Lord of the Flies tells a story about a group of school boys who are twelve and younger. They crash on an unknown island whilst they are being evacuated at the dawn of the next world war. Ralph, who is the protagonist of the story, struggles to maintain vestiges of civilization against the call of human nature and savagery. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is a hero’s story because Ralph, the elected leader of the boys, portrays the archetypal hero, he faces a road of trails like all heroes do, and, he gains gifts from his journey.
In the novel Lord of The Flies by William Golding, the characters Ralph, Piggy, and Jack represent important World War II leaders Franklin Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, and Winston Churchill. Golding, who had served in World War II, was well aware of the savagery created, and used it to base his book on. Ralph represents Franklin Roosevelt , Jack represents Adolf Hitler, and Piggy represents Winston Churchill. Ralph being of the novel’s main protagonist is important in the outcome of the story because of his views like President Franklin Roosevelt, focus on keeping civilized during the hard times.
William Golding utilizes Lord of the Flies to prove that the inherent nature of man is truly savage and cannot be contained by any form of civil government. Characters, setting, atmosphere, and other elements are all used by Golding in the novel as metaphors and symbols to ultimately reveal the natural intention of man. In Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, John Locke’s Concerning Civil Government , and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract, they share their own personal interpretations on man’s inherent nature, with the closest to Golding being Hobbes. Although both Golding and Hobbes state that man’s true nature is evil and selfish, Hobbes advocates for an absolutist government as capable of controlling man through fear of punishment, as opposed to Golding’s belief that no form of government is sufficient to control man. Conversely, Rousseau argues that men are born with morality and inalienable freedom, and John Locke believes that man is free but is neither inherently reputable nor immoral but a blank slate. Both want the people to be in control to prevent corruption from changing man, although Rousseau insists that a direct democracy to completely give power to the people would be more effective rather than only a representative democracy where the people would have individuals represent them which Locke suggests.
In the beginning of the Lord of the Flies we are introduced to two young boys, who have survived a tragic plane crash. The aircraft was an evacuation plane and it was transporting the group of boys out of England. One of the boys named Piggy is trying to catch up to the other boy, Ralph. Piggy is described as being very fat and shorter than Ralph. He wears “thick spectacles” (William Golding 7) and he is the first to determine that they are on an island. Piggy is also the one that knows how to use the conch shell and comes up with the use of it, which is to call everyone else to the beach. He believed the conch created order. Once the conch had been used we are introduced to more boys and they gain interest in Piggy’s glasses. They discover that Piggy’s glasses can start fires and they refer to them as “burning glasses” (Golding 40). The boys also rejoiced when they discovered that his glasses could create the fires. They proclaimed, “His specs - use them as burning glasses!” (Golding 38). The spectacles symbolize Piggy’s intelligence, which distinguished him from the others. Without the glasses Piggy would be blind and he would not know what to do. Although Piggy is portrayed as being physically weak and not having a great chance at survival, he is the only one that seemed to know a few survival skills. He is the one that created the fire, sundial and shelter. Without his glasses he would not be ‘intelligent’. His appearance and personality cause him to be shunned
Laws and rules are what set people apart from savagery. Leaders are what keep a group alive in times of crisis. In Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, Piggy is the only character who remains civil and does not turn to savagery. The boys notice his appearance more than his brain which blinds them from seeing his intelligence, patience, and rationality.
Many people have their own views on humanity. They can either be that humans are essentially good but can become corrupt or that people are just essentially evil. They have their own opinions, some people can tell their perspective on humans in other fashions. If people are essentially good, they how do they become corrupt? Or if are truly evil, then why do some people seem like they are kind people and they can never do such things? To take both of these into account, a person may saw that people are good but deep down have evil within them. People may ask how does the evil within a person come out, the answer to that is that it is thanks to their environment. The environment around a person can undoubtedly draw out the evil within them
In William Golding’s Lord of The Flies, the detriments of an unrefined civilization, such as one without leadership and indulgent citizens who are amoral, can be catastrophic, causing extreme repercussions to society. A lack of solid leadership, such as the arbitrary leader Ralph, can cause confusion, apprehension, and chaos. Jack and other children often indulge their impulses which clouds their judgement causing them to undermine their society. By not reinforcing the difference between savagery and humanity, many people begin to die. Ralph clearly is not well-equipped to lead a group of young men.
