William Golding And The Merciless Savagery Of The Lord Of The Flies

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

The allegory in the Lord of the Flies is reflective of its author William Golding’s experiences. After a failed attempt at an author during childhood, Golding took to bullying as an outlet and said that he enjoyed hurting other people. Though he failed as an author during adolescence during adulthood he published his critically acclaimed novel Lord of the Flies. The novel explores the savage side of human nature as boys, free from the constraints of society, are turned against each other in the face of an imagined enemy examining man’s internal struggle between good and evil. Therefore the novel shows how Golding perceives that people are easily influenced and can become corrupt when they aren’t being held to strict standards. Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies was published in 1954, after 21 rejections, which was his first and most acclaimed novel. Golding examines man’s internal struggle between good and evil by casting a group of young boys set free of the constraints of society and authority. They are influenced by the desire for power, pride, and fear. ‘Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us’. ‘Fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream. There aren’t any beasts to be afraid of on this island. It shows them being fearful of something that is not real because they have no clear reference to sanity. After fails and practice, Golding succeeded but what led him to success.

William Golding was born on September 19, 1911, in Saint Columb Minor, Cornwall, England. He attended a primary school where his father taught Marlborough Grammar School. Golding attended Marlborough Grammar School from ages 11 to 18. At 12 years old, he unsuccessfully tried to write a novel. A frustrated child, he found an outlet in bullying his peers. Golding even went as far as to say ‘I enjoyed hurting people’ (William Golding) when he was younger. He was determined to achieve success as a child. He is so determined that his failure had sent him into a fit of rage. This explains why there are characters like Jack who enjoy bullying others. In adulthood, he grew out of his bullying phase and went to go protect others.

During William Golding’s time in the royal navy, he was involved in sinking the German battleship, Bismarck. Golding was a lieutenant in the royal navy also known as an OF-2. Lieutenant Golding was placed in command of a rocket-launching craft. Which had most likely traumatized him to see how unsympathetically easy it was to take a life: ‘I began to see what people were capable of doing. Anyone who moved through those years without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey, must have been blind or wrong in the head’ (William Golding). Along with his teaching, Golding’s action in the war proved to be fruitful material for his novel The Lord of the Flies. In chapter 11 Jack and hunters kill Piggy with no regret and then resolve to kill Ralph. So Golding is aware of humans savage nature hence the resolution of the book. So all in all the Lord of the Flies contains an allegory that dwells in the depths of the innate evil and human savagery. Showing how it can be revealed or exploited through fear, desire for power, and pride. Golding uses his characters to show different aspects of society. Jack is man’s savagery, Ralph is Authority and order, Piggy is intelligence, and Simon’s a hippie (peace, love, and different understanding of the surrounding environment). With the characters related to structure dying or coming close to. Reveals that Golding views the world as a place where we are our own worst enemy. In which our actions and decisions rarely benefit our well being as a people but the well being of an individual. No matter what length a person or group of people has to go.

Works cited

  1. ‘William Golding.’ Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 15 May 2019


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