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Fear of the Unknown- Lord of the Flies

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The Fear of the Unknown An important theme in William Golding's novel, 'Lord of the Flies' is that the fear, especially the fear of the unknown, is pervasive in mankind in such a way that even strong societies are too weak to protect their own people from the grasping power of it. In his novel, Golding illustrates this sense of fear that is found within every society and that can eventually lead to community or distress, disaster and human corruption. Let us first try and understand what is fear? Fear is a particular state of mind that can be originated either from a realistic circumstance or a sense of uncertainty. The fear of realistic origin could be resolved by removing root cause with time and effort. But the fear of uncertainty has the strong grasping power to which any human may succumb, however strong he is. It has a seating effect on our sub-conscious which is very difficult to get rid off. In this novel, this fear of uncertainty started off when a little one with a mulberry-coloured birthmark announced the existence of the beastie. "He says he saw the beastie, the snake-thing, and will it come back tonight?" "He says in the morning it turned into them things like ropes in the trees and hung in the branches." ...read more.


We can also see this kind of sacrifice made for an unknown superstitious power, in the novel. The Pig's head was not only a sacrifice made in the novel, but, was also a kind of reassurance to the people. To repel this fear, people tend to do something vicious. This viciousness can also be a reason why people slowly turn to savagery. Therefore, cutting a pig's head and putting it on a stick also showed that savagery was slowly taking over population. The chanting and the vicious murder of Simon also show that savagery has already taken over. Golding clearly shows us that fear can not only create a certain disruption in the society, it can also eventually lead to savagery. Fear can lead to insight or hysteria depending on what situation they are facing. When a person is constantly told about a certain beast, it eventually creates this seating effect in their minds and they start to picture it or have an insight of it. This insight can be resulted in bad nightmares, especially for the little ones because they are always the first ones to get scared. We see this when Jack points out to the little ones, "Only Ralph says you scream at night. What does that mean but nightmares?" But, this bad insight starts to eventually devour the big ones as well. ...read more.


I don't understand why. We began well then we were happy. But then people started getting frightened. We will get that straight. So, the last part, the bit we can all talk about, is kind of deciding on the fear." During these assemblies they also listened to what everyone thought of it; even the little'uns had their chance of sharing their thoughts. For example, when a little one Phil claimed to everyone, "I was asleep when the twisty things were fighting and when they went away I was awake, and I saw something big and horrid moving in the trees." They also decided to hunt the beast down together as a group. Even the chanting "Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" made them to unite themselves together. Therefore, Golding also tells us that fear can also play an important role in helping the society by making the people even more close to each other. In conclusion, we can say that the bad effects of the fear is so dangerous that it may destroy a whole society, create easier opportunities for a corrupted leader to take control or even create havoc, chaos and confusion in the society. On the other hand, fear also has its good side effect, as it can bring a group more closer and help them to be united together. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

5 star(s)

This is an excellent essay in many ways. It shows an intelligent and perceptive response to the question and the writer clearly understands and is able to analyse the more complex themes and contextual factors in Lord of the Flies.
The essay is logically structured and deals with the question in a methodical and logical way showing evidence of detailed planning.
The vocabulary used throughout is sophisticated with one or two minor lapses in expression. More quotes would be advisable in certain place.
Overall a though provoking and intelligent piece of work.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 02/03/2012

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