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Lord of the Flies appears to be, a somewhat ill natured story about little boys isolated on an island - In reality it is a horrible story about the general characteristics and feelings of mankind.

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Year 10 English- Assessment Task 2003 LORD OF THE FLIES ESSAY By Lynsey Bramley! Lord of the Flies appears to be, a somewhat ill natured story about little boys isolated on an island. In reality it is a horrible story about the general characteristics and feelings of mankind. Being stranded on an island is a situation that can have a severe physical and mental impact on those involved. As the boy's on the island discover, such a situation can lead to their true selves breaking out from beneath their childish exteriors. Destruction, fear, death, authority and order are some of the themes William Golding presents us with; these themes will be discussed in this essay. In Lord of the Flies part of the nasty story is the destruction of order and the abuse of authority. When all the boys meets together in chapter 2, there is at first an agreement to order the island with a democratic system, and this is first represented by the 'conch', which is in effect the symbol for democracy on the island. " I'll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he's speaking."(p.45) The whole system of democracy begins to fail early on in the book, Jack's stubbornness to cooperate is the main cause of this, he hunts on his own and takes away many of the boys from democracy." All at once the crowd swayed towards the island and were gone following Jack."(p.49) Most of the boys don't play their part in the democratic society as "They're off bathing, or eating, or playing."(p. ) Ralph makes meetings and everyone talks and makes decisions, but very rarely are these ideas actually put into action. Initially there is some conflict between Ralph and Jack, but this is just a struggle of ego's not necessarily showing any kind of savagery, but as the novel progresses Jack insists on dictatorship, he breaks the rules frequently and likes to control the group and not hear others views. ...read more.


In the novel, "darkness" is used as symbolism for evil, savagery and cruelty with in mankind. Evenings are "Menaced by the coming of the dark"(p. ), and it is at night time when the darkness of ignorance and superstition descends on the community, that the island becomes a frightening place, and when dreadful deeds occur such as the murder of Simon. The first incident that shows the extent of savagery in the boys is the attack of the sow. This attack is more violent and shocking than the previous slaying of a pig. The boys show remarkable brutality in choosing, for mutilating the sow with piglets at her side- a picture of the serene motherhood and domesticity. The killing of the sow is the point at which the powers of destruction, embodied by Jack, triumph over restraints of civilisation represented by Ralph. Here, the boys irreversibly commit themselves to a savage way of life and there is no turning back after this. By going beyond murder to suggest hint of a sexual attack, Golding is implying that the boys are loosing their innocence (sex is usually associated with adults). Jack and the boys are overthrowing civilisation's inhibitions and giving way to their primitive urges. Also, Golding points out that the desire to dominate is present in even the most innocent of children. The boys want to exercise power, to impose their will over a victim (the sow) as this gives them a sense of satisfaction. The fact that the boys do not feel a single tinge of remorse or guilt and even re-enact the killing of the pigs, to the hilarious laughter of the boys, shows the extent of degeneration in the boys, and how aggressive they become. Similarly, the murder of Simon brings out more expressively, the evil in the boys. Simon had meant to tell the truth about the beast in order to bring hope and salvation to the boys. ...read more.


The Naval officer says this as well as ignorantly, jokingly asks whether people have died, unaware that people have actually died. So the horror starts to emerge. It is ironic that the officer says this, as he does not see that he himself, as a British adult in the same position as these boys and that he too is fighting a war. That the ship that he has come to rescue them in is a battle ship and the reason that these boys were stranded on this island is because their plane was shot down and the maimed remains of their pilot lie on top of the hill, because of the war that he is partaking in. This is why the novel is seen as a parable, because Golding is trying to illustrate to the reader how we don't see what we are doing to fellow human beings, as well as the world that we live in, and this is because we are human, and sadly we cannot help it. The themes Golding has used in this story, we as humans can relate to because destruction, fear and murder are all relevant in today's society. William Golding has used this spiteful story, Lord of the Files to show us what we as human beings are capable of and also to illustrate how everyone suffers merely as a result of themselves, we only have ourselves to blame that there is evil, which possesses every human being. Although it sometimes helps to hide behind face paints and darkness, evil will always find its way through. In our so-called civilised world, training and conditioning from birth are all we can manage to just about keep away extensive chaos and rebellion and have an orderly life. Even then things go wrong but without these continuous safeguards what sort of world would we live in? Simon was right- "...it's only us"(p.111) we are the infection on this planet, the source of all evil. ...read more.

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