Lord of the Flies, on the surface, may resemble any other children adventure story. Beyond its literal sense, however, it actually has a lot more to offer: it is an attempt to unfold the superficiality and fragility of civilization, a pessimistic an

Authors Avatar

“And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy...”

Written in 1954, when the world was trapped in a state of utter confusion and disarray as a result of the aftermath left by World War Two as well as the unpredictable conditions brought by the Cold War, William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” is an allegorical novel that centers on the darkest depths of human souls. “Lord of the Flies”, on the surface, may resemble any other children adventure story. Beyond its literal sense, however, it actually has a lot more to offer: it is an attempt to unfold the superficiality and fragility of civilization, a pessimistic and dark commentary on our innate human nature and a downright challenge to the deep-rooted societal belief that children, British children in particular, must be naturally virtuous. Such unprecedented thematic focus, together with the extraordinary degrees of political realism portrayed symbolically in the novel, make “Lord of the Flies” a truly brilliant, remarkable and ground-breaking classic of all time.

The novel opens with a group of British schoolboys who find themselves stranded on an unidentified Pacific island after a serious plane crash. With no adult surviving the crash, the boys are left to fend for themselves. Ralph, our protagonist, plays the role of a leader by summoning them all to the beach with the help of a conch shell. Here is where our antagonist, Jack and his choirboys are introduced. As seemingly educated and civilized children, the group is absolutely rational at the outset: they hold an election to vote for a chief (Ralph is elected); they formulate rules to maintain discipline; they take up different responsibilities and duties. Unfortunately, the children’s goodness and self-discipline are quickly overridden by their underlying evil, barbaric and sadistic instincts. Without restrictions or rules created by civilization, the children sink deep into a life of sheer savagery and immorality – hunting, chanting and killing all day long. This results in a series of horrible, bloody and frightening events, including oppression of the weak, power struggle and even murders. Toward the end, Jack who is atrocious and animalistic replaces Ralph who is sensible and far-sighted as chief on the island, suggesting the complete collapse of morality, both within the characters and on the island. The novel ends with the return of order and sanity only when a British naval officer comes to their rescue. True that the children are now saved from the lone island, but is there any rescue or escape from our innate darkness?

Join now!

The above mentioned intriguing and melodramatic plot of “Lord of the Flies” is definitely creditable. Yet, the gist of the novel, in my opinion, lies not in the plot but the many sophisticated and powerful symbolisms that it embodies. For example, it is obvious that Ralph and Jack are employed as a symbolism of two competing impulses in men, and the conch shell described above is also used as a symbol of rule and order. One may ask then, what about the book title “Lord of the Flies”? What does this book title symbolize, and what insights can we ...

This is a preview of the whole essay

Here's what a star student thought of this essay


The Quality of Written Communication is flawless. The candidate makes no errors in their spelling, punctuation or grammar and the essay is an excellent example of how proof-reading and spell-checkers are imperative the the clarity of written expression. Without high QWC, candidates cannot expect to achieve top marks, but this essay is a great example of the things that can be achieved by performing simple last-minute checks.

The Level of Analysis here is truly incredible. The candidate has made an absolutely flawless analysis of the novel, including a sensitive awareness of the theme Golding presents and a sound, balanced appreciation of the complexity of the context behind the novel. There are really only two points for me to raise here, both relating to character, as I feel there could be a better analysis of character outside Ralph and Jack. The analysis, whilst extensive and indicative of a very strong A grade/full marks candidates, does not sufficiently cover the character of Simon and his relevance. There was a missed opportunity when the candidate was discussing the title of the novel, where they could've linked Golding's depiction of mankind's innate savagery being represented in the sow's head (what analysis there is though, is brilliantly insightful and thoroughly interesting to read). The candidate could've brought the title's literal derivation from the Hebrew "Beelzebub" (meaning "Lord of the Demon flies"; the historical linguistic root for Golding's title), which gives the novel it's religious resonance and fortifies the belief that Simon is the God-like character - the only character who remains untouched by the evil of the island; the only character who does not harbour the same deep animalistic traits that are waiting to be awakened by the loss of civilisation (which are evident in the others boys' gradual degradation of civility). The candidate could then draw comparisons between the presence of the Devil (Beelzebub/The Lord of the Flies) confronting and taunting the God-like character of Simon ("Simon's head was tilted slightly up. His eyes could not break away and the Lord of the Flies hung in space before him. 'What are you doing out here all alone? Aren't you afraid of me?'") when they refer to this scene in their essay, suggesting how Golding creates a symbolic congruence with the story of Jesus being tempted by the Devil in the desert, going for forty days and forty nights without food or water, to which Simon/Jesus triumph, but both Simon and Jesus were killed shortly after the tribulation. And this leads me on to the last point, which arguably is a bigger concern. The last three paragraphs are an unorthodox juxtaposition of the rest of the essay by explaining what the candidate finds not quite so successful on Golding's novel, citing that the "novel is that Golding's perception on human nature is too dark for me to agree with". Due to a lack of attention given to Simon in this essay, this suggests the possibility that maybe the candidate did not make the link between Simon being innocent of the primitive desires for blood-thirst that corrupted all the other boys, even Ralph, who joins in in killing Simon (another symbolic congruence to Jesus, who was condemned and killed by those who loved him, and died to save them from themselves, as soon after Simon's murder, Ralph realises the horrific decline of morality). This is by no means detrimental to the entirety of the essay, but it does leave a question mark over the last three paragraphs, which may have been better not being written at all.

This is an excellently response. A competent collection of analytical ideas and an extremely thought-provoking response to the novel 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding. The candidate makes an outstanding use of personal viewpoints backed up with objective critical analysis, which naturally encourages perfection in their literary critique. The answer is written with strong, confident adjectives and an indelible recognition of the gravity of the novel and it's symbols, themes, characters, motifs, and plot. Throughout the answer the candidate makes excellent reference to the text, showing they can structure an essay coherently and objectively, and they endeavour to provide an excellent counter-argument to balance out their admiration of Golding's work here (more on these three end paragraphs later on).