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William Golding's Novel - Lord of the Flies

Essay by   •  February 27, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  645 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,109 Views

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In William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies a group of young boys, who survive a plane crash, adjust to life without any rules or structure. Golding uses symbolism throughout the book, he describes how the boys go from living peacefully together to disorder and chaos. The boys who are stranded on an island come in contact with different elements that symbolize ideas or concepts. Through the use of symbols such as the beast, the pig's head, and Piggy's specs, Golding demonstrates that evil overtakes humans when there are no rules or society.

The symbol of the pig's head is very significant and it gives the novel its name. The slaughtered pig is given a gory depiction; it is referred to as an "obscene thing." (Golding 138) The bloody description symbolizes evil which the Lord of the Flies represents. The boys were scared of the pig head except for Simon who eventually begins to talk to the pig. He realizes that the pig head can cause no real physical harm, "Fancy thinking the beast was something you could hunt and kill! O You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you?" (Golding 143). However the evil that the pig's head symbolizes does lead to problems on the island. Simon claims to see ""blackness within, a blackness that spread" (Golding 144) The blackness that spreads foreshadows how evil spreads in the novel.

Evil is also symbolized in the beast. However the beast represents the evil inside the boys because the beast is in their imagination. The beast also leads to the downfall of the island. Ironically the boys are afraid of the beast, they decide to say "Bollocks to the rules! ...if there's a beast, we'll hunt it down!" (Golding 91) They seem to forget their upbringing and revert to being cavemen.

As the boys spend more time away from society the more the evil in each of them begins to affect their lives. The boy's deterioration is shown through Piggy's specs. Piggy depicts the society and structure that the boys used to live with. In the beginning of the novel Piggy could see clearly and the boys set up some rules but as the novel progresses they lose sight of them. When Piggy loses his eyesight the boys also lose sight of society. Their focus switches from trying to get rescued to hunting the pig. After a good hunt the boys are more concerned with having meat for the meals instead of having the fire as a signal.

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