Lord Of THe Flies Defects Of Society

Lord Of THe Flies: Defects Of Society Due To Nature Of Individuals Essay, Research Paper Lord of THe Flies: Defects of Society Due to Nature of Individuals

Lord Of THe Flies: Defects Of Society Due To Nature Of Individuals Essay, Research Paper

Lord of THe Flies: Defects of Society Due to Nature of Individuals

The venturesome novel, Lord of the Flies, is an enchanting,

audacious account that depicts the defects of society as the incorrigible nature

of individuals when they are immature and without an overlooking authority. The

author of the novel, William Golding, was born in Britain, which accounts for

the English, cultured characters in the novel. After studying science at Oxford

University for two years, he changed his emphasis as a major to English

literature. When World War II broke out in 1939, Golding served in the Royal

Navy for five years. The atrocities he witnessed changed his view about

mankind’s essential nature. He came to believe that there was a very dark and

evil side to man, which accounts for the savage nature of the children in the

novel. He said, “The war was unlike any other fought in Europe. It taught us

not fighting, politics, or the follies of nationalism, but about the given

nature of man.” After the war he returned to teaching and wrote his first novel,

Lord of the Flies, which was finally accepted for publication in 1954. In 1983,

the novel received the Noble Prize and the statement, “[His] books are very

entertaining and exciting. . . . They have aroused an unusually great interest

in professional literary critics (who find) deep strata of ambiguity and

complication in Golding’s work. . . .” (Noble Prize committee) Some conceived

the novel as bombastic and didactic. Kenneth Rexroth stated in the Atlantic,

“Golding’s novels are rigged.. . . The boys never come alive as real boys. . . .

” Other critics see him as the greatest English writer of our time. In the

Critical Quarterly in 1960, C.B. Cox deemed Lord of the Flies as “probably the

most important novel to be published. . . in the 1950’s.”

The setting of the novel takes place on an island in the Pacific Ocean.

The author never actually locates the island in the real world or states the

exact time period. The author does state that the plane carrying the children

had been shot down in a nuclear war, so the time period must be after the making

and the use of nuclear weapons. Even though the location of the island is not

definite, the author vividly describes the setting. Golding tells us that the

island is tropical and shaped like a boat. At the low end are the jungle and the

orchards, which rise up to the treeless and rocky mountain ridge. The beach,

called the scar, is near the warm water lagoon. On the scar, where the boys

hold their meetings, is a “natural platform of fallen trees.” Far away is the

fruit orchards which supply the boys with food. Inland from the lagoon is the

jungle with pig trails and hanging vines. The island has a mountain that Ralph,

Simon, and Jack climb, and from which they are able to see the terrain. Finally,

there is the castle at the other end of the island, which rises a hundred feet

above the sea and becomes Jack’s headquarters. Golding gives us a very strong

sense of place, and the setting shapes the story’s direction. At the outset the

boys view the island as a paradise because it is lush and abundant with food. As

the fear of the beast grows, however, it becomes a hell in which fire and fear

prevail. Even though Golding does not clearly state the setting, a mental

picture of the island is depicted throughout the novel.

The plot of the story begins when a group of British students’ plane is

shot down, and they crash on a tropical island. Ralph and Piggy are the first

characters introduced, and they find a white conch shell. Ralph blows on the

conch, and the other boys appear. Among them are Jack, Sam, Eric, Simon, and

many other boys who are never given names. The group elects Ralph as their

leader. When the conch calls again, they talk about a small boy’s fear of a

snakelike beast in the woods. Is there really such a beast? The boys can not

agree. Ralph convinces everyone that they need a fire for a signal in case a

ship passes the island, but the boys find it hard work keeping the fire going.

Jack decides he no longer wants to be part of Ralph’s group because he would

rather hunt than worry about keeping the fire burning. He leaves with everyone

except Ralph, Piggy, Sam, Eric, and Simon. In spite of their growing terror of

the imagined beast, Jack leads his hunters into the jungle for the slaying of

pigs. They place a pig’s head on a stake, much like a primitive offering to the

unknown beast. Then Simon wanders into the woods alone, has a seizure, and

talks to the pig’s head. In Simon’s hallucination the head becomes the “Lord of

the Flies”. Then Simon, terrified and sickened, starts back to where the other

boys are to tell them that the beast is a dead man who parachuted onto the

island. When Simon appears, the boys kill him, mistaking him for the beast. The

next night Jack and two hunters attack Ralph and Piggy and steal Piggy’s glasses.

Piggy and Ralph go to Jack to get back Piggy’s glasses.