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Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

Published: 1954

Country: United Kingdom

Publisher: Faber and Faber

Lord of the Flies is the first and most famous novel by William Golding. The author set out to write an alternative to The Coral Island – a Victorian novel where boys cope heroically with shipwreck on a desert island. Golding’s own experiences in World War II and the apparently impending threat of a nuclear World War III led him to suggest that even well brought-up British children had the seed of evil within themselves.

What happens to the boys on Golding’s island that civilisation is a mask that disguises primitive savagery. The book hints that an atomic war rages elsewhere thus tapping into the terrors many felt in the 1950s. At first it seems as if the boys’ landing on the island is a happy escape as they try to impose order and good sense, but the hopes of characters like Ralph and Piggy begin to unravel as restraint and moral order are lost under the dominance of Jack. Soon tribalism and a primal version of religion take over, as if the characters are regressing towards mankind’s past.

The apparent rescue at the end cannot hide the terrible events preceding it, and also reminds us that the “civilised” world too is on the brink of destruction.

Lord of the Flies Essays

Have a look at some top marked student written work to get some inspiration for your own essays on Lord of the flies

Marked by a teacher

Less Obvious Symbols in Lord of the Flies

4 star(s)

An allegorical novel by William Golding in which he employs the scene of a deserted island and the cast of a group of English schoolboys to serve as a framework....

Marked by a teacher

Comparing the similarity in themes in Alex Garland's 'The Beach' and William Golding's 'Lord of the Flies'.

4 star(s)

The themes are, first, isolation, which is developed in both books relatively near the beginning of each. Secondly, the fact that things are

Marked by a teacher

How does William Golding show evil at work in Lord of the Flies?

3 star(s)

In the novel, Golding concentrates a lot on the subject of evil and how the children are evil on the island. I believe that he does this to show how...

Marked by a teacher

Lord of the Flies

4 star(s)

It may look as if Lord of the Flies is just a children's adventure story. However, there is also a truth concealed deep inside the novel where Golding uses symbolism effectively so that readers

Lord of the Flies Summary

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The Lord of the Flies Précis After a plane crash, two boys, Piggy and Ralph, find each other on a deserted island. Piggy discovers a conch shell on the beach, and tells...

Peer reviewed

Lord of the Flies analysis

4 star(s)

When a group of British boys arrive on a lonely island, a scar is left. The scar foreshadows savagery and evil, that is revealed through the action of the boys. The protagonist Ralph, and antagonist