The “Lord of flies” Sample Essay.
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The “Lord of flies” is a story about boys who find themselves in an island after a plane crushand the chances of being rescued are minimal. The writer uses several styles in writing this story one of them being symbolism(Alaa 99). Symbolism is the use of objects, people, and symbols to bring out different ideas and qualities. The writer uses as many symbols as possible to bring out different qualities of the boys.
One of the symbolisms used is the signal fire. Right from the start when the boys realized that they are in the middle of nowhere, one of them and that is Ralph insisted on having the signal fire. The fire was a symbol of a rescue idea Ralph had. The main reason why Ralph was insisting on having the fire was that he expected someone could see the smoke and be able to find them. Also Ralph is symbol of leadership in this story. He has the qualities of a leader and can give commands. He was able to initiate the idea of a signal fire with the help of Piggy.
Piggy on the other hand was used to represent the civilization. Among all the boys, Piggy was the only one with glasses and it is those glasses that could tell anyone from a remote area of new things in civilized places. The glasses showed innovation and discovery in developed countries. Also, the glasses represented vision. When Piggy had the glasses, he could see and say things other boys could not to show that the glasses were a symbol of vision and expanded minds( Goulding “Lord of flies”). He always supported Ralph and gave him ideas. Later, the boys took Piggy’s glasses and he could not think at all.
Simon represented pure hearted individual. Simon could not stop the boys from killing him even when he was doing was trying to redeem them from the fear they had about the beast. Simon represented Christians in the society people with good and clean hearts. He represented people who are willing to die for their faith. He is a figure of Christ in the story and symbolizes the savior. The other boys could not listen to him and they ended killing him.
The island is also a symbol representing the world. In the island there are different individuals with different qualities( Martin,408). The boys came from different homes and so their behavior and characteristics were not the same either. Like in the contemporary society where we can also find people with different minds, different thinking, different ideas and different ways of life that is what the island represented. In the island, we could see leaders, democrats, people who like order, representatives of Christians and so many other characters. In addition, the island with its untouched food and beauty in it symbolizes paradise before the boys arrived which is destroyed and corrupted upon their arrival. It is a place where the boys could start over a new life and discover a new society of its own. Starting with the ideas they had of housing and sanitation together with leadership, they were able to live peacefully.
Jack is a symbol of savagery. Jack has ambitions of leading though he doesn’t have the qualities. He is the greatest challenge Ralph is facing in his leadership (Martin 408). He represents barbarism and he is able to lure other boys into following him. The boys who were to tend to the fire, due to love for adventure, Jack is able to use that weakness to make them leave the responsibility they were given by Ralph. Ralph lacks supports afterwards just because of Jacks corrupt ways in desiring leadership.
The beast is a symbol of darkness or evil. When in the island, the boys felt that there was a beast haunting all of them. At first, the beast is nothing but still the boys could fear it. No one knows what the beast is, whether human or an animal. Later, with the help of Simon, we are able to know that the beast is a dead man from war. The boys were filled with darkness and fear and could attack anything from the direction of the beast thinking it was the beast. The beast represents the hearts of those boys, the anger and rage they were filled with.
In the “Lord of flies”, adults symbolize civilization as the boys thought ( Goulding, “Lord of the flies”). When the boys find themselves alone in the island, they started talking among themselves asking if there were any adults among them. They did this because they believed that adults could help them get out of the island. On the contrary, adults turn out to be uncivilized just like the boys when it was found out that they were the ones fighting. It was hard for the boys to believe that because they were looking up to them as mentors to direct them.
The scar symbolizes the destruction brought by man to the island just by landing on it. The scar is part of the forest in the island that was destroyed when the plane crashed. Since the island symbolizes paradise, destroying the forest means destroying paradise. The scar showed that man was destructive and he doesn’t need to stay in a place for a very long time for the destructions to be seen.
The conch symbolizes authority and order. When the boys landed on the island, they found the conch ( Bufkin, “Lord of the flies: An analysis on JSTOR”. It was a rule there that whoever had the conch was the one to speak in meetings and since Ralph was the one with it, he alone spoke in meetings. It helped the boys to have some order and know where to answer to. For some time, Ralph was able to lead peacefully until Jack showed interest in leadership and lured several boys into following him that is when one of his followers destroyed the conch.
The dead parachutist man is a symbol of the adult world( Gilston, 805). Simon finds a man in a parachute dead in the island. It is clear that adult people have been unable to maintain peace and are fighting among themselves every time and that is why that man is found dead in the island. People like Piggy who always wanted to emulate adult behavior knowing that they will always get the best out of them are discouraged with the dead body they found. It was the believe of every boy in the island that if there was an adult with them they could have find their way home easily but knowing that the adults can’t even maintain their own peace in a free world, it was hard for them to take in. The boys were expecting an adult to be sent to rescue them but what they see is a dead man who is unable to do anything to help them.
The ocean symbolizes thoughts buried deep within the hearts of people. In ones heart, no one can reach their thoughts, desires or ambitions unless they are spoken out( Martin 408). The ocean is used to represent such thoughts and secrets that one is not ready to share with anybody including closest friends. It symbolizes the heart and the many secrets it harbors and has buried them such that no one will ever hear of them.
The title “Lord of flies” is also used to symbolize evil or savage. It is like a supernatural creature and in this story, a pig’s head is the one referred to as the lord of flies. When the boys had the feeling that they were haunted by a beast, Jack uses the pigs head as an offering to the beast. Simon on the other hand believes that lord of flies is a monstrous masked inside everyone’s heart because it was able to instill fear in everybody who was at the island.
In conclusion, William Goulding has maximized the use of this literary device to enable readers understand ideas and the characters of different persons in the story. Readers are able to point out different qualities of Jack, Ralph, Simon and also piggy. The Island and the ocean being major places and where the story concentrates more are also a representation of something. All the characters and the objects in this story are symbols of something and are there to make readers find meanings of what they could not understand and get in dictionaries easily. Above all symbolism has also made this story interesting.
Alaa, Lateef Alnajm. “The Main Themes In Lord Of The Flies”. International Journal Of English And Literature, vol 6, no. 6, 2015, pp. 98-102. Academic Journals, doi:10.5897/ijel2015.0788.
Bufkin, E. C. “Lord Of The Flies: An Analysis On JSTOR”. Jstor.Org, 1965, http://www.jstor.org/stable/41398168.
Gilston, Alan. “Lord Of The Flies”. Anaesthesia, vol 31, no. 6, 1976, pp. 805-805. Wiley-Blackwell, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2044.1976.tb11887.x.
Golding, William. “Lord Of The Flies – Dictionary Definition Of Lord Of The Flies | Encyclopedia.Com: FREE Online Dictionary”. Encyclopedia.Com, 2009, http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/academic-and-educational-journals/lord-flies.
Martin, Jerome. “Symbol Hunting Golding’s “Lord Of The Flies””. The English Journal, vol 58, no. 3, 1969, p. 408. JSTOR, doi:10.2307/811798.