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Goldings Use of Symbolism in 'Lord of the Flies'

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Goldings Use of Symbolism in 'Lord of the Flies' Before the second world war Golding had the belief that the human race was civilised. During WWII his mind was changed. He realised that, while the majority of humans are civilised for the majority of the time, they can also be evil, uncivilised, even savage-like at times. When he decided to write the book he chose boys as the main characters as he had taught them in the years between the writing of the book and the second world war. The reason he chose the island as a backdrop for the novel was because of the book, 'Coral Island' which thought portrayed what would happen if a group of boys were stranded on a deserted island falsely. Golding wanted to get his message that a groups of young boys on an island wouldn't have great adventures and all get along fine across to his audience subtly so he chose to use a lot of symbolism. ...read more.


At the beginning of the book the boys are constantly pulling their socks up and making sure they're neat and tidy. But as they realise that there is not any higher power than themselves they feel that the need to be civilised is gone. This is especially noticeable in the character of Roger, a Hitler-like figure, who at the beginning of the book is relatively quiet but as he realises that he can do what he wants and not get in trouble he becomes evil, regardless of whether what he does is morally right or not. At one point of the book this is shown quite explicitly when he is throwing stones at fellow boys, at the beginning he is throwing round a kind of magnetic force that surrounds the boy which shrinks as it becomes more apparent that no-one is going to stop what he is doing to the point where at the end of the book he will kill without remorse. ...read more.


His glasses also signify something, the state of social order among the islanders. From when they get taken off him to make a fire without him being asked, to when they are stolen from him altogether which is very near the point where he meets his messy and cruel demise. At the beginning of the book Jack tries to establish himself as leader, the vote goes in Ralph's favour which embarrasses him as he is used to always being the person in charge. This mortification builds up inside him till another vote is called. He loses again so decides to rebel and form his own group, offering meat and hunting. This is what leads to the deaths of Simon and Piggy. The island is Golding's portrayal of the world as he sees it, a sort of microcosm. Where evil wins in the end and good is wiped out. This is somewhat an exaggerated view of the world but Golding had some very strong views about human nature. Symbolism was his way of getting his views across and he does it very well. ...read more.

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