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"Discuss William Golding's use of symbolism in 'Lord of the Flies'".

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Introduction

'LORD OF THE FLIES' W. GOLDING "Discuss William Golding's use of symbolism in 'Lord of the Flies'" William Golding's "Lord of the Flies" is a social comment upon man's very nature and ability to interact. Golding places a group of boys on an island and slowly removes all of society's constraints and rules while the boys destroy one another in the needs to survive. He uses the symbolism to comment upon the nature of the boys, their degeneration into savagery, and society's role. Piggy's spectacles, the boy's clothes, the fire, the beast and even the pig become central to Golding's message about 'mankind's essential illness.' Lord of the Flies was written in 1954, just nine years after the end of World War II. Europe (and the rest of the world) were still recovering from the damages it had received. And then William Golding wrote a book, a book that shows what people are really like if they are pushed, and he showed this by using children. After World War II, the Cold War began. This was no war with armies or bombs, this was a war to try and gain nuclear power. People were worried that they might not wake up the next day, that their country would have been bombed. It was a terrible time, and that is why it is understandable to say the boys in Lord of the Flies were fleeing due to threat of nuclear war. Is Jack like Hitler? Yes. Jack and Hitler started out as being second in command of the society. ...read more.

Middle

A man made object is used to destroy man. Everything you do backfires on you on the island, you can't win, everything will be destroyed. It will destroy you. The conch is a sign of law and order. Blown at the beginning of the story as a signal for people to come to that place. It is the centrepiece of civilisation on the island from the very beginning, "he used to blow it and my mum would come. It's ever so valuable----" (p21), Piggy describe how the conch is a symbol of power, as people will come to it. It is a centrepiece that people will come to. The conch took hundreds of thousands of years to make, and it is very delicate, and like society can be broken in seconds. It is funny, that Piggy should be destroyed at the same time as the conch, Piggy is connected with the conch, the conch and Piggy are both important pieces within society. The conch brings power to them who hold the conch, giving them the power to speak. When people start ignoring these rules, which is when society starts to break down. People struggle to get this power who want it, people who abuse it, get if freely, the people who would like this power, and shadowed by the people who have it, are ignored. The boys' clothing is a sign of civilisation, in society we wear clothes because that is what we are consider to have to do. We use clothes to cover are selves, because that is what we do in society. ...read more.

Conclusion

Piggy on the other hand, is very polite, and sometimes is quite quiet, sometimes he is quite formal, but he is still a child so a lot of the time he is not, "...on account of my asthma." (p13). He is never rude, and never orders people to do things, he just asks them. Golding has written the book in the form of third person, you are looking upon the book, you are a watcher, watching what is happening. This is quite a good effect in a book like this because you see an unbiased approach to the people and characters in the book. Being a watcher on the events that happen means you are viewing the entire island. You are viewing the island as a microcosm; this means you see a "whole" as a small thing. We are seeing the whole of human nature, all of its instincts and reaction in just one tiny island, which is isolated from all over things in the middle of the ocean. In this book Golding uses symbolism to create the reality of what society and war are really like. He shows us the reality of the things we do in society and what is wrong with those things. He also shows us what a society can become and shows us how fragile and precious a society is. He does this with great effect to show what people are really like and what people can really - "mankind's essential illness." Shaun Gunner ENGLISH EN2 COURSEWORK 10AN Miss Dopson 19th December 2002 Page 1 ...read more.

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