Can Lord of the Flies (William Golding) be Classified as a Fable?

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A fable, by strict definition, is a short tale conveying a clear moral lesson in which the characters are animals acting like human beings. A fable is intended to provide moral instruction and its characters and scenes are drawn to suit this purpose. William Golding has referred to his novel, Lord of the Flies, as a fable. This essay will demonstrate that in the moral lessons it offers us and in the symbolic nature of its setting, characters and literary devices, the novel functions as a fable for the inherent tendency in man to revert to primal savagery once he is removed from civilization. We are left with the caution that evil must be acknowledged and consciously opposed.

The novel's status as a fable is demonstrated strongly through
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Overall, like a fable, Lord of the Flies enforces a very strong message. Humans as a race have a tendency to revert to their primal, savage instincts and in doing so reveal their true sadistic and evil nature that lies within. This moral message is expressed in several ways by the author, however especially through the boys gradual loss of order, their blood lust and their worship of the devil.

The novel's symbolic nature further enhances the books status as a fable. The disintegration of civilization is charted through the use of symbols, one of the major tools of the fabulist. Almost every detail in the novel has a meaning of its own and a representational meaning in terms of the theme and the development of evil on the island. The setting of the novel is particularly symbolic. The island functions as a microcosm of the wider world and parallels our society in competitiveness, destructiveness and violence. The island is a perfect place in which Golding can test his theories, as being isolated it lacks society and societal laws and rules, allowing the boys to run wild and show their true inner selves. However, the presence of the wider world is never forgotten, as there are constant mentions to the war occurring outside the island. References such as the boy's evacuation, the crashing of the plane and the pod, the dogfight over the island at night and the arrival of the naval officer on the beach and his warship, show the

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