The Elements Of Allegory In Lord Of The Flies

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

Lord of the flies is a novel written by William Golding, the book was first published in 1954 by Faber and Faber limited, since then it has been reprinted approximately 20 times. William golding was an british author which was bron on 19 september 1911, and died in 1993, in 1983 he won the nobelprize in literature. The story which was written in 1954 takes place on a deserted island by a group of young boys.

The major conflict in the novel is the struggle between Jack and Ralph, they are fighting and arguing over who should be the one to lead the island, they are both potential leaders of the island and Ralph accepts Jack to be the leader in the start but after they have been on the island for a while they start to argue alot which intensifies until its a struggle to the death. Although they are both trying to be leaders there is a big difference between them, Ralph is a guy who stands for rules, and to respect the rules and also treat everyone the same. While Jack is a guy who stands for violence and cruelty, and to rule the government through fear, this is a great example on how humans violence and hate is more powerful than the nice people because Ralph gets kicked out of the group and gets hunted. But Ralph gets really lucky and gets rescued by the civilization minutes before he thought he was going to die. Another big plot of the story is that in the start of the book there is a lot going on and they dont know if theyre parents even know they’re alive and i think theyre mind is messing alot with them cause they are deserted on a island with no electricity and have to get food for them selves so they wont die. But as time goes they get used to the environment they are in and manages to control they’re mind and not committing suicide or going crazy, the fact that most of them are working together and getting through this is really well done.

This book serves as a caution against the specific consequences of nuclear armament, as well as a broader examination of human nature and the destabilizing presence of man in the natural world. In telling its story through the experience of young boys isolated from the rest of civilization, and making few references to the world outside the confines of the island, the novel creates a sense of inevitability and universality to the specific tale of a small group battling nature and each other. By making the two main characters emblematic of two approaches to society, Golding creates a conflict that seems to lead inexorably to the destruction of one of the characters, but is instead resolved by the surprise introduction of the outside, ‘adult’ reality. In this way the preceding events act as allegory for the more consequential, and far more dangerous, actions of man beyond the island.

The book opens in the immediate aftermath of the plane crash that lands the boys on the island, so the novel’s inciting incident happens offstage. The reader first meets Ralph, who is introduced as graceful and physically appealing, and Piggy, who is presented as Ralph’s physical opposite. The boys discover a conch and use it to summon the rest of the survivors of the crash, introducing us to Jack, who appears confident and is already leading a group of boys. The boys vote for Ralph to be the group’s chief, despite the fact that “the most obvious leader was Jack,” partly because Ralph possesses the conch. Jack reluctantly accepts Ralph’s leadership, and the two bond in exploring the island together. Jack asserts himself after the humiliation of losing the vote for chief by slamming his knife into a tree and declaring that he will be a hunter, establishing the boys’ primary roles: Ralph will be in charge of communication and working to get them rescued, while Jack will be responsible for hunting for meat. Which of these two roles is more important will be the source of escalating conflict between the two for the remainder of the book.

The rising action of the novel takes place over the following chapters, as each boy on the island establishes his role in the order of the newly formed society, and Jack and Ralph find themselves increasingly at odds over what the group’s priorities should be and where they should expend energy. Ralph insists that a signal fire must be maintained constantly in case any ships pass the island, and believes the best use of resources is in collaborative work to watch the fire, build shelters, and gather fruit. Jack discovers a passionate enjoyment of hunting, and allows the signal fire to go out while killing a pig, leading to a clash with Ralph, who has seen a ship pass while the fire was out. The younger boys on the island express growing fears about a beast they believe comes out at night to menace them. In a scene the reader sees but none of the boys witnesses, a paratrooper crashes onto the top of the mountain, and the boys subsequently mistake his form for the beast, increasing their fears and making them vulnerable to Jack’s equation of killing pigs with vanquishing their fears, as their chants change from “kill the pig” to “kill the beast.”

After the boys kill Simon in a frenzy of fear and violent excitement, the rift between Jack and Ralph reaches a crisis point, and the climax of the book occurs when Jack and his tribe steal Piggy’s glasses, then kill Piggy when he comes to get them back. When Jack’s tribe steals the glasses, Ralph and Piggy think they are coming for the conch, but at this point the conch has lost most of its symbolic power, and Jack understands the glasses, which are necessary to start a fire, are the real item of value. This devaluing of the conch suggests that the agreed-upon symbols of democracy and due process no longer apply, and the fragile civilization the boys have forged is imploding. The next day, Piggy and Ralph go to retrieve Piggy’s glasses and a member of Jack’s tribe releases a large boulder, smashing the conch and killing Piggy. The democracy is demolished, and Jack’s despotic monarchy is cemented. Realizing his life is in imminent danger, Ralph flees Jack and his tribe, who have become bloodthirsty and increasingly sadistic under his violent influence.

Up to this point the boys have maintained a fragile balance, with Jack’s willingness to enact violence offset by Ralph’s control of the means of lighting the fire and the symbolic power conferred by the conch. Once this balance is destroyed, and Jack controls both the means of sustaining the fire and keeping the boys obedient to his rule, Ralph is rendered powerless. Unlike Ralph, who expects the boys to be intrinsically motivated to work together, Jack is willing to exert external influence on boys who disobey him, and leads by force, rather than persuasion. Motivated by a fear of Jack’s violence as well as a mob mentality, the boys pursue Ralph across the island, even though he poses no actual threat. Even the twins Samneric, initially sympathetic to Ralph, give themselves over to Jack after he tortures them to reveal Ralph’s hiding place. The boys set a fire to flush Ralph out of the jungle, which signals a passing ship. The ship’s officer comes on shore, reintroducing civilization, and the boys realize the horrors they have endured and perpetuated. The book ends with the island destroyed, and the boys rescued but scarred by their glimpses into “the darkness of man’s heart.”


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