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

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding "Show how Golding - by using description of setting, symbolism, and characters - charts the boys' descent into savagery."

Extracts from this document...


Critical Essay - Lord of the Flies, by William Golding * "Show how Golding - by using description of setting, symbolism, and characters - charts the boys' descent into savagery." It is no simple task to form an opinion on this novel, as there are so many intricate aspects to mull over. One of the main aspects is setting - the island. This has been purposefully chosen by Golding because it is isolated and emphasises the fact that the boys have absolutely no contact with the world outside; therefore they must look to themselves for answers to the problems that they encounter and they must make their micro-society thrive, productively and unaided. The island is an awesomely beautiful place; some of Golding's best descriptive writing is of the island, he describes it as 'a motif landscape'. Golding goes on to say, 'The water was clear to the bottom with the efflorescence of tropical weed and coral. A school of tiny, glittering fish flickered hither and thither', but even at this early stage in the book Golding hints towards what is to come; he says that in the distance, beyond the platform there was, 'some act of God - a typhoon perhaps, or the storm that had accompanied Ralph's own arrival. ...read more.


His school nickname, by which the boys refer to him - Piggy - is also an indicator of many aspects of his personality: he was obviously bullied at school and therefore clings to adults for support and devoid of them he is lost, with no protection from his problems. His name also has a connection with the hunters who have an uncontrollable urge to 'kill the pig': an indirect metaphor to suggest the savage pack of hunters is also killing part of Piggy and therefore what he symbolises - democracy, logic and practicality. Ralph, who, initially, is known as the fair boy, is a great friend and support to Piggy, almost a stepping-stone between the extreme savagery of Jack and his followers and the civilisation and honesty of Piggy. Ralph is the only character on the island close to Jack in physical stature; 'very tall and thin...could make a boxer one day'. This is apposite as these characters embody two contra philosophies of existence in their microcosm of 'civilised' and 'democratic' society, which they left behind. Golding uses Ralph to embody the perfect human at the beginning of the novel; however, later Ralph grows distant from Piggy, the good side, and becomes closer to Jack, the anarchical side of human temperament. ...read more.


Roger is one of the first boys after Jack to start wearing face paint. The paint is yet another symbolic aspect of the novel. It represents the cover-up the beast uses to infiltrate the souls of the boys. The point at which the boys' society plummets from being semi-civilised to being over run by savagery is when the dead parachutist arrives. His arrival is symbolic of the absolute end of any influence from the adult world. His parachute suspends the airman, and blows him around in the wind. This is illustrating prolonged death and showing the reader that the society's descent into savagery in not immediate but prolonged. The descent into savagery puts all the boys under pressure and carves out the differences between them that were present before but did not cause any great problem other than some petty school boy name calling. The characters, such as Piggy, who are less confident and have a lower social status than the other boys are bullied to a greater extent. This illustrates the problem of class discrimination in society as a whole. A further point that singles Piggy and Simon out from the rest of the boys is the fact that they defend their principles. This is symbolic of the fact that, more often than not, standing up for one's principles is a hindrance in life. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    The descent into savagery in lord of the flies.

    4 star(s)

    But we later see that the longer he lives on the island the more his conscience fades until he will quite happily beat and kill others without question. This behaviour is associated with soldiers who are ordered to do it but he is not a soldier and when throwing stones

  2. In what ways does Golding present the boys decline into savagery?

    on the importance of living in a civilised way while looking for rescue. I think this is because boys generally enjoy adventure more than the subject of rescue that an adult would normally deal with. In chapter 7 Golding changes the language used considerably.

  1. Lord of the Flies - The symbolism of the conch, its importance in the ...

    He takes over Ralph's role more and more and calls his own assembly, although he detests it when Ralph does this. When the boys see that anyone can blow the conch it makes them see that anyone could be leader and the magic of the conch fades slightly.

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

    Since the beginning, the boys have bullied the whiny, intellectual Piggy whenever they needed to feel powerful and important; now their harassment of him intensifies. Jack begins to hit him openly. Despite his position of power and responsibility in the group, Jack shows no qualms about abusing the other boys physically.

  1. The Conch - "Lord of the Flies"In William Golding's novel "Lord of the Flies" ...

    The deicide to start their own "Tribe". When more and more of the boys joined Jack's tribe the conch's power decreased. Towards the end of the novel, Piggy tried to use it to get his glasses back as he thought that the one thing Jack did not have and wanted was the conch.

  2. Lord of the Flies - How does Golding present the decline from civilisation to ...

    He goes from hunting animals to hunting people. Survival then becomes not a matter of finding food but manifests itself into warfare. In both temperament and physical appearance, Ralph is the antithesis of Jack. Ralph is idealized from the beginning, praised lavished on his physical beauty, and it soon becomes obvious to the reader why other boys would

  1. How does Golding present the theme of savagery and civilisation in "Lord of ...

    It also gives Jack the power to act in more savage and hideous ways than he already has ? we witness this later in the novel when Jack orders his ?tribe? to hunt down Ralph, Piggy and Simon, which eventually results in Piggy?s death.

  2. Explore the ways Golding uses and presents setting in Lord of the Flies.

    This is significant as the setting of Castle Rock represent the official transformation of the boys into barbarism and how there is no hope of them returning to their previous, refined conduct. Golding uses pathetic fallacy throughout chapter 9 by mirroring Simon?s death with the stages of a storm to illustrate Simon?s connection with nature on the island.

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