Biblical Allusions: Golding´S Lord Of The Flies

1082 words - 4 pages

In many classic novels, authors use biblical allusions to highlight a certain character or situation. By using biblical allusions, authors can help the reader better understand what it is that they want to convey through their literary work. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, Golding utilizes symbolism of places and characters to allude to the Bible. Out of the many references, four significant biblical allusions – title of the novel, Simon, beast, and the island itself – emphasize Golding’s theme inherent sin and evil in mankind.
The title, Lord of the Flies, refers to the pig’s head that was placed on a spear and worshiped by the young boys on the island. In other words, the boys have chosen to believe in a fake deity, much like the people of Israel, who built golden calves to worship. And along with these fake gods comes along sacrifices, such as the head was for the beast as Jack stated, “This head is for the beast. It’s a gift” (137). Additionally, the lord of the flies is also known as Beelzebub, an Egyptian god that was linked with the 4th plague, as one of the ten plagues God sent over Egypt through Moses. To further suggest a biblical allusion, Beelzebub is deemed a demon within The Bible and is one of the many vividly described embodiments of evil within the book: “At least Simon gave up and looked back; saw the white teeth and dim eyes, the blood – and his gaze was held by that ancient, inescapable recognition” (138). Golding effectively uses the lord of the flies as a biblical allusion because he is able to exploit the underlying tone of subtle evil that begins to surface within the boys, through their worship of a disgusting thing. However, the allusion loses its power if the readers were unacquainted with The Bible because they would only think of the scene as deteriorating and nasty, and miss the evil behind the lord of the flies.
Furthermore, another biblical allusion is Jesus illustrated by Simon. First off, Simon’s character is spiritually centered and his name is derived from the apostles in the Bible. Golding shapes him as a boy who extends his hand to the weak, just as Jesus does as the son of God. For example, when the littluns follow Simon, “Simon found for them the fruit they could not reach, pulled off the choicest from up in the foliage, [and] passed them back down to the endless, outstretched hands” (56).Simon is the core of good within the destruction arousing within the other boys on the island. As a Christ-like figure, Simon’s actions mirror the Bible’s telling of the works of Jesus. For instance, Simon always strives to bring about sanity to the young boys, who slowly fall to their “inherent evil,” theorized by Golding. Similarly, until his death, Jesus attempts to bring about righteousness and even his death, in itself, was meant to cleanse the people who have sinned against the Lord, so that they would be forgiven. In addition, Simon can also be tied to the prophets in The Bible, because it was the...

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