human spirit. It was written by William Golding in the 1950?s and recieved

many awards. Idt was declared the ?Outstanding Novel of the Year? by E.M. Forrester.

The author did in no wat mean for this story to be biographical, but Mr. Golding depicted

well the many different aspect of human nature. The book has been described as

?provacative, vivid and enthralling,? but Time and Tide said it best when they wrote, ?It is

not only a first-rate adventure story but a parable of our times.?

The novel took place on an island probably somewhere in the middle of the

Atlantic. This can be inferred because of the fact that the boys are British and that they

arrived on the island by way of a plane cradsh. The story also occurred during wartime.

The story begins when a group of British boys crash on an uninhabited island. In

the beginning they area all unruly and unmorginized. Finally, a boy by the nakme of Ralph

decides to take charge and call a meeting. The boys declare him ?chief? and then begin to

follow his lead. Ralph is also assisted by another lad by the name of Piggy. The group of

boys were getting along fine until Jack Merridew, a boy who wanted to be ?chief? instead,

decided to go his own way. He disobeyed Ralph and did things his own way. He was to

preoccupied witdh his own whims to do the act that was most important on the island,

which was to keep the signal going so they could be rescued. Finally, Jack went against

Ralph and declared that if any of the other boys wanted to have ?fun,? which meant acting

like savages, that they should follow him. The boys splot up into two groups and then

havoc insued. Jacks group went around hunting and being barbaric while the others tried

to get rescued. In the end Jack had gotten all the boys except Ralph to run around loke

wild animals. Then when Jack got tired of dealing with Ralph, he convinced wveryone to

try and kill him. By then however, a navy ship had come an they could never get around

to the nasty deed.

There was more than one antagonist in the story, The Lord of the Flies. They

were Ralph, Piggy, and all the other boys who tried to sustain order and law on the island.

To begin with, Ralph was the ?first? chief on the island. In the beginning, he was the one

who tdook charge of the group okf boys and called them to order. He tried to organize a

strategy dto get off the island and make all the boys understand why it was he was doing

what he was doing. Piggy was basically Ralph?s ?right-hand? man. He was probably the

mkore natural leader, but since he did not possess the confidence to stand up alone, he did

all he wanted to do ?through? Ralph. These boys were the antagonists because they

desperately tried to get off the island and tried not to let anyone or anything get in their


The antagonist in the story in the story was Jack Merridew. He was the boy in the

story who openly showed his dislike for the procedures Ralph was taking as chief of the

island. He continually disobeyed Ralph and eventually broke off and went his own

direction. In turn, many of the boys followed Jack and his ?savage philosophy.? Jack and

these boys started their own ?tribe? and ended up causing more problems than they

solved. He also prevented Ralph from being an effective leader by basically taking away

all his power. When the other boys saw how much ?fun? Jack was having they all left

Ralph and followed every action Jacck took. When the boys left, Rallph did not have

many boys helping him, dtherefore, he could not accomploish the simple taske of keeping

the signal fire going.

The theme of the novel was the fact that even the most avid attempts to be

civilized will be squandeered by the savage nature of the human spirit. The group of boys

were stranded on the island with almost no chance of survival and persevered through it

all. One of the most sensible boys, Ralph, eeven tried to organize the group and get them

to follow his instructions. He had them gbuild shelters and construct a smoke signal that

would run throughout the day. In the beginning the group carried these instructions out,

but then anarchy overtook them. Jack Merridew proceeded to disregard all of Ralph?s

instructions and followed his own whims and fancies. His plan while he was on the island

was to hunt and have ?fun.? He did not realize that his savage nature was beginning to

surface and by the time he did realize this it was too late, the way of life had consumed

him. The author attempts to show the reader that people must overcome their own basic

faults before they can live in active, productove, and functioning society. ?The theme is an

attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of juman natrue.? -William


In the novel, The Lord of the Flies, the main conflict was between Ralph and Jack.

The two boyks comkpletely differed in their approach on what to do while stranded on the

island. This brought about many confrontations that further increased the animosity

between them. ?Jack stood up as he said this, the bloodied knife in his hand. The two

boys faced each other. There was the brilliant world of hunting, tactics, fierce

exhilaration, skill; and there was the world of longing and baffled commonsense.? – pg. 71.

There was was also the conflict between the boys and the actual island. The boys were

flung into a place which was a mystery to them and through all adversity persevered and

survived in the most trying of circumsstances. There were no adults on the island, so the

boys were forced to organize themselves and their actions. Until savagery overtook them

in the end, the boys did an excellent job, considering the circumstances, of coordinating

their actions and surviving while on the island. They had sufficiently fed themselves with

the fruit that was available and had a ready supply of drinking water when it was needed.

The two previously discussed conflicts were both external and a combination of ?Man

versus Another? and ?Man versus Nature.?

The novel, The Lord of the Flies, contains many literary devices used to enhance

the reader?s grasp on the novels concepts. ?The coral was scribbled in the sea as though a

giant had bewnt down to reproduce the shape o the island in a flowing chalk line but tired

before he had finished.? – pg. 29. This passage is comparing the coral reef in the ocean

to the unfinished scribblings of a giant and is a good example of a simile because it using

the word ?as.? ?The breezes that on the lagoon had chased their tails like kittens were

finding their way across the platform and into the forest.? – pg. 34. This statement is

saying that the breezes on the lagoon were reocurring like kittens chasing their own tails

and is another good example of a simile. ? …whole limbs yielded passionately to the

yellow flames that poured upwards and shook a great beardof flame twenty feet in the

air.? – pg. 41. This quote is saying that limbs of trees ?yielded? to flames and since tree

limbs cannot perform this human quality consciensly, this is an example of personification.

?When these breezes reached the platform the palm fronds would whisper winged things

in the shade.? – pg. 15. Once again, this sentence is implying that the palm fronds were

whispering, and since a plant cannot perform this act this is another example of

personification. ?Suddenly Piggy was a bubble with decorous excitement.? – pg. 15. This

statement furhter clarifies what Piggy looked like in the reader?s mind so this is an

example of imagery. ? …the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased

to exist.? – pg. 181. This excerpt also clearly states what the conch looked like so this is

an example of imagery. ?`There

?`Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!? said the head.

`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??? – pg. 143. This is what ?The Lord of the Flies? said

to Simon while he was in the forest. The ?Lord? meant that it was funny how the boys

thought that the Beast was an animal that they could hunt and kill when it was really their

own human thoughts and desires. How the whole time they were looking for something

up on the mountain when all they had to do was look at themselves. It is important to the

message of the story because it the first instance where the author reveals and one of the

boys realizes what the group is really up against. Mr. Golding shows the reader that the

following sequence of events will depict the darkest sides of each of the boys and that they

will have to overcome themselves in order to have any chance at survival.

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