The Use of Symbolism in The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
A symbol is something concrete that represents another thing or idea.
In Lord Of The Flies a lot of things we encounter are given symbolic
meaning by the way the author William Golding uses them.
The book it’s self is named after a symbol, the words “Lord Of The
Flies” translated means “Beelzebub” which is another word for “the
devil” the book was named after the devil because evil has a large
influence on the book and it’s characters. Evil takes dominance in the
book over the power of good and causes death suffering and prevents
the establishment of civilisation by the means of chaos and anarchy.
From the second that William Golding starts the book symbolism is
being used, The Island it’s self Is a symbol of isolation, a different
dimension of chaos and it’s surrounded by a barrier (the sea). The
island also signifies the process on which civilisation is established
and the thin line that lies between chaos and civilisation. When the
children first arrive on the island the plane they were in crashes
leaving a path of destruction, the boys refer to the path of
destruction as a “Scar” on the island, Golding uses this term to put
emphasis on the earth being damaged by mankind and scaring the earth.
The word “Scar” that Golding uses also suggests the path of
destruction on the island will never vanish, as will the damage being
done to the earth by mankind.
During the novel the atmosphere is highly symbolic, the future, past
and present are all represented by the dramatic changes in weather,
before the event of Simon’s Death weather shows the current atmosphere
“The dark sky was shattered by a blue-white scar. An instant later the
noise was on them like the blow of a gigantic whip.” The “blue-white
scar” in the sky is a descriptive term used for lightening by Golding.
The lightening sets the atmosphere to suggest terror, chaos and fear,
in the present and future. After Simon is killed and the “beast”
drifts away from the island the weather changes and becomes the
aftermath of the past “Towards midnight the rain ceased and the clouds
drifted away, so that the sky was scattered once more with the
incredible lamps of stars.” The weather conditions changed after
Simon’s death to signify the chaos was over and the threat namely the
“beast” was no more.
As extensive research I investigated Golding’s deeper meanings of
names. Although it is not explained in the book, Golding uses
symbolism through the characters’ names to explain their actions and
personalities. Golding chose the names from the languages of Hebrew –
Jack and Simon, Germanic - Roger and Anglo-Saxon – Ralph. In these
languages the characters’ names mean.
· Jack – “One who supplants” which explains the actions of Jack
supplying people with meat.