Lord of the Flies

A running theme in Lord of the Flies is that man is savage at
heart, always ultimately reverting back to an evil and primitive
nature. The cycle of man\'s rise to power, or righteousness, and his
inevitable fall from grace is an important point that book proves
again and again, often comparing man with characters from the Bible to
give a more vivid picture of his descent. Lord Of The Flies symbolizes
this fall in different manners, ranging from the illustration of the
mentality of actual primitive man to the reflections of a corrupt
seaman in purgatory.

The novel is the story of a group of boys of different
backgrounds who are marooned on an unknown island when their plane
crashes. As the boys try to organize and formulate a plan to get
rescued, they begin to separate and as a result of the dissension a
band of savage tribal hunters is formed. Eventually the "stranded
boys in Lord of the Flies almost entirely shake off civilized
behavior: (Riley 1: 119). When the confusion finally leads to a
manhunt [for Ralph], the reader realizes that despite the strong sense
of British character and civility that has been instilled in the youth
throughout their lives, the boys have backpedaled and shown the
underlying savage side existent in all humans. "Golding senses that
institutions and order imposed from without are temporary, but man\'s
irrationality and urge for destruction are enduring" (Riley 1: 119).

The novel shows the reader how easy it is to revert back to the evil
nature inherent in man. If a group of well-conditioned school boys
can ultimately wind up committing various extreme travesties, one can
imagine what adults, leaders of society, are capable of doing under
the pressures of trying to maintain world relations.

Lord of the Flies\'s apprehension of evil is such that it touches
the nerve of contemporary horror as no English novel of its time has
done; it takes us, through symbolism, into a world of active,
proliferating evil which is seen, one feels, as the natural condition
of man and which is bound to remind the reader of the vilest
manifestations of Nazi regression (Riley 1: 120).

In the novel, Simon is a peaceful lad who tries to show the
boys that there is no monster on the island except the fears that the
boys have. "Simon tries to state the truth: there is a beast, but\'it\'s only us\'" (Baker 11). When he makes this revelation, he is
ridiculed. This is an uncanny parallel to the misunderstanding that

Christ had to deal with throughout his life. Later in the story, the
savage hunters are chasing a pig. Once they kill the pig, they put
its head on a stick and Simon experiences an epiphany in which he"sees the perennial fall which is the central reality of our history:
the defeat of reason and the release of... madness in souls wounded by
fear" (Baker 12). As Simon rushes to the campfire to tell the boys of
his discovery, he is hit in the side with a spear, his prophecy
rejected and the word he wished to spread ignored. Simon falls to the
ground dead and is described as beautiful and pure. The description
of his death, the manner in which he died, and the cause for which he
died are remarkably similar to the circumstances of Christ\'s life and
ultimate demise. The major difference is that Christ died on the
cross, while Simon was speared. However, a reader familiar with the

Bible recalls that Christ was stabbed in the side with a a spear
before his crucifixion.

William Golding discusses man\'s capacity for fear and
cowardice. In the novel, the boys on the island first encounter a
natural fear of being stranded on an uncharted island without the
counsel of adults. Once the boys begin to organize and begin to feel
more adult-like themselves, the fear of monsters takes over. It is
understandable that boys ranging in ages from toddlers to young
teenagers would have fears of monsters, especially when it is taken
into consideration that the children are stranded on the island. The
author wishes to show, however, that fear is an emotion that is
instinctive and active in humans from the very beginnings of their
lives. This revelation uncovers another weakness in man, supporting
the idea or belief that man is pathetic and savage at the very core of
his existence. Throughout the novel, there is a struggle for power
between two groups. This struggle illustrates man\'s fear of losing
control, which is another example of his