Golding?s Foreshadowing: Looking At The Lord Of The Flies Essay, Research Paper
Looking At Chapter One
Chapter one, which is the most important chapter of the novel the Lord of the Flies
by William Gilding shows how many aspects of the novel, first mentioned briefly in the
beginning of the novel are also found later on in it. When looking at the actions, attitudes,
and setting, it is clearly evident that chapter one is a foreshadowing of the remainder of the
Many of the boy?s actions in chapter one correspond to other events in the novel.
It is apparent that Ralph walking on the beach shows a relationship when looking at his
leadership capabilities. Ralph ?tripped over a branch and came down with a crash? (pg. 3),
shows that he cannot lead the community, as it too will crash, and evidently his community
also ?came down with a crash? (pg. 3). Another way that chapter one foreshadows the
remainder of the novel, is the way the boys undressed. Their style of undressing, shows
their future nomadic attitude, and when Ralph ?kicked off his shoes fiercely and ripped off
each stocking? (pg. 4), he clearly identified that they would loose their civilized nature due
to the nature of their actions. Ralph?s lack of the ability to grasp knowledge quickly is
another action that portrays his poor intellect throughout the novel. This is first seen in
chapter one as Ralph is blowing the conch, but had difficulty producing noise, ?there came
a rushing sound from its mouth but nothing? (pg. 17). Ralph can not easily create sound
from the conch without a struggle. He also struggles in chapter four while building the
huts. Ralph can not make the shelters and has much difficulty, which Golding describes the
huts as ?Two shelters were in position, but shaky. This one was in ruin? (pg.) 51. This
clearly identifies Ralph?s struggle of learning and how he struggles to learn anything
throughout the novel. When looking at the character actions, Ralph?s leadership and
learning ability, and the nomadic actions of the boys, it is clearly evident that chapter one
foreshadows the rest of the novel in this aspect.
Chapter one also foreshadows the rest of the novel when looking at the attitude
aspect of the boys on the island. The boys display their tribal attitudes towards their
clothing in chapter one and in other areas in the novel. Ralph, treats his clothes with little
respect in chapter one and is depicted as ?kicked off his stocking? and ?ripped off each
stocking?. This lack of respect for clothing is also seen when Jack is hunting and describes
him as ?naked, except for a pair of tattered shorts? (pg.) 52. The ?tattered shorts? (pg. 52)
proves that because of the lack of respect given the clothing in chapter one, the rest of the
novel is portrayed in their nomadic attitudes, which have changed from the moment they
arrived on the island and lasts until the very end. The lack of respect for Piggy is also seen
throughout the novel. Chapter one displays the cruel nature of the boys to Piggy which
Golding describes when Jack says, ? ?Shut up, Fatty.?Laughter arose? (pg.17). This shows
the little respect they have for each other in chapter and in particular Piggy. Golding
foreshadows this later on in the novel with Jack smacking Piggy and ?mimicked the wine?
by saying ? ?Jus? you wait– yah!? ?, which also shows the little respect the boys have for
Piggy and each other in the remaining of the novel. The attitudes of Jack?s evil side and
Ralph?s good side are predetermined in chapter one with the quote ?there was a mildness
about his mouth that proclaimed no devil? (pg). 5, which Golding uses to describe Ralph?s
good natured attitude. Since Ralph and Jack are enemies, and Ralph ?proclaimed no devil?
(pg.5), Jack must be the opposite of Ralph?s good side, and be negative in his attitude.
This is foreshadowed throughout the novel and is especially seen with the dispute over the
priorities of the group. Jack ?shouted in rage.?(pg.52) at Ralph and ?they were both red in
the face?(pg. 52), which shows that they could never get along from the beginning to the
end. The lack of respect for their clothing, for each other and the display of separation
between good and evil, which are all found in chapter one and in the remainder of the
novel, prove that chapter one foreshadows the remainder of the novel when comparing the
attitudes of the boys.
Foreshadowing can also be seen through Golding?s depiction of the setting. The
setting of chapter one which foreshadows the remainder of the novel in many ways shows
the tranquillity of the ?shimmering water? (pg. 4). This perfect ?shimmering water? when
comparing it to the boys, shows how they relate to the perfect society of the boys before
they come to the island. The fall of their perfect society into the nomadic society is
portrayed by ?the ceaseless bulging passage of the deep sea waves.?(pg.120), which
shows that the boys are in rough or chaotic times as depicted by the ?deep sea
waves?(pg.120). This proves the boys change from a perfect society to a nomadic tribe.
Another aspect of the setting which is found in chapter one and foreshadows the rest of
the novel is the conch. In chapter one the conch is depicted as the microphone for the boys
and is symbolic for its ability to gather the boys, display power, and respect in their
community. This method of parliament continues until the conch is destroyed with piggy.
The destruction of the conch shows how their civilization falls and that the conch, which is
found in chapter one, foreshadows the fall of their civilization with it?s destruction. The
words Golding describes a beautiful bird are deceiving in the quote ?a vision of red and
yellow…with a witch like cry?(pg. 1), which portrays a beautiful bird, and is represented as
before the encounter on the island, and then a which like cry, which is the after effect
when they have changed mentally and physically. Before the boys landed on the island they
were considered the pinnacle of their society, but when comparing the ending of this quote
to the remainder of the novel, is tells of how the boys will change dramatically. The
procession of a ?which like cry?(pg.1), foreshadows the change from a good ?vision of red
and yellow?(pg.1) to a negative nomadic society. This change is seen evidently when the
boys first land on the island. Ralph ?kicked his shoes off fiercely and ripped off each
stocking?(pg.4) which when compared shows the transformation of their perfect society
to a tribal one and also foreshadows this change of the boys.
In conclusion, Golding uses foreshadowing in chapter one to lead the readers to
what he wants them to see in the future chapters. This foreshadowing compares the
actions, attitudes, and setting in chapter one to the rest of the novel and helps readers
identify and understand what Golding means when he refers to these aspects in later parts
of the novel. This foreshadowing technique used by Golding in his writing gives readers
the ability to predict and know more about certain events which leads to a better
understanding of the novel.