Fear In Lord Of The Flies Essay

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In William Golding’s novel, The Lord of the Flies, he examines the fundamental nature of man through a fictitious allegory and a paradigm of pessimism. His portrayal of childhood as a time of tribulation and terror is a distinctive tendency of the novel, challenging the reader to reconsider traditional notions of childhood innocence and wonder. Golding writes as a closing statement, “Ralph wept for the end of innocence [and] the darkness of man’s heart…” (202). The character Ralph embodies the civilized man driven by reason; They are connected to each other through the belief that there is innocence in children to be lost (Rosenfield). Contrasting this, the author’s perspective exhibits a disillusionment with the idea that humankind is fundamentally…show more content…
The first instance of terror is a young child’s concern that there is a “beastie” or “snake-thing” on the island (Golding 35). Ralph fails to convince the children of their foolishness, exposing the power of fear to dismantle rationality. This is similar to the way in which they become overwhelmed by “the desire to squeeze and hurt” while attacking Roger as a form of play (Golding 115). The ascendancy of these primal impulses over reason and rationale is a driving force of their descent into savagery. Subsequently, fear and the name “Beast” are cast onto the corpse of the pilot at the top of the mountain. Fear of this metamorphosing Beast exemplifies the human tendency to externalize evil and deny the darkness within oneself (van Vuuren). In another instance, Simon encounters the pig-head self-proclaimed as Lord of the Flies. It remarks to him, “Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could kill,” insinuating that the evil it represents is a part of all of them and their true fear is that of themselves (Golding 143). This idea that an inherent evil in all people is the ultimate downfall of humanity produces Golding’s characterization of childhood as a time of
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