William Golding's Lord Of The Flies Essay

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Lord of the Flies is a novel written by William Golding. Lord of the Flies revolves around a group of young boys who are stranded on an island; the novel follows this group as they transform from civilized children to bloodthirsty savages. William Golding’s style is heavily riddled with symbolism. Because he forces the reader to make connections between an idea and (for example) a character, many common objects in the book act as pieces of symbolism. Two symbols, the conch and light, recur often. As life changes on the island, the meanings of these symbols change. As the boys become uncivilized, the conch--once representing power--becomes useless, and the light--once representing man’s goodness--is replaced by darkness. From the first hour…show more content…
Golding uses the common trope of “light and dark” to symbolize good and evil on the island. While Golding uses literal lightness or darkness to brighten or dim a setting, he also incorporates it into the characteristics of his characters. For example, Ralph was first introduced as “the boy with fair hair” (6). This shows how, when their time on the island first began, the boys were untainted. As the boys’ hearts grew in evil, the light from the island began to disappear. The shadows that had once only be present during the night, began appearing throughout the island. It became “full of claws, full of the awful unknown and menace” (99). The audience deduces that the steadily lessening light shows the dwindling boys’ virtue. By being surrounded by only darkness on the island, the boys are enveloped and transformed into the beasts they once feared. Golding goes as far as to blatantly write that “Ralph wept for the darkness of man’s heart” (184). Since one of the main themes in Lord of the Flies is speaks of man’s inherent wickedness, it is inferred that the darkness residing in man’s heart is his evil. At their journey’s end, there remains no light--or goodness--within the
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