Lord Of The Flies: Symbolism Analysis

1405 words - 6 pages

Characters are used in literature as symbols to represent mankind's different “faces”. Everyone in both fictional and real societies have civil orderly sides, as well as an instinctual hunger for power. Both of these traits together make us human, but imbalance of these traits in some people can alter our being. These traits are necessary for our survival, but too much can create toxic environments. In the novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses symbols to tell the reader more about human traits and provides a platform that shows the interactions between people with different balances of traits; Golding then shows the possible outcome of the conflict these traits create. Three main characters that stand out and represent the civility and hunger for power of humans are Piggy, Jack, and Ralph. Each can be seen as a symbol for different behaviors and traits that humans show, as well as the different mixes of civil and instinctual. The characters symbolize the different traits, instinctual power and calming civil nature, and how the different balances can affect a persons actions, behaviors, and interactions with others.
The first main character and by far the boldest is Jack. He represents mankind's imbalance with instinctual nature. Jack comes into the story as the leader of a group of choir boys. Golding uses Jack to show man’s constant battle to be the best and control all of the power. When all the boys meet up with Ralph and Piggy, the first thing the boys do is have a vote for a leader. After the vote is tallied and Ralph is declared the leader, “The circle of boys broke into applause. Even the choir applauded; and the freckles on Jack’s face disappeared under a blush of mortification.”(23 Golding). Jack shows jealousy and anger when he loses the election of chief. He has lost all power he once had and now is starting the fight for power. Golding does this to create an imbalance of civil and instinctive traits in Jack. This lays a foreground for Jack to look for other chances to gain power in any way possible. At another meeting Jack is fed up with not having total control, and manipulates the boys feelings about Ralph as he argues with him saying “... And the next thing is that Ralph said my hunters are no good’ ‘I never said that!’ ‘I’ve got the conch. Ralph says you’re cowards running from the boar and the beast.”(126). Jack shows his desperation for power and the lengths he will go to get it. He lies to his friend just so he can boost his image. This trait can be seen in many different world leaders throughout the world. Kim Jong Un for example uses propaganda to make the people of North Korea think americans are all terrible people. By lying to the people he is supposed to protect he raises his image into almost a god even though his ways of achieving it are very malevolent. The world has been corrupted by power and the desire for it. It has blinded the visions of justice, and peace and been replaced with a lust that for power and...

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