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Lord of the Flies Research Paper

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Symbolism in Lord of the Flies In William Golding's Lord of the Flies, symbolism plays an important role! The story unfolds as we find the boys on an uncharted island during the next world war. As order becomes diminished, the boys become savage and terror reigns supreme. Golding uses symbolism to compare the boys' adventure to the happenings of the real world back home during the war. ...read more.


Golding uses the beast as a major symbol in the novel. "The beast quickly becomes a sign of the children's unrest, of their superstitious fear which becomes so overwhelming that it eventually takes control of their situation." (Michel-Michot 1) The beast also is symbolized as "the source of evil in human life." (Hynes 6) The symbolic role that the conch plays is an important in the novel. "The conch...is...just a symbol of order." ...read more.


"The tropical island, filled with fruit and everything needed for sustenance, becomes a symbol of the Garden of Eden."(Henningfield 1) It also adds to the novel as a whole, being that, "the island, the sea and the sacrifice of Simon all show Ralph the truth of the human sacrifice." (Cox 2) Golding uses symbolism in the novel to compare the events and actions of the boys to the happenings of the real world back home during the war. The role of the symbolic language in the novel is significant, in that it symbolizes the other events or places and adds to the overall plot. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This question asks the candidate to focus on how William Golding uses symbolism and imagery in his novel 'Lord of the Flies' and how important a role it plays in the development, exploration and understanding of the novel's plots, sub-plots ...

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Response to the question

This question asks the candidate to focus on how William Golding uses symbolism and imagery in his novel 'Lord of the Flies' and how important a role it plays in the development, exploration and understanding of the novel's plots, sub-plots and themes. With regards to how the candidate answered the question, there is very little focus on this symbolism specifically that can gain much marks. The essay could be longer, and more time could be invested in fully elaborating on points that seems half-made, and then, like the novel, leave much of the further explanation to the reader's imagination. Perfect for a novel, but not for an analytical essay. It would've been wiser to spend less time quoting external sources as it feels as though only ~150 words of this text are actually written by the candidate themselves, with various citation and resources used to fill in the gaps.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis here is average. There is sparse detail into how the author uses symbolism but very little extension is made to comment on the importance of it. This is quite worrying considering there is an extremely abundant amount of symbolism used in Golding's text. Although, in their favour, the candidate has successfully located at least three elements of symbolism, though has neglected to link any of them together. This lack of integration give the essay a very regimented, constricted style the doesn't show any potential for higher than a grade D. The achieve higher, the candidate should aim to integrate other, equally as important thematic elements to the text, and not just the literal objects like the conch. Themes such as the degradation of society and the portrayal of animalistic qualities in humans once the conch is destroyed are just as vital to the story as the three motifs the candidate has commented on, but having read many of these essays it seems there is a clear divide between the more able students who can spot these themes, and the lesser ability students who fail to recognise the importance of this.
The second paragraph here is entirely irrelevant and does little to focus on the question at all. Only the first short sentence could be required in order to back up a statement made about the nature of the symbolism (that is it "serious") but the rest is unneeded.
The three elements used are explained in insufficient detail to fully investigate how important a role each element plays, though the candidate has touched on their relevance to the novel. To say that this essay provides much more than an explanation - not an analysis - is stretching truths. To counter this, a more objective view must be taken, and written, in the majority, from the hand of the candidate. If using the Point, Evidence & Explanation formula, only very few instances - if any - should use external quotes as Evidence (they should be drawn from the base text), and these do not sit well as an excuse to ignore the Explanation part of the formula - this is where the most marks can be picked up because, after providing Evidence for a statement made about the text (in this instance, the importance of a symbolic feature in 'Lord of the Flies'), the examiners want to see that you can provide insight and knowledge about the statement you made and what you believe it means.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is satisfactory. The candidate uses the correct punctuation marks in both their sentence structure and when quoting and including additional clarification to the quotes (such as square brackets). But it is such an eyesore to see candidate at GCSE level use exclamation marks in their essays, as if they make dull and slightly obvious statements more interesting to read. The opening sentence of this essay will fine enough stand on it's own two feet without the assistance of childish excitement of the exclamation mark and so they should be avoided wherever possible. Other than that, it would prove wise to ensure that when referring to World War II, that the words "World" and "War", wherever used in the essay, are capitalised.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 13/02/2012

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