Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

The classic novel Lord of the Flies by

William Golding is an exciting adventure deep into the nether regions of
the mind. The part of the brain that is suppressed by the mundane tasks
of modern society. It is a struggle between Ralph and Jack, the boys and
the Beast, good and evil.

The story takes a look at what would happen
if a group of British school boys were to become stranded on an island.

At first the boys have good intentions, keep a fire going so that a passing
ship can see the smoke and rescue them, however because of the inherent
evil of the many the good intentions of the few are quickly passed over
for more exciting things. The killing of a pig slowly begins to take over
the boys life, and they begin to go about this in a ritualistic way, dancing
around the dead animal and chanting. As this thirst for blood begins to
spread the group is split into the "rational (the fire-watchers) pitted
against the irrational (the hunters) (Dick 121)." The fear of a mythological"beast" is perpetuated by the younger members of the groups and they are
forced to do something about it. During one of the hunters\' celebrations
around the kill of an animal a fire-watcher stumbles in to try and disband
the idea of the monster. Caught of in the rabid frenzy of the dance, this
fire-watcher suddenly becomes the monster and is brutally slaughtered by
the other members of the group. The climax of the novel is when the hunters
are confronted by the fire-watchers. The hunters had stole Piggy\'s (one
of the fire-watchers) glasses so that they may have a means of making a
cooking fire. One of the more vicious hunters roles a boulder off of a
cliff, crushing Piggy, and causing the death of yet another rational being.

The story concludes with the hunters hunting Ralph (the head and last of
the fire-watchers). After lighting half of the island on fire in an attempt
to smoke Ralph from his hiding place, they chase him on to the beach only
to find a ships captain and crew waiting there to rescue them, because
he saw the smoke.

The novel is packed full of symbolism and
irony. Golding also communicates his message quite well. "The title refers
to Beelzebub, most stinking and depraved of all the devils: it is he, and
not the God of Christians, who is worshipped (Burgess 121)." This is just
one of the many examples of symbolism. Another would be that as the story
progressed characters names slowly begin to change. A pair of twin boys,

Sam and Eric, became know as Samneric, a single unit. Another boy completely
forgot his name because he was just lumped into the group know as the little\'uns.

This is symbolic of the break down of the basic structure of society, identity.

If a person does not know who he is then he can never function properly
in society. The other tool that Golding uses very well is irony. It is
very ironic that the group of boys finally get rescued because they accidentally
lit the island on fire hunting down the last of the fire-watchers. From
these example it is easy to make a conclusion on the message the William

Golding was trying to convey when he wrote Lord of the Flies. "In Lord
of the Flies he [Golding] showed how people go to hell when the usual social
controls are lifted, on desert islands real or imaginary (Sheed 121)."

Despite being heavily involved in the war
efforts during the second world war, Golding managed to not become a war
novelist, this does however, somewhat explain why most of the conflicts
in his books are basic struggles between people. "He [Golding] entered
the Royal Navy at the age of twenty-nine in December 1940, and after a
period of service on mine sweepers, destroyers, and cruisers, he became
a lieutenant in command of his own rocketship (Baker xiii)." So many of
the authors of his time used the war as the back ground or main conflict
in their books, but not Golding, he is able to use the war as his inspiration
and write about the most primitive and basic struggles that man has. One
must not think that Golding did not go unchanged from the war, because
analysis of his pre-war poetry shows a much softer, more forgiving Golding.

Golding\'s basic philosophy can be summed
up in a few words - society is evil. All of his books