• 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 - What according to Golding is mankind's essential illness and how does he convey this in the novel?

Extracts from this document...


What according to Golding is mankind's essential illness and how does he convey this in the novel? It is suggested that many of Golding's life experiences have influenced his work. His novel The Lord Of The Flies is a symbolic microcosm of the world as Golding knew it. The island, the boys and many other events in the book represent Golding's view of the world and humanity in general. Lord Of The Flies investigates three important aspects of the human experience that form the basis of the themes Golding conveys. For example, the conch and the platform represent the desire for social and political order through parliaments and governments. The natural inclination towards evil and violence is made noticeable in every country's need for an army. This is represented in the novel by the choirboys turning into hunters and then ultimately into murderers. The belief in supernatural or spiritual intervention in human destiny is represented in the book by the boys believing in a fictitious beast. According to Golding, mankind's essential illness is the tendency for every man and woman to do evil when not governed by civilised values. ...read more.


Jack uses coarse language such as "bollocks" (on page 100) whereas Ralph uses language such as "whizzoh" (on page 13). The contrast in dialogue and vocabulary between the two characters makes the reader want to associate more with Ralph. Golding has also described Ralph as "the average, rather more than average, man of goodwill and sense" and if he can do evil then so can everyone. Just when the reader feels that they would act like Ralph, the plot has Ralph taking part in Simon's murder. It is shown that Ralph wants to take part in the group because on page 152 Ralph's thoughts are such that he is "eager to take a place in this demented but partly secure society". This thought results in Ralph taking an active part in Simon's death on page 168. As Ralph has taken part in an act of evil, it portrays Golding's thoughts and conveys to the reader that we all have within us the ability to do evil. These actions portray what mankind's essential illness is according to Golding and he further proves that this exists by the number of murders that are committed and the increasing barbarity of each murder. ...read more.


This shows that Golding believed that mankind's essential illness will prevail over civilised rational behavior no matter how good the person may seem. Foreshadowing the murders of the boys is the hunting of the pigs. As the deaths became more and more barbaric, so too did the hunts. The hunts start off on page 53 for the practical reason of the tribe needing food. But as the novel progresses, phrases such as "Wedded to her in lust" (on page 149) show that the boys hunt not for food, but for fun. The fact that the boys get immense enjoyment from killing and show no remorse suggests that they want to act this way especially since there is no society or rules to prevent their actions. Without the rules of society Golding believes that every man will give in to a tendency to do evil. The hunts devolve from hunting pigs to hunting Ralph. Lord Of The Flies delivers a pessimistic outlook which shows that man is inherently primitive and needs society and law. Without it, humans would likely revert to savagery. This is clearly conveyed in Golding's novel by the primitive, lawless circumstances that the schoolboys find themselves in and their resulting actions and thoughts. ...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

    Read the passages in Chapter 3 where Jack and Simon are each in the ...

    5 star(s)

    The savage traits within Jack's personality which are shown when he is in the forest are taking over his soul, and when Jack puts on his mask, he feels as though he is given a new identity. He is no longer the Jack Merridew, the lead choir boy, but a barbarian hunter.

  2. How does 'Lord of the Flies' convey the struggle between good and evil?

    The non-choir members still look civilised. Also in Chapter 4, Jack leads a hunting expedition, when he is supposed to be looking after the fire. Ralph sees a ship, but then to his dismay notices that Jack has let the fire burn out, so the ship did not see any smoke from the island, so did not stop there.

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

    Afterward, when Jack suggests killing a littlun in place of a pig, the group laughs. Probably none of them (except possibly Jack and Roger) would go so far as to actually initiate such a plan, but instead of being horrified at the possibility, they find it titillating.

  2. To what extent is Lord of the flies a pessimistic book?

    to tell the boys the truth, but is killed by them as they think he is the beast, just like Jesus was killed by those he came to save. However Jesus died to bring about peace and saving but Simons death disturbs and does not bring peace between the boys.

  1. Analysis of Lord of the Flies.

    The littluns, in particular, have been increasingly plagued by nightmare visions. When Piggy seconds Ralph's rational claim that there are no monsters on the island, Jack interrupts him and talks about the beasts that might lurk on the island. A ripple of fear runs through the group.

  2. Lord of the flies - Referring to three episodes in the novel, analyse the ...

    It seems as if he wants to kill for the blood more then the meat. This shows that the hold of civilisation he slipping and that the more evil part of his nature is coming through, and that he is regressing into savagery quickly.

  1. Our Country's Good, Plot and Subplot

    and 'then she should look for someone who can'. This tells the audience that no matter how subtle Mary and Ralph try and make their connection, everyone knows about it. Shortly after, when practising the play, Wisehammer kisses Mary. Ralph angrily tells Wisehammer it's not in the play, but really he's angry because Wisehammer kissed Mary.

  2. To what extent do you consider the Lord of the Flies to be a ...

    Before summoning everybody in front of the conch, Piggy had one clear aim: to get rescued. He would do everything that his podgy hands would allow him to do, and if all the boys were to comply with his plans, they would be on the first ship back home.

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