Lord of the Flies: An Analysis


"The two boys faced each other. There was the brilliant world of
hunting, tactics, fierce exhilaration, skill; and there was world of
longing and baffled common-sense." A quote showing the two main contrasts
of the story. Savageness, and civilization. This, is the Lord of the Flies,
a book written by William Golding. The Lord of the Flies has some
interesting and deep thoughts, pertaining to the theme, plot, characters,
and setting in this novel. William Golding did not just start writing a
book; he took his time and worked out every little matter, to make sure the
book was entertaining, and most of all, did not bore the reader.

The Lord of the Flies begins with about 20 pre-adolescent boys who are
on an airplane, and the airplane crashes on an uninhabited coral island in
the Pacific. The airplane crew has been killed, and the boys are left on
their own. They start to collect themselves into a society of food
gatherers under an elected chief, Ralph. Ralph is about 12 years old, and
has a very sensible, and logical personality. At first, the boys create
duties to follow, and they live amicably in peace.

Soon however, differences arise as to their priorities. The smaller
children (know as littl\'uns) lose interest in their tasks; the older boys
want to spend more time hunting than carrying out more routine duties, such
as keeping the signal fire on the top of the mountain going, and building
shelters. A rumor spreads that a "beast" of some sort is lurking in the
forest, and the children have nightmares.

Jack, (A ruthless, power-hungry person), promising to fulfil the
children\'s desire for a reversion to the ways of primitivism, is chosen as
the new leader, and the society splits into two sections: those who want to
hunt and soon become savages, and those who believe in rational conduct,
and a civiliized manner. Ralph, the rational leader, soon finds himself as
the outcast with Piggy, (a fat, non-athletic, logical type, boy).

Simon, one of the more rational boys, finds out the secret of the
"beast", and sees that it is only a dead parachuted pilot. He goes to the
hunting group, and before he can say anything, they kill him by accident.
Piggy is later killed by Jack when he accused Jack of stealling his
glasses, which Jack did do.

At the end of the story, Ralph finds himself all alone, and Jack sees
the opportunity to track him down and rid himself of his nemisis. Jack
gives orders to his savage group to hunt down Ralph, and Ralph finds this
out. Just as Ralph is about to be killed by the "savages", a naval officer
arrives with a rescue party.

The \'world\' of the Lord of the Flies is projected as a very realistic
and plausible story to comprehend. If the reader found this specific world
filled with people who do not talk or act in the ways that he or she is
used to, he or she may decide that the characters are unbelievable, and
unreal. In Lord of the Flies, Golding has shown that the characters are
quite believable, and that their experiences are at least possible. The
characters talk with a bit of broken and slang-like English, and have the
characteristics and personalities of normal pre-adolescents. A few quotes
from the novel to demonstrate the realistic talking of kids, and not heros
from fairy tales, are these: "Look i\'m gonna say this now...." or, "when
are we goin\' to light the fire again?" This shows the realism of the novel.
The boys are also not impossibly brave, but only as brave as they want to
be. They are no cleaner than boys can be with no soap available, and they
like to play, but not work. They are not very responsible, and almost all
are afraid of the dark.

The plot is also very reasonable, except that there is no nuclear war
going on in the world. But that does not make the story implausible, for
there could easily be one.

There are a myriad of strengths contained in this novel. The main
points are basically the structure of the plot, theme, and setting. A
remote jungle seems to be a very effective setting to establish the main
theme about savages. It focusses on simple things, and would be much more
effective than a great city-scape. Golding uses the jungle so he can focus
on such fundamental themes as the conflict of good vs. evil.

Golding