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Characterization And Symbolism In Lord Of The Flies By William Golding

1292 words - 6 pages

Actors have interesting methods of converting their personalities into a totally different character. Not only can they change who they are, but they can also manipulate what they symbolize within their acting. Throughout past writer’s lifetimes, people would often include references to the bible in their novels through their use of symbolism in certain items or characters. William Golding is one example of a past writer that included many symbolic items throughout his writing. In Lord of The Flies, William Golding successfully uses characterization and symbolism to powerfully reveal the tragic state of society is the result of inherent defects in human nature.
Characterization is the key to revealing various personalities throughout a novel. In Golding’s Lord of The Flies, he includes the character of Ralph, to represent a naturally born leader. Ralph is elected by the boys of the island to become chief due to his differentness. Harold Bloom states, “…his actions prompt the reader to believe there is hope that practicality and civility can exist, even among youngsters left to care for themselves in the wild” (Bloom 14). As Ralph continues his role as leader throughout the book, Golding incorporates how Ralph attempts to live by the rules, but emerges from innocence toward the end of the novel due to the corruption of the other boys. Oldsey and Weintraub write, “At the novel’s end Ralph has emerged from his age of innocence; he sheds tears of experience, after having proven himself a “man” of humanistic fait and action” (21-22). In addition, Golding includes Piggy to represent logic and reason. Babb declares; “Piggy is devoted to the orderly process of civilization…” (24). Piggy fought for his belief in order even during the break-in to steal his glasses. Beaudin claims, “Piggy, still holding on to his belief in order, thought the attack was to capture the conch, and thus the symbol of authority” (19). Piggy continuously holds onto his belief in order throughout the novel which, unfortunately results in his untimely death. Golding also includes Jack, who is used to represent aggressiveness, darkness, and his need for power. Oldsey and Weintraub describe, “…he is quick to anger, prideful, aggressive, physically tough, and courageous” (22-23). The beginning of the novel displays Jack as a timid being, until he metamorphoses into a cruel, violent, and obsessive hunter. Bloom realizes “Jack depends more on force, violence, and intimidation than his own wits to usurp Ralph’s position as leader” (22). This statement shows how Golding presented how easily it is for good to succumb to evil through Jack’s constant need for power. Lastly, Golding includes a Christ figure, saint, and prophet of the book named Simon. Simon often provides the answers to the boys during their distressed worries of rescue, but is never listened to. According to Oldsey and Weintraub; “Simon is the most effectively-and certainly the most poignantly...

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