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Symbolism In Lord Of The Flies

984 words - 4 pages

Symbolism in Lord of The Flies, by William GoldingSchizophrenics. According to William Golding all humans are, to some degree, schizophrenic. This is the image he tries to present in his bleak novel, Lord of The Flies, in an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature. In order to complete this task, he uses fire to symbolize the id, and superego in humans.Fire, in this thought-provoking novel, represents hope and evil. It shows that there can be two conflicting traits in a person, whether it be civility and savagery, or from a broader point of view, id and superego. Golding presents this two-sided internal war with explicit descriptions of fire, such as 'On one side the air was cool, but on the other, the fire thrust out a savage arm of heat...' (41). The savagery/id is represented by the savage heat, and the civility/superego is represented by the cool air. By conflicting these two opposites, Golding makes it obvious to the reader that he is not merely describing a fire, he is describing human nature. He is describing that internal conflict of good and bad. He is describing that little imaginary angel with a halo fighting that little imaginary devil, complete with horns, a trident, and a spiked tail. He makes this obvious throughout the whole book.Golding also tries to point out that if it was not for this conflict between id and superego then all humans would be bad. He uses Ralph in one scene to show this. Ralph sees a ship and is convinced that they will see the fire and stop at the island. But, the fire is out and Ralph's id takes over without the battling superego. 'The fire was dead... Ralph reached inside himself for the worst word he knew. "They let the bloody fire go out!" ...Ralph clenched his fist and went very red.' (67-68). With the fire dead, there was no battle anymore. It is Golding's belief that humans are naturally evil, so he makes the evil side in the boys triumphant over the good. Golding does not leave the reader to guess this. Ralph, a usually calm, easygoing boy, had always been dominated by his superego. Golding shows this by saying ' [he had] eyes that proclaimed no devil..' (10). But once the fire goes out, his id takes over and his eyes, face, and every other part of his being does, seemingly, proclaim very much devil. And this does not only apply to Ralph. The other boys are suddenly demonic after the fire perishes.The calm, civilized group of British boys all of a sudden transform into a pack of savage, bloodthirsty animals after the fire perishes. Although the fire did not exist when the boys arrived at the island, the conflict between id and superego did exist. But Golding made it physical in order to make the reader...

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