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Evil in Lord of the Flies

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Introduction

Evil in this novel is shown through the actions of the characters such as Jack and Roger. There is a message that the author was trying to convey in this novel too: Golding was writing pessimistically about what had happened in the 1930's in Europe; Hitler and Mussolini, the collapse of democracy and the rise of fascism. He shows in 'Lord of the Flies' how attempts by the more rational and thoughtful boys to bring order and democracy to the island fail. The mob (the mass of the younger boys), like the ordinary people in Germany and Italy and most other countries, are easily led by rabble rousing speakers and promises of excitement and the good things in life. They do not want to listen to boring ideas about what might be best for them. Also, they can easily be swayed to violence and cruelty against those who preach a more sensible and duller path, e.g. Ralph and Piggy. They are also shown as quick to turn against anyone who seems at all different (just as they were turned against the Jews and against Jesus). Try to think of the points in the novel where Jack and Roger in particular show cruelty to the other boys. ...read more.

Middle

So, Simon helps Golding to illustrate the cruelty of mankind/the boys and particularly their cruelty towards things and people that they do not understasnd You've probably got the idea that in 'Lord of the Flies' William Golding is trying to show what people are like underneath all the centuries of civilization - what human beings naturally are. The public schoolboys are forced to go 'back to nature' in order to survive. Now nature can be presented as a very positive thing, symbolising healthy, simple lifestyles, free of pollution and other problems caused by humans. Alternatively, it can be presented as the opposite of this, very rough and dangerous without the effects of civilisation that we've grown used to. Which of these do you think is shown in Lord of the Flies? Generally Golding seems to be rather pessimistic about human nature - the boys become very savage in quite a short space of time - and he presents humans as being very close to the savagery of nature. Bear in mind that "Lord of the Flies" means "Beelzebub", or "devil", and you've got some idea as to the significance of nature in this book! You'll need to have a closer look at particular bits of the novel where different aspects of nature are described in order to develop these general ideas, but this should give you some help in setting you on your way. ...read more.

Conclusion

Glasses: The glasses symbolize the voice of reason and logic among the boys. Piggy defends his glasses even more than the conch. Piggy, who represents the superego of the boys' (and society's) collective personality, uses his glasses to find solutions to the boys' problems. The most important solution the glasses find is the lighting of the fire, the boys' best chance of being rescued. The Parachute Man: The dead body flying in the parachute symbolizes the end of adult supervision of the boys on the island. While the parachute man is flapping back and forth on the island, conjuring up a powerful image of its prolonged death, the Beast, or Lord of the Flies, is prospering under its new control over Jack and most of the other boys on the island. So while the law and order of the adult world is waning, childish chaos is growing exponentially. Simon has a special connection with the parachute man. He climbs the mountain, subconsciously, to determine whether the parachute man is still alive. When he finds out that the man is dead and that the Beast is alive, Simon has a nervous breakdown. The moral confrontation which occurs when Simon has the interview with the Lord of the Flies symbolizes man's inability to conquer the evil anarchy of the devil. ...read more.

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