Get help from the best in academic writing.

Use of Allegory and Symbols in William Goldging’s Lord of the Flies

Use of Allegory and Symbols in William Goldging’s Lord of the Flies

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies allegorically shows the good and evil that co-exists in every human being. Each character and symbol renders this possible by what it represents. Ralph and Jack allegorically represent opposing political forces: Jack as the dictator or fascist and Ralph as the prototype of a democratic leader. The island represents the archetypal garden and the conch shell represents power. Golding uses British schoolboys to show progressive degeneration and to prove that a little bit of evil exists in all of us. Each of these symbols aid in proving that we all have some evil in our hearts.

Ralph begins the story as a carefree boy who does not understand the tragedy befallen upon 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. It symbolizes power and authority. No boys are aloud to speak at a meeting without holding the conch. He symbolizes the exact opposite of Jack; his evil and rage remain well hidden which aides in keeping peace on the island for most of the time. In one scene, when Jack and Ralph are brought together physically after Jack refuses to help build the huts, Golding seems to prepare the way for a larger contrast of two life-views as he opposes Jack-the-hunter to Ralph-the-builder. Ralph also helps to bridge the world of his common sense and Piggy’s intelligence. Golding’s comparisons are reminiscent of moral allegories. Ralph could not defend civilized ideals without his sidekick Piggy’s insightful ideas.


… middle of paper …

… parachutist symbolizes as the past, the legacy taught by history, which the older generation always expects the younger generation to accept and follow. It could also represent the wellspring of evil, which becomes manifest most obviously in the act of one man killing another. Perhaps it represents fallen man, whom Simon later redeems or sets free.

Lord of the Flies teaches many valuable lessons about evil and its impact on human behavior. Golding uses allegory effectively to remind us of this potential hazard. Recent events in Afghanistan and New York City painfully remind us of this flaw in human nature. Hopefully, this powerful novel will open people’s eyes to the evil inside of them so they will not make the mistakes made by the characters in this book.

Works Cited:

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Putnam Publishing, 1954.

Simon as Silent Prophet of Lord Of The Flies

Simon as Silent Prophet of Lord Of The Flies

The role of the prophet changes with the society in which he lives. In Modern America, a prophet is a visionary, telling his people what they can become; in Biblical times, a prophet was the voice of God, telling his people what they had to become to fulfill their covenant with God. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, though, the prophet told his people nothing; he realized what they had already become, and he dared not tell them because he knew they would turn against him. Simon lived in knowledge and fear because his society denied the role of the prophet, and he did not fight it because he wanted so much to be part of that society.

The basic premise of Lord of the Flies is that humans naturally live in savagery and ignorance, without any idea of how to live together. It is the story of boys stranded on an island who must develop a government to survive. Every detail of the story holds symbolism. For example, each character represents an aspect of society : those who represent human nature survive, and those who are self-actualized–the scientists, the religious, the leaders–all die. The most terrifying death is that of Simon, who symbolizes the eyes of a blindfolded and stumbling people. He alone saw that the jungle, which represented freedom and the lack of civilization, was not to be feared but to be understood; he alone knew that the mythical Beast of the island, feared by all the boys, was in fact their own inherent savagery. (The title, Lord of the Flies, is in fact a translation of “Beelzebub,” a name of the devil in the Judeo-Christian tradition).

In a vision, the Beast told Simon: “Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hu…

… middle of paper …

… his fear, his compatriots’ savagery justifies that weakness. If his flaw was his desire to be accepted, then he was no different from any of the other boys. Simon was just as human as all the children on the island, abandoned to “the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart” (202). If the truth died with Simon, it died because human nature hates prophets, because humans naturally live in savagery and ignorance.

Works Cited

Epstein, E.L. “Note on Lord of the Flies.” Lord of the Flies. U.S.A.: Puntnum Publishing Group, 1954.

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. U.S.A.: Puntnum Publishing Group, 1954.

Golding, William. “Lord of the Flies as Fable.” Readings on Lord of the Flies. Ed. Bruno Leone. Sand Diego: Green Haven Press, 1997.

Riley, Carolyn, ed. Vol. 1 of Contemporary Literary Criticism. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1973.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.