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Lord Of The Flies, As A Reflection Of Life

927 words - 4 pages

Lord of the FliesAs a reflection of life, the novel, Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, suggests that the basic nature of mankind and society depends on the ethical nature of the individual and the force of psychic structure as the fundamental principle of the Natural Man. When read at face value, it can be interpreted as a short book about the struggle to survive on a deserted island and its physical and psychological impacts on its inhabitants. However, when the reader looks deeper, they see the mirror image of existence that is filled with rich and detailed symbolism in almost all aspects of the book. "The theme is an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature" (Golding 204). The novel begins as the protagonist, Ralph, wanders along the beach.Ralph represents leadership, order, and civilization on the island. He uses his power for the good of the people, especially to protect the "littluns." The littluns represent the people ruled by a government. In their case, the "bigguns" (the older boys), take advantage of the little boys and soon neglect them entirely. As the conch was blown "a deep harsh note boomed under the palms, spread through the intricacies of the forest and echoed back from the pink granite of the mountain" (17). Giving off a powerful sound, the conch also represents the qualities of authority, unity, and power. When the society is formed, the boy who holds the conch is the only one allowed to speak. Jack first institutes this when he says, "I'll give the conch to the next person to speak" (33). As the story progresses, the conch looses its power and influence over the children and is eventually crushed when Piggy is trampled by a boulder. This marks the end of any democratic and civilized society on the island. Piggy represents intelligence and mortality. He acts with reason like a grownup would in his situation. Besides acting like a parent figure, Piggy also provides leadership before and after the tribe is split in half. "But nobody else understands that about the fire. If someone threw you a rope when you were drowning. If a doctor said take this because if you don't take it you'll die- you would, wouldn't you? Can't they understand? Without the smoke signal we'll die here?" (139).The signal fire is another symbol that changes to reflect the downward spiral of the children. The fire was instituted by Ralph and Piggy as an attempt to draw attention in hopes of rescue. The fire can be seen as a connection to civilization and as civilization itself. When the fire burns well at a normal pace, the...

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