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How is evil portrayed in 'Lord of the Flies'?

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Introduction

How is evil portrayed in 'Lord of the Flies'? William Golding uses allegory in Lord of the Flies to portray the evil that is in people. An allegory is a story with an underlying meaning as well as a literal one. William Golding uses allegory on two levels in Lord of the Flies, one relating to World War Two that had just taken place when the book was written and another relating to Jesus Christ and the Garden of Eden. An important aspect of the novel is the time in which it was written, due to the Second World War ending. This means that Golding would have experienced and seen the cruelty and bitterness of man. William Golding had a theory as to why people do evil things. This was known as the 'original sin' or 'inner evil'. He believed that when you are born you have a certain amount of good and a certain amount of evil inside you. There are many characters that are protrayed as evil, one of which is Roger. Roger is pure evil, and only in the last four chapters does the reader discover this. Roger seems to be quite timid at the beginning of the story when he marches in with the choir. ...read more.

Middle

The way he killed the pig was not only evil but this was emphasised by the savagery manner in which he killed the pig. Jack has become so evil that he hunts Ralph at the end of the novel; this shows us that he is savage because he has no limits and is prepared to kill Ralph. He goes as far as setting the island on fire. This happens because of Jack's savage personality and ability to tell people what they want to hear. Jack wears a mask in the colours of the Nazi symbol: red, white and black. Another thing that Jack does that show us that he is evil is Jack's killing of the mother pig which, shows his great lack of foresight, as by killing the mother, they were losing all the other piglets who would've been a future source of food. Also the way he killed them, in a violent way. The characters of Jack and Roger are portrayed as evil in contrast to the character of Ralph and Simon who are good. Simon is described as the 'Christ-figure' in the novel. He is very good and pure, and has a very positive outlook. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Between the flashes of lightning the air was dark and terrible. Lightening is often used to create tension and drama; this is where Golding uses it to effect. This shows us that 'the island was getting worse and worse'. Golding also uses strong word for an imagery of evil, when he describes the 'scar' and the first forest fire. To conclude William Golding uses many objects and characters to portray evil in the Lord of the Flies, such as Roger, the 'scar' and the 'beastie'. At the end of the novel they are saved by a naval officer. The arrival of the naval officer thus seems like a happy and ironic ending, but if one digs deeper it is just a continuance from one war to another. Once all the boys get on the Navy cruiser, they'll most likely just be subjected to more battle and fighting, this time on a worldwide level, due to the war taking place in the outside world. Golding makes his views and messages of the 'darkness in mans heart' with this book, because it shows us what man is capable of if there was no social control. He has shown us that without these conditions, our ideals, values, and the basics of right and wrong are lost. Without society's rigid rules, anarchy and savagery can come to light. Pritesh Vaghji 11RO ...read more.

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