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