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Lord Of The Flys Essay, Research Paper
First, there is a nuclear war occuring in the world. A plane is flying children away from the turmoil in England. It crashes in the middle of an island in the Pacific, and appearantly the pilot dies leaving only children on the island.
From this point on you have to be aware that the plot in this book plays a very minor role in its understanding.
Two boys, Piggy and Ralph, happen to have found each other. As time goes on, they learn of each other’s names and stop for a break. Piggy symbolizes reason, while Ralph symbolizes rational leadership.
They happen upon a warm pond and spot a conch shell in the middle of it. Fishing it out, Ralph becomes interested in it and asks Piggy, (an intellectual) what it is. Piggy explains that it can blow like a horn if blown into properly. He also says that he would show Ralph how, but due to his asthma he can’t blow into it. Ralph figures out how and everyone on the island hears the shell and comes toward the sound.
From here on the conch shell should be recognized as law and order. Whenever the conch is blown into, all come and gather around it.
Many boys come (note that not a single female is on the island) and the more important ones are Simon, Jack, Sam and Eric. Simon symbolizes a rationality and Jack symbolizes Anarchy and the inner human soul. Sam and Eric are twins, and are later reffered to as Samneric, because everything they do is together. They symbolize loyalty.
As the story progresses, a child complains of having seen a beast somewhere in the shadows of the forest. Thus begins superstition. From that point on, inner fears are exploited by the smallest things that are done in the forest.
Anyway, Jack and Ralph hold a meeting to see who should be voted as leader of the group. Ralph won. From this point on Jack and Ralph have an immense hatred for each other, symbolizing the clash of savagry and rationality.
Ralph, being a rational person, decides that it is necessary that a large fire be produced so that if a ship passes by, it will rescue them. After doing so, Jack, the one chosen to keep the fire going, decides to get meat instead of tending to the fire. His pursuit for killing a pig is symbollizing a sexual desire built into human nature.
While he was out pursuing the pig, the fire went out. Since the fire was out, no smoke was coming from it. A ship happened to pass by just then. When Ralph saw the ship, he turned towards the fire but realized that it wasn’t there. This symbollized the fact that Jack’s sexual desires led him away from hope and deeper into despair.
As time goes on in the book, people’s hair grows. This is not only the only way to tell how many weeks they have spent on the island, but it is also a symbol for civilization. As the book progresses, the boys who turn into savages put their hair behind their head’s symbollizing the fact that they are putting civilization behind them.
Jack starts hating Piggy and Ralph more and more. The first sign of violence in the book is when Jack fights with Piggy and breaks one of piggy’s lenses on his glasses. The first lense depicts the fact that the people on the island are gradually degrading in morals and letting their true human nature over-take their controlled stature.
While Samneric were tending to the fire at night, they both fell asleep. In the meantime, a battle was going on overhead with planes, supposedly jets. A man parachuted out of his plane and dies before he hit the island. When he did hit the island, he ended up wedged between a rock and a tree. Everytime the wind blew from a certain angle, they parachute would open up and he would look as if he were alive. When Samneric woke up, it was still kind of dark and they thought they had seen the beast. They ran off of the mountain where they were tending to the fire and ran to the rest of the boys. When they found the boys and told them there was a beast on the top of the mountain, Simon, who symbolizes rationality, decided he should climb the mt. and make sure it is actually there. Jack basically said Heck, I’ve had enough of this guy, and if anyone wants to join my tribe, then come with me.
Later that day, the older children known as big’uns started running away, all but Piggy, Ralph, Simon and Samneric. Simon decided he should go by himself at least to find the beast.
Jack successfully convinced many big’uns and little’uns to come along with him and join a tribe of savages. These savages have face-paint on, which makes them anonymous. This anonimity allows for each tribe member to do things he would not have normally done because of the fear of being reprimanded by society. Basically what im trying to get at here is that they had no shame left. So they went out, killed a pig, pretended to have sex with it, and cut off its head. They put the head onto the end of a spear and stuck them into the ground. They took the body and ran to their hide-out, a castle rock.