Simon is one of the major characters in the “Lord of the Flies” novel. Simon's character seems to live by what is right as to the rest of the boys on the island. There are many reasons and examples in the Lord of the Flies that have to do with Simon being compared to Jesus Christ.
The theme of The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, is the reason society is flawed is because people are flawed. Although Piggy is knowledgeable, he has many flaws including his laziness and physical inabilities. Ralph is an authority seeker. He sets rules and laws, yet does little to enforce them. Ralph wants to be the ruler, without doing the work to enforce his laws. Jack is persistent. He is rude, harsh and violent in order to get what he wants. He wants to be supreme. Piggy’s flaws are impactful in the story. His laziness and lack of physical ability hurt him in his quest for survival.
In the novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding emphasizes the essential values of a democracy to the people on the island through Ralph’s democratic leadership style and goals and Jack’s controlling and manipulative. These two leaders of the tribes draw a parallel reflection on the two leaders of World War Two, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler. Lord of the Flies beings with a plane crash in the middle of the ocean; the boys are left alone on an island without any adults, fending for their lives. Ralph steps up after being elected leader, but Jack declares himself the leader of the hunting tribe and ends up recruiting most of the boys to transfer into his group using paranoia and abuse. Throughout the book, the boys lose their grip on humanity, civilization, and morality leading to deaths of some of the boys and the struggle to keep a democratic society to survive the island until rescue. Similarities can be seen between Ralph and Roosevelt as well as between Jack and Hitler throughout Lord of the Flies.
In William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies, we can see that Jack faces his own personal battle between himself and his want for power. Jack’s desire for dominance led him to commit evil acts for his own personal gain, than the greater good for all boys on the island. Jack claimed that he was fit for the role of leadership several times during the early chapters of the book. Golding stated that it was between Ralph and Jack who would lead and that Jack believed he should be chosen saying, “ ‘I ought to be chief,’ said Jack with simple arrogance, “because I’m chapter and head boy. I can sing a C charp.” (22). This is where Jack lists all the reasons that he is the best selection of a chief over Ralph, he wanted to persuade the rest of the boys for their vote. Towards, the end of the book we see Jack try to reclaim the already lost authority from Ralph. Jack induces the boys by saying, “ ‘I gave you food’ said Jack, ‘and my hunters will protect you from the beast. Who will join my tribe?” (150) Jack tries to make all the other boys, besides the hunters who already sided with him, to join his new tribe. This attempt for power with going against Ralph, clearly the most knowledgeable leader, displays how Jack only cares to satisfy his coveting of power.
In today’s world, there are many different and effective types of governments. They range from republics to dictatorships, with each of them having pros and cons regarding their effectiveness and how happy the people living under them are. In Lord of the Flies, author William Golding tells the story of a group of boys stranded on an island, with only their wits to keep them alive. 2 boys eventually take power. The first to take power, Ralph, uses a democratic government in order to keep things fair for all of the boys. However, this fails, and the second boy Jack takes power. He uses a totalitarian government, and while it is very effective, Jack’s inability to lead becomes a major problem, and his poor decision-making eventually burns down the entire island. William Golding uses Lord of the Flies as a political allegory in order to prove that both democratic and totalitarian governments will only succeed if the people in their systems support the goals given to them by their government.
William Golding, the creator of the book Lord of the Flies describes evil as a trait we are born with and learn to control it, while another man by the name of Jean-Jacques Rousseau thought of the opposite whereas we are born good, but the world and society around us change us to doing evil things, but what is considered evil? The one who decides what is evil and what is not is not just one man or women alone, it is decided as a community, and this description of evil seems to fit Rousseau’s beliefs more than William Golding and it is what I believe in with stronger feelings.
But this democratic society does not last very long as the children (especially Jack) have a lack of respect and interest for the conch and the rules. We can see this happen when Jack says, “We don’t need the conch anymore, and we know who should say things.” As the conch represents democracy we can see that civilization on the island is crumbling and savagery is starting to take over.
Imagine yourself in one of the characters shoes in the novel “Lord of the flies.” You would see yourself loaded with responsibilities, major decisions, etc. “Lord of the Flies” represents a microcosm of adult society. The island can act as a democratic government, demonstrate knowledge, and each character can demonstrate an aspect of adult society. William Golding was in the Royal Navy during WWII. He creates a smaller image for what’s really happening in the world.