‘Lord of the Flies’ what does the title tell us about the book? Other research has written that it means ‘the devil, great danger or evil’. This to me shows that Golding is trying to prepare us for what is to come. Does this book have any morals within the story this will be found out when reading on.
Golding was born in the 19th of September 1911 in Cornwall. Golding served in the Second World War with the royal navy. After he taught in a boy’s school and published ‘Lord of the Flies’. William Golding died in 1993. Maybe experiences from the war have been expressed in the book such as ‘ a bird, a vision of red and yellow with a witch like cry’. These could be sounds that Golding herd and remembered from the war.
From chapter one you start to get the gist of the story. There has been a plane crash on an uninhabited desert island and no adults have survived. Golding has automatically removed authority and so the children have got a lot more freedom. What paradise, being stranded on a desert island with a load of other children. However Golding starts to change our perspective of paradise, and later on you can see that he is using the island as a microcosm of the world. He starts causing problems between the children, and shows how the children treat the island by disturbing the wildlife, this expressing how we treat our world.
Ralph is the first character introduced. The first sentence of the book is about the boy with ‘fair hair’. Here is one of the main characters and a possible leader. Golding describes him as being physically fit and quite gentile. Whereas, the second character is quite the opposite. He gets described as being ‘shorter than the fair haired boy and very fat’. We later find out this fat boy has a nickname, which is Piggy, and of course this name gets adopted and this is used throughout the book. At first it almost seems like Piggy is in denial about being on an island without any adults ‘aren’t there any adults at all?’ And all the way through chapter one Golding shows Piggy needs an adult figure to guide him ‘where’s the man with the megaphone?’.
Looking at the conversation between Piggy and Ralph we can see that Piggy’s English is not very good, for example ‘we was attacked’ and ‘all them other kids’. Ralph is a lot more independent and is not really interested in Piggy, as he does not even ask his name. Piggy is not getting the attention he wants, or is maybe used to and so starts telling Ralph about his asthma and about wearing glasses. He has not really got anything in common with Ralph. A bit later on in the chapter you can see that Ralph is in control and Piggy obeys him. Ralph sees Piggy as a lower status ‘get my clothes’. This is probably because of what Piggy looks like and has probably had this throughout his school days. This is how we treat individuals in our society today and it is all based on their appearance.
Piggy finds a conch; this is how we get introduced to the other characters. The conch is blown, and other bodies that are also scattered on the island come forward. Ralph decides to hold a meeting. Children start appearing. This is where we get our first image of Jack. Golding describes him as being a tall, thin boy with red hair. I imagine someone with red hair to maybe bad tempered and a fiery personality, this is an almost stereo typical view of someone and certainly does not apply to everyone. With in a few sentences ‘the tall boy’ as he is known is already shouting orders ‘ Choir! Stand still!’ Piggy feels even more intimidated and very self-conscious by jack ‘intimidated by the uniformed superiority’ and starts to act like the victim. Maybe later on in the book he might become a stronger character.
Another two boys named Roger and Simon appeared from elsewhere on the island. Simon automatically come across as the peacemaker, he is very quite and admires the beauty of the island ‘like candles. Candle bushes. Candle buds.’
Jack assumes that he ought to be chief showing his fiery temper, however the quite and sinister Roger decides on a vote. Ralph gets elected. From this point onwards I think we can predict there is going to be trouble between Ralph and Jack, and we later on find that they both want different things.
Golding’s description of the island is very well interpreted. From the first page you start to get a clear image of the island and the wild life within in it. The red and yellow bird, very bright colours maybe beauty, or maybe danger. I would say that Golding mostly uses positive words to describe the island ‘the lagoon was still as a mountain lake, blue of all shades’ however in the odd bit of description sentences such as ‘skull like coco-nuts’ would appear, this giving a creepy feel about the place. It seems to me that this island is not exactly what the boys are hoping it is. Golding, I think has been very clever and has used a lot of words and senses to describe the island such as sights, smells and touch.
The children start to realise that they need to take a more adult way of life. They start talking about being rescued, building a fire, catching food and making shelter. Yet Golding still likes to remind us that they are children, by adding words such as ‘whizzoh’ ‘wacco’ and ‘wizard’. He also likes to remind us that they are from overseas, like when their clothes are sticking to them, and the fruit is making them ill. They are going to have to adapt to the way of life in order to survive.
The conch is found by Piggy and is used to summon all the children from around the island. The conch is very symbolic and symbolises democracy. It is described as being ‘deep cream touched here and there with fading pink’. I think words such as beauty and precious would sum up the conch. Ralph and Piggy decide that if you want to speak out at the meeting the conch has to be with you. Does the conch stay this important throughout the book? The conch has been represented to democracy. The dictionary states that democracy is: ‘government of the people by the people through their elected representatives’. This means that before any plans can be carried out a vote must be taken and can only be carried out if the majority wants it to be. I think Ralph supports this way as he said the conch would represent democracy.
Whereas on the other hand Jack likes to take the matters into his own hands, and does not really give anyone any say, this is known as totalitarianism. The dictionary states: ‘governed by a single party that allows no rivals’. It’s a bit far fetched but you could base Jack on Hitler or Saddam Huseim. I am sure these two different views are bound to cause trouble later on in the story.
With all these different points and techniques used, and the tension growing between the two characters, I think the rest of the book will be interesting as it could take a turn for the better, or a turn for the worst.