• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does William Golding use Chapter 1 to Introduce the Themes of the Novel?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does William Golding use Chapter 1 to Introduce the Themes of the Novel? Lord of The Flies was written by William Golding and was first published in 1954, six years after the end of World War II. By the time the novel was written, the first atomic bomb had been dropped, and the world lay in fear of a total nuclear war, especially as a result of Russian aggression. Golding felt oppressed by the US government - at this time of heightened nerves about Russian spies, the US government had the power to search anything and anywhere at any time, accusing seemingly random people of conspiring against the US. He felt that the only way to express his feelings against this without being accused of conspiring was to write a book, the boys in this a metaphor for many aspects of life, including aggression and instinct, conscience, rationality and maturity. Golding uses boys because he felt that everyone has the potential for evil, including young boys; his intended message and effect being heightened when these "innocent" boys loose all sense of morality and give in to their malevolent and evil side. Golding begins his novel with children being rescued from the scene of what is most likely a nuclear war in England, set sometime in the future. The innocents needed to escape the horrors inflicted during wartime; they needed to flee from man's cruelty to his fellow man. Ironically, on their island paradise, the children slip to a base level of humanity, adorn themselves with war-paint, and inflict death on some of the boys, who were previously their friends. ...read more.

Middle

This quote also shows Jacks attitude to their situation; he thinks that it is all a game, the word "count" making it seem as if there are points to be gained and lost against Ralph. The power of leadership is a virtue that Jack values above almost everything else, even life towards the end of the book - it makes the others listen to him over Jack, holding power that Jack desperately wants. In the last chapter, however, the conch is destroyed, along with Piggy, representing the destruction of democracy and civilisation; from then on Jack's tribe are totally barbaric, fuelled by a primitive desire for blood, and try to kill Ralph - the first time they had purposely attempted to kill a fellow man. Destruction is a theme that appears quite frequently throughout the novel; Ralph, Jack and Simon tip over a huge boulder during their first exploration of the island, which subsequently rips a path through much of the forested section of the island. This is an example of primitive instinct shining through once more, though it is a well known fact that most young boys do things like this for no good reason, other than that it'd be fun. This is also severe short-sightedness; none of them gave a thought to the fact that it could have injured someone had it headed for their base area. It would have also destroyed much of the growth that they would have needed the fruits of. ...read more.

Conclusion

The boys' imaginations tell them it is getting more powerful, so they believe that it does exist, although none of them have got solid evidence. Here Golding is saying that as the Beast grows in power, as it is essentially the evil of man, so does the evil grow - the evil that ends up affecting Piggy and Simon severely: When Simon staggers into the clearing where the rest of the boys, including Ralph and Piggy, are dancing and singing a chant about killing the beast, it isn't surprising that they mob him and murder him, taking him for the beast in a frenzy of mass hysteria. Golding has written a novel which can be seen at many levels. It was his personal fight to warn the world of potential evil - even seemingly innocent children such as those in his book had the capacity for evil, which manifest it's self in the most dramatic, horrifying way, resulting in the deaths of three innocent people, all of whom were more innocent at their end than their killers, Piggy and Simon were attempting to do positive things for their killers, in fact - Simon was confirming the non-existence of the Beast (the irony being that he was killed for being a manifestation of the Beast), Piggy, with Ralph, trying to come to an agreement with Jack. Golding stated that "man produces evil as a bee produces honey". He has shown how the civilisation on the island has broken down into anarchy and terror "because the boys are suffering from the terrible disease of being human". ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE William Golding section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE William Golding essays

  1. How does William Golding use language in his description of the island and the ...

    A fight between the two evolves and then the storm truly begins. At first Golding describes the lightning as a "blink of bright light", but later in the chapter as "flickering", "flashes", and even "shattering". Golding has built up the intensity of the atmosphere using the lightning; as the words get more powerful, so does the storm.

  2. Themes, Motifs, and Symbols - Themes are the fundamental concepts addressed and explored in ...

    Critics have asserted that the story parallels the history of civilization, that its symbols correspond exactly to the elements of the Freudian unconscious (with Jack as the id, Ralph as the ego, and Simon as the superego), and that it demonstrates the origin of human religious belief in systems of power based on fear of the unknown.

  1. How does Golding use the language to show Piggy and Simon are never fully ...

    In addition the author's description of his baldness presents an image of old age and vulnerability, as hair is traditionally associated with youth and strength. This lack of power makes him an easy victim. Golding describes Piggy as, "an outsider not only by accent."

  2. Reacting against Victorian optimism and to the horrors of the 20th Century, William Golding ...

    our ideals, values and the basic principals of right and wrong, good and evil are lost. Without the strict rules and moral 'conditioning' and the guidelines of society, anarchy and savagery are allowed to surface and a decent into instinctive primordial iniquity is imminent.

  1. Lord of the Flies - What factors lead to the island community becoming increasingly ...

    The grouping of the choir implies that he needs "friends" or "henchmen" to back him up to be able to assert his authority over others, to be able to show that he can be powerful. His desire for power is highlighted by his physical strength and his confidence and arrogance, ""I ought to be chief," said Jack with simple arrogance".

  2. Lord of the Flies was written in 1954 as William Goldings debut novel.

    Ralph starts to develop their plans for rescue and takes on well his role of leader, he also boasts about his father, 'My fathers in the navy. He said there aren't any unknown islands left...and sooner or later a ship will put in here.

  1. I am comparing and contrasting Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding in ...

    of him comes out, his good side being disgusted of what he did, mainly because of the selfish reason of wanting to prove to his mind that he has power over himself. Golding hints that there might be human fatalities because of Jack's willingness to kill pigs, combined with a couple of voiced thoughts.

  2. In an essay about his novel “Lord of the Flies”, William Golding wrote: “The ...

    "We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages. We're English..." This is a good indication of Ralph's society, the one he wants to try and create as well as the one he came from. In order to form this society they are in need of more rules and lots of organisation.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work