The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding illustrates the theme, fall of man. There are many examples from the book that run parallel to those of the Bible. Throughout the Lord of the Flies we see how the innocent boys adapt to their surroundings and find the savagery inside of them. Savagery takes over innocence when man is taken away from civilization.
There are many forms of symbolism in The Lord of the Flies. The island the boys are stranded on is often compared to the Garden of Eden. There are many things similar between the two. The island itself, particularly Simon’s place in the forest he goes to get alone, is once like the Garden of Eden in its form of purity and peacefulness. The forest is then corrupted and introduced to evil. When we look at the Garden of Eden, man was supplied with everything needed to survive. However, man disobeyed and sin was brought into the world. The island provided the boys with everything they needed. For example, when Simon found “fruit…and passed them…to the endless, outstretched hands”(59). The boys thought the island was a perfect place until they came up with the idea that a beast could be living on it and could possibly cause them harm. When the mulberry-marked boy disappeared, fear came upon the boys. Nobody could figure out what had happened to the boy. This led to them imagining what could possibly have happened to him.
The group of boys came from a civilized country with many rules and regulations. For instance, when Jack speaks with the group of boys and asks “laws and agree, or to hunt and kill?”(164). When they crashed on the island, they had to fend for themselves and try and form their own civilization and rules. The Lord of the Flies shows what happens when people are away from civilization. By their true nature they are tempted. Everyone has the savagery inside of him or her. In Chapter 1, Jack is trying to kill a pig for the first time. He is so used to living with a set of rules and civility, back home in Britain, that he is unable to force himself to kill the pig at first. For example, because they come from a civilized society he says, “We’ve got to have rules and obey them”(40). Once he rubs paint on his face, he gets free of civility and the way of life back home. The paint allows him to break free from the person he normally is and hide the truth. He is able to find the savagery inside himself to kill the pig. Unlike Jack, who works himself up into a frenzy as a savage, Simon continues in his innocence throughout the story. He crash lands on the island as a young boy and proves himself to be the smartest out of the group of boys.
He understood that there could not be some sort of beast on the island and that the beast was only in their minds. The island could not support some type of physical beast because there was no place for it to live. The killing of Simon is the moral truth of the story. The boys brutally murder him as a consequence of having discovered the truth behind the beast. Simon could be compared to Jesus. When Simon talks to the Lord of the Flies in the meadow, this runs parallel to how Jesus was tempted by the Devil in the wilderness. The beast talks to Simon, telling him that he can control the boys’ minds and how it is all in their minds. The Devil tempted Jesus in the desert, telling Jesus to bow down to him. If Jesus did this, the Devil would leave humanity alone forever. Simon’s death did not bring salvation to the boys the way Jesus’ death brought salvation. The truth behind Simon’s death is that it brought moral guilt and savagery. Simon died before he was able to tell the boys the truth about what he found out when talking to the Lord of the Flies. The day after Simon died, Ralph and Piggy felt horrible about what they had just done to Simon. They kept thinking about the situation and how they could not reverse their actions.
The fall of man is a theme illustrated in many works of literature. This is definitely present in The Lord of the Flies. There are many parallels between things in the book and things about Christianity. We all have that savagery inside of us, however, we have to tame that savagery and do what is right.