• 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

Free essay example:

English essay                                                16.06.07

Lord of the Files: More than just an adventure story?

The tale of ‘Lord of the flies’ is a riveting adventure story. It is full of ups and downs, twists and turns, which grips the reader. However, even though this book is based on English boys stranded on an island and what they do on the island, it is more than just an adventure story. There is a lot of evidence in the book to prove this, through all the symbolism, characters and the variation of themes running through the book.

The novel ‘Lord of the Flies’ can be read on many different levels. A small child could read this book and think it is merely about boys who get stuck on an island, while an older more educated person could understand this book on a deeper more complex level. Almost everything in the book is a symbol including the island. It symbolizes the earth and all the boys on the island represent the population. In this novel you can see how the island starts out as a ‘good, fun’ island and slowly deteriorates into a place with barbaric and savage like behavior. The book symbolizes what would happen to the world if there was to be nuclear war.

This novel has many distinctive characteristics about it that are not usually found in an adventure story. The boys being stuck on an island and exploring it makes the novel appear to be an adventure story on some levels. However, I think it is ironic in the way that the boys are trying to escape the island because it was the adults that got them stuck there. It is ironic because they assume that adults will come and ‘save’ them or have a solution to all there problems, but in reality the reason that they are on the island is because the adults could not solve their own differences. Hence, this started the war which caused them to crash onto the island. So even if they are rescued how much safer will they actually be?

When we analyzed the book we realized that not only do the boys represent the world population but certain types of people. For example, Ralph represents the democratic who try to do what is best for the public, while Jack represents the dictators. We also realized that it was about the balance of powers and how even though Ralph was very democratic and wanted to please the people Jack’s political style ended up being the one that dominated the island.

Almost everything in the novel is a symbol that represents someone one or something, some more important than others. In the novel one of the most important objects was conch. The conch symbolized freedom of speech. Yet, throughout the book as Jack gains power and leadership, the color of the conch begins to fade. Finally it is shattered into a million pieces. This symbolizes the begging of dictatorship and the end of democracy and freedom of speech on the island, because without the conch there are no assemblies where people can discuss their opinions.

Another symbol which does not appear as an obvious symbol is the fire. The fire represents knowledge. We came to learn that knowledge, as well as fire, is not always a good thing. For example once the boys were able to master the arts of fire they nearly set the whole island to flames and while doing this they killed a boy.

Symbolisms even extend to minor characters such as Simon. Simon represents the prophets. Throughout the novel we came to realize that he was not like the other boys. Simon was able to see things clearly and make sense of things logically. Simon is the only one that recognizes that the beast truly is, they themselves. For this reason, Piggy finds him strange. While Piggy has to reason things out, Simon simply recognizes them as they are. Just like in Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet, Simon had to be killed because he started to steal the limelight from the other more major characters. Another character that needs to be recognized is Roger. Roger is somewhat like Macbeth and would probably have murdered Jack if they had not been rescued. He represents terrorism because he enjoys inflicting pain on others. Roger is cruel and an extension of Jack’s character. Sam’n’Eric represent the people that do not think about what they are doing, they simply follow. They are likeable but their morals can easily be swayed by their needs and lack of information (knowledge). They do what they think is best for them at the time.

The ‘Lord of the Flies’ has well developed characters and many symbols but the theme running through the book is another indication that the novel is more than just an adventure story. In many adventure stories where they explore the island the only slight sign of evil they may encounter is an animal. However, ‘Lord of the Flies’ has more depth to it. Many people on the island believe in the beast, yet few come to realize that the beast is themselves. So the theme that runs through the novel is evil in man.

Evil in man is basically the underlying moral of the story. It is what has caused the death of the two boys Perivale and Simon. It is also what fueled the intentions of killing one another for no logical reason. Just like Simon, Ralph and Piggy are able to finally able to conclude that there is no beast and that there is nothing to fear but the monster inside of us. Piggy comes to this conclusion as he thinks it is not scientific but Ralph realizes this at the end of the book when he comes to see that he is afraid of the inhabitants on the island and not the beast. Even though evil in man is a theme it is also a symbol. It represents all the wars and cruel behavior outside of the world. Roger torturing the little ones shows how we are the evil ones and how everyday people are being tortured and murdered. It is man that creates weapons of mass destruction, so the only thing to fear is ourselves. This is really proven when Jack convinces everyone to go on a wild rampage to kill Ralph even if that means burning the whole island.

The novel ‘Lord of the Flies’ is more than just an adventure story. There is a lot of evidence in the book including all the hidden symbols, themes and types of characters which allows readers to read the novel on many different levels making it more than just an adventure story. ‘Lord of the Flies’ can be read as an adventure story but there is no doubt that this book is more than just an adventure story.

Word count 1150

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages section.

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

Related International Baccalaureate Languages Skills and Knowledge Essays

See our best essays

Related International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Lord of the Flies- Jack vs. Ralph

    As with Ralph, the meaning behind the name tells us a lot about the characters personality; Jack is very sly and manipulative, and comes eventually to replace Ralph as the ideal leader figure. Although one of the first things he says is seemingly meaningless -he boasts about being able to

  2. Debate - States Ought Not Possess Nuclear Weapons

    fighting against themselves to see who will win and come out dominating.. Contentions: C1: In modern times, nuclear weapons are just another show of being an advanced and developed country and using deterrence (the maintenance of military power for the purpose of discouraging attack.)

  1. Lord of the Flies Chapter Questions

    playing on the beach, crying for their mommies, they picked fruits, they built castles in the sand decorating them with shells and flowers. 2. Who knocks over the sand castles? Roger and Maurice knock over the littluns castles. 3. What is revealed about Roger by his actions in this chapter?

  2. Lord of the Flies Essay

    He went to tell everyone this realization only to be killed savagely by Jack's tribe, thinking that he was the Beast. Ralph and his very small tribe were attacked the very next day by Jack and Piggy's glasses were stolen.

  1. IB English - To Kill a Mockingbird (journal responses)

    Apparently it was Mr. Arthur Radley who saved them from Mr. Ewell. I was quite happy to read that a knife had been stuck up into Mr. Ewell's ribs and that had killed him. This was a pleasant moment for me, especially since it appeared that he was planning on killing Atticus' family first.

  2. History research - Early Australian bushrangers. English writing -my region and favourite authors.

    Any movement has its heroes Bohdan Khmelnitskiy is one of them. He was born in 1595 and he is known as a public figure, a general and the Ukrainian Hetman from 1649. B.H. was a well-educated brilliant man and he knew such languages as: the ukr,rus,polish,latin,turkish and the tartar language.He had a good knowledge of history, geography and law.

  1. Point of View in Lord of the Flies. Shifting point of view can ...

    This can create tension in the plot, and a better sense of intimacy with the main character (who is the narrator in this case). But this can also be bad, or detrimental to the accuracy of the story. As readers, we tend to trust the voice of the narrator, but what happens when the narrator is not completely reliable?

  2. The Other Slipper - retelling the story of Cinderella.

    The thought of returning back to her stepmother and stepsister seemed so foolish and it rendered her frightened of her fate if her stepmother discovered her attendance at the ball. Fear smeared itself across the tears and sweats of her face.

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