Lord Of The Flies


By William Golding
In his classic novel, " Lord of the Flies", William Golding
utilizes many elements of symbolism to help accomplish his
motif, which is "man is basically evil." Symbolism can be
anything, a person, place or thing, used to portray
something beyond itself. It is used to represent or
foreshadow the conclusion of the story. As one reads this
novel, he or she will begin to recognize the way basic
civilization is slowly stripped away from the boys. Let us
now look closer at the ways Golding uses this form of
 From the very beginning of the story the boys inwardly
strip themselves of the remnants of the basic civilized
world. This is shown when the boys shed their clothes;
their school sweaters, then the rest of their clothes are
torn off. Their hair becomes increasingly disheveled, long,
and entangled with small twigs. Since the boys are left
without any adult supervision they have to turn to their
collective unconscious. The collective unconscious was
discovered by the renown psychologist Carl Jung. Let us now
look further into each individual character in the novel,
and discover how they each contribute to portray the ending
of the story. 
 Ralph is one of the older boys on the island and remains
the leader throughout most of the novel. He is described as
a pure, English lad. Such details as his fair hair and the
fact that he is wearing his school sweater symbolizes many
things. First of all the fact that he has fair hair
represents that he will be the positive force throughout
the novel, as opposed to Jack who is described as having
red hair. The fact that he keeps his school sweater
symbolizes his desire to keep the island somewhat
civilized. He does everything he can to keep the boys under
some kind of society. He makes laws including the freedom
of speech. Ralph becomes very popular in the beginning,
however as the novel proceeds and the society deteriorates,
the popular leader is abandoned for a strong-armed
dictator; Jack Merridew. 
 The impression that we have of Jack is that he is a tall
thin boy with a shock of red hair at the summit of a black
cloak. Jacks appearance seems to suggest evil. Unlike Ralph
who stands for common sense and a desire for normal
civilized life, all Jack cares about is hunting. Because of
this opposition between Jack and Ralph, Jack is Ralph's
main antagonist. Symbolically Jack breaks away from good
when he baptizes himself with the blood of the slaughtered
pig. Jack eventually breaks away from Ralph and the others
and forms his own group which will basically strive for
blood. This leads to multiple murders. With the exception
of Ralph, Piggy, and a few others, Jack lures the other
boys to join him. According to the laws of Freudian
Psychology Jacks Id has taken over. 
 Another character portrayed in Lord of the Flies is Piggy.
Piggy is the object of much mockery and is obviously a fat
boy. Piggy foresees both the need for a closely watched
signal fire and for secure shelters on the beach. Piggy's
spectacles are used to start the fire. Piggy could
represent knowledge or intelligence, a figure which is
often depicted as a fire-bringer. A familiar expression
that can represent this is the fire of inspiration. Even
though Piggy represented all good he was often jeered at. 
 Simon is a Christ figure. He is quiet, almost unnoticed,
yet he speaks wiser than the others. His wander deep into
the heart of the woods in chapter three, is representative
of Jesus' journey's to isolate himself to pray to his

William Golding used symbolism to help portray the ending
of the novel.


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