Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Decent Essays

Henry David Thoreau once said, “The savage man is never quite eradicated.” Clearly, he is implying that in every person there is savageness. Therefore, under the right conditions their savage nature will emerge once again. In Lord of the Flies by William Golding, the author utilizes symbolism to convey the regression the boys undergo from being civilized to being barbaric. The mask symbolizes the boys' freedom from society's expectation and there is the brutal killing of the sow, which illustrates their loss of innocence and fall to savagery. By portraying this relapse into barbarism, Golding seems to be commenting on the violent nature of humanities’ basic instinct. Golding utilizes the mask as symbol of liberation from societal norms, which leads the boys to becoming savage. The author personifies the mask and it is able to “compel” the children (64). This illustrates how the children can easily cave into temptation or an outside force. The mask’s tempts the boy to defy the rules and follow their primitive instinct. When Jack looks in to water after putting on the mask, he “no longer... [sees] himself but at an awesome stranger” (63). Just by wearing the mask, Jack is able to morph into someone who he, himself did not even know. Golding employs the word “stranger” to present the ambiguity the mask provides. He describes the “stranger” as “awesome” because in Jack’s eyes this “stranger” is the person he aspires to be. Jack does not want to be someone who

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