Simon, on his way to the mountain to find the beast, has not eaten or drank anything for a long while and decides to stop and rest. The heat is pounding on him and when he looks up I believe he starts hallucinating. He sees the pig’s head, which is actually there, and it starts talking to him, which is in his mind. It says many things, and as it is talking to Simon, flies are flying around its head, making it the Lord of the Flies. Lord of the flies translates into hebrew as Be’ezlevuv or something which means satan. So this pig represents the devil, or evil, and says to Ralph “I am the beast. Did you think I was something you could hunt and kill?” Or something like that. ***(If you have the green version of the book, then read the notes on The Lord of the Flies, cuz that explains a lot better than I can.)*** So since this conversation is in Simon’s head, Simon is convincing himself that the beast isn’t real, but it is all inside everyone. The LotF says later that he’s with the boys, too. That means that the boys have given into evil. Simon then falls unconscious and later goes up the mountain to figure out that there is no beast, just a dead man with a parachute. So he goes back down to tell the rest of the boys.
In the meantime, Jack invades Ralph and his friends’ part of the island and says that anyone who wants meat can come and dine with them. So they go. (They being Ralph, Piggy, Samneric and all the Little’uns.) They all start to go crazy and decide to pretend that they are hunting a pig, and they start hunting each other as a little ritual after they were done eating the pork. When they started their ritual, they just kept going and going, and finally they pretty pumped with Adrenaline and decided they needed to kill something.
Just then, Simon walks out of the forest, and since hes been away all day he’s dirty and bleeding and really tired. So everyone says He’s the Beast! (but they know he’s not, they just want an excuse to kill, because killing brings them pleasure.) So they kill him. Ralph, Piggy and Samneric pretend to not have taken part in this, though they did. They went back to their side of the island and tried to sleep, though they felt guilty for the unspoken (murdering Simon). In the meantime, Jack and his groupies decide that they need fire to roast pig, so they come to steal piggy’s glasses. (OH! by the way, this whole time, whenever anyone wanted a fire, all they did was take Piggy’s glasses and focus the light so that it burned the logs they were going to put on fire.) So they come to steal Piggy’s glasses. This is the second time Piggy’s glasses were broken or taken away from him. This further symbolizes the degeneration of their society.
In the meantime, (throughout the entire book actually,) the conch was being used by Ralph to bring law and order to his people. So Piggy decided that they should all go to Jack’s castle rock and force him to give back Piggy’s glasses, because it’s the right thing to do.
They all go to the castle rock and in the end Jack ties up Samneric, later forcing them to join his tribe of savages, and they end up killing Piggy by hurdling this large rock towards him. Since piggy was holding the conch shell, it exploded on impact with the rock and Piggy was thrown to the bottom of the cliff, where his brains proceeded to seep out of his head and he was gently washed to sea.
There was a lot of symbolism there. First, when Piggy died so did the conch. This means that when reason is destroyed, so is law and order. Throughout the rest of the book, Ralph realizes that he missed Piggy, his law and order, and wishes he could get advice from him once more.
Later that night, (I’m almost done, sorry this is taking so long!) Ralph went to Samneric, they were guarding the fort, and they told him that he should better run, because tommorrow they were going to conduct a large man-hunt, and Ralph is Da Man. They told him that Jack has prepared a spear sharpened at both ends for Ralph.
This symbolizes the fact that Jack wants Ralph’s head to be sacrificed to the beast as they had done with the Pig’s head. Ralph and the pig have a lot in common if one sits down and thinks about it.
So they conduct a man-hunt, they chase, Ralph runs and finally, while Ralph is getting tired, he runs into a naval officer who rescues them.
That was as breif AND thourough as I could do. It really is a good book if you don’t have some teacher breathing down your neck and telling u that u have a test the next day, but those are my personal problems. I Really, Really, Really hoped this helped, cuz it took me a long time! Have fun! (no, really!)
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