Lord of the Flies was first published in 1954 and from then on has been read by millions of people whether it would be pupils or adults. The book is still very popular as it deals with a subject that is timeless and fundamental. The book is a fable showing how the inherent evil in man’s nature threatens order in a society. William Golding uses an allegorical story to illustrate this threat to civilization. Because of it’s timeless topic and because it is an ideal showcase for allegoric al structure and literary analysis the novel has been dealt with in numerous school lessons and university courses.
However, William Golding was a school teacher at a boarding school; he was interested in how boys behaved. He had seen what had happened in the WW2, concentration camps, ill treatment of prisoners at war. This made him think what would happen, if you left a group of boys alone on an island to set their own society, his experience made him write this novel. The boys were evacuated, the plane crashed, they were left alone on a desert island with no adults in sight. The stranded boys are from a wealthy background and that go to private schools but piggy an exemption. William Golding wants the readers to think that these boys would do well because they are little Britain’s. Golding also wrote plays, and directed them, he also done several short stories, some poems and a travel book about Egypt. He had always dreamt of becoming a writer since his childhood days, his first ever published book was when he was at the age of only twenty-three.
I am now going to show how the marooned boys create their own society and environment on the deserted island. After nearly being crushed from the plane crash, the boys escaped from the plane and landed on the island, they organised and made places for shelter and beds to sleep. They then try to make a signal fire to try and quickly get them home for example, “Until the grown ups come to fetch us we’ll have fun”. This shows that in previous literature children alone had an adventure this is. They then form an alliance to organise what they should do now they are alone on this unknown island, the use of the conch shows a symbol of order and authority. The children then decide to vote for a leader, this shows they have democracy for example “Let’s have a vote”. They are ironically behaving like mature adults, and then they made fire for warmth, “We’ve got to have special people to look after the fire, any day there may be a ship out there”. Nevertheless, the fire gets out of control the children are then helpless and the fire then burns an innocent child.
Golding uses very different characters to build up the conflict in his novel. Each of the main characters can be seen as an allegorical representation of a certain aspect of human nature. All the boys undergo certain changes in their new situation and as Ralph, Jack, Piggy, and Simon have quite unequal personalities the isolation from society has different effects on each of them. Ralph gives Jack the role of being the hunter to keep him satisfied, for Jack not being bitter about him losing the vote to become leader of the kids. While hunting for food, they let the signal fire go out, the ship was out at sea, “You let the fire out, there was a ship”.
Therefore, the ship could not see boys because the signal fire went out. Conflict is then building between the pupils, this is caused by the boys who are having fun and hunting mostly Jack, but the only reason that the children are arguing is because they are angry and hungry, for example “Kill the Pig”! Oppressiveness is growing that there is a beast on the island, finding a dead parachutist whom they thought was the beast confirms this, for example, “I saw something big and horrid moving in the trees… We saw the beast”. Jack then challenges Ralph for the leadership, and wants things done his way; this shows he’s hungry for power, for example “Hands up whoever wants Ralph not to be chief”. Kids vote again, Jack fails to be leader again; he then goes off to create his own alliance. When they split up, it makes keeping the fire more difficult, now there are two opposing groups, so tension is bound to build.
On the other hand, the other boys quickly start to make use of their new freedom as they play and they are not very concerned about keeping the fire alive or building huts for shelter and making beds. Ralph on the contrary does not lose his sense of responsibility; he is so used to law and order of the world he has been living in that he tries to copy the political structures he knows from home. However, he is not immune to savage degeneration. Although he manages to hold on to civilization and democratic principles, he too has natural cruelty inside him. This becomes apparent in his intentional exposure of Piggy to mockery: “‘He’s not Fatty,’ cried Ralph, ‘his real name’s Piggy! Piggy! Piggy!” it also shows that Piggy is always going to get bullied and makes you feel sorry for him because he has no friends to protect him other than himself.
Moreover, Jacks tribe is made for fun and playing, it sounds more luscious to the other kids, getting to cook and eat meet makes them crave. They get to dress up like savages, for example red face paint and the kids have a few clothes on. The face paint makes them act like savages; it’s a sign of them hiding their emotions. They have a chant, they act together like a pack of wolves; they surround the pig in a circle then ready to strike. Jacks tribe steals the fire then the glasses from piggy from the other conch because they needed it, its anti-social, they didn’t actually need to steal the fire from the other conch. The tribe then becomes out of control when they mistake Simon for the beast and kill him. It was so violent for example, “Kill the pig! Cut her Throat! Spill her Blood! … Afterwards there was Lashing of Blood” .They were biting him and stabbing him which eventually leads to her bloody and innocent death. These once know little choir pupils have now the predators which is not good for the other conch, because they are probably next on their killing list. When Piggy is killed by the hunting group, civilization is now no more, Society has changed on the island. Ralph was also hunted like a pig, “All them other kids…”, “We was attacked”. This shows irony because his best friend was called Piggy, this leads the navy officer saving Ralph and going back safely home.
In conclusion, contrast is shown in the novel between the two groups and Jacks group sounds more appealing to the other children. However, they were too immature to be responsible to organize, unlike Ralph who was very organized by keeping the fire going and trying to build shelter. If all the characters in this story weren’t like Ralph, then they would all be like Jack, bitter, jealous and evil. For example, one or two boys who wanted to bully and beat up other kids, like Roger changed the atmosphere and corrupted his friends to be evil towards their teammates. Therefore, Golding shows the boys trying to set up a civilized society when Ralph becomes leader of the boys on the island. But when Jacks hunters kill Simon that’s when everything started changing, for example, their civilized society then became an uncivil society where they could kill and hunt for fun but it got out of control once two innocent children got slaughtered.