Lord of the Flies

In his classic novel, Lord of the Flies, William Golding utilizes
many elements of symbolism to help accomplish his motif, which is "man
is basically evil." Symbolism can be anything, a person, place or
thing, used to portray something beyond itself. It is used to
represent or foreshadow the conclusion of the story. As one reads this
novel, he or she will begin to recognize the way basic civilization is
slowly stripped away from the boys. Let us know look closer at the
ways Golding uses this form of symbolism.

From the very beginning of the story the boys inwardly strip
themselves of the remnants of the basic civilized world. This is
shown when the boys shed their clothes; their school sweaters, then
the rest of their clothes are torn off. Their hair becomes
increasingly disheveled, long, and entangled with small twigs. Since
the boys are left without any adult supervision they have to turn to
their collective unconscious. The collective unconscious was
discovered by the renown psychologist Carl Jung. Let us now look
further into each individual character in the novel, and discover how
they each contribute to portray the ending of the story.

Ralph is one of the older boys on the island and remains the
leader throughout most of the novel. He is described as a pure,

English lad. Such details as his fair hair and the fact that he is
wearing his school sweater symbolizes many things. First of all the
fact that he has fair hair represents that he will be the positive
force throughout the novel, as opposed to Jack who is described as
having red hair. The fact that he keeps his school sweater symbolizes
his desire to keep the island somewhat civilized. He does everything
he can to keep the boys under some kind of society. He makes laws
including the freedom of speech. Ralph becomes very popular in the
beginning, however as the novel proceeds and the society deteriorates,
the popular leader is abandoned for a strong-armed dictator; Jack


The impression that we have of Jack is that he is a tall thin boy
with a shock of red hair at the summit of a black cloak. Jacks
appearance seems to suggest evil. Unlike Ralph who stands for common
sense and a desire for normal civilized life, all Jack cares about is
hunting. Because of this opposition between Jack and Ralph, Jack is

Ralph\'s main antagonist. Symbolically Jack breaks away from good when
he baptizes himself with the blood of the slaughtered pig. Jack
eventually breaks away from Ralph and the others and forms his own
group which will basically strive for blood. This leads to multiple
murders. With the exception of Ralph, Piggy, and a few others, Jack
lures the other boys to join him. According to the laws of Freudian

Psychology Jacks Id has taken over.

Another character portrayed in Lord of the Flies is Piggy. Piggy
is the object of much mockery and is obviously a fat boy. Piggy
foresees both the need for a closely watched signal fire and for
secure shelters on the beach. Piggys spectacles are used to start the
fire. Piggy could represent knowledge or intelligence, a figure which
is often depicted as a fire-bringer. A familiar expression that can
represent this is the fire of inspiration. Even though Piggy
represented all good he was often jeered at.

Simon is a Christ figure. He is quiet, almost unnoticed, yet he
speaks wiser than the others. His wander deep into the heart of the
woods in chapter three, is representative of Jesus\' journey\'s to
isolate himself to pray to his Father.

As we can clearly see, William Golding has used much symbolism to
help portray the ending of the novel, Lord of the Flies